Nestled in the southeastern corner of England, Kent has long been hailed as the “Garden of England.” This beautiful county has something for everyone, boasting picturesque countryside landscapes, stunning coastlines, historical landmarks, and charming villages. Join me as I explore my home county and the blooming beauty of Kent and discover why it is indeed the epitome of England’s pastoral charm.
The Glorious Gardens
A visit to Kent is incomplete without exploring its verdant gardens, meticulously cultivated over centuries. These are some of the finest examples you won’t want to miss:
Sissinghurst Castle Garden: Created by the famous Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson, this lush oasis features a harmonious blend of romantic, formal, and wild garden styles. The iconic White Garden, overflowing with white and silver plants, is a must-see.
Emmetts Garden: This hillside paradise showcases a vast collection of exotic plants, including rare trees and shrubs from around the world. Visit in spring to witness the breathtaking display of bluebells and rhododendrons.
Scotney Castle Garden: Situated around the romantic ruins of a medieval moated castle, this picturesque garden features an array of vibrant azaleas, rhododendrons, and kalmia, providing a visual feast for visitors.
Kent’s rich history is evident in its abundant castles, stately homes, and cathedrals:
Leeds Castle: Dubbed the “loveliest castle in the world,” Leeds Castle is set on two islands in the middle of a tranquil lake. Explore the lavish rooms adorned with medieval tapestries, stroll through the exquisite gardens, or lose yourself in the yew maze.
Canterbury Cathedral: As the mother church of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, this awe-inspiring Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the stunning stained-glass windows and discover the rich history of the Cathedral’s role in English Christianity.
Hever Castle: The childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Hever Castle is a romantic double-moated fortress filled with historic treasures, including Tudor portraits and tapestries. The award-winning gardens surrounding the castle complete the enchanting experience.
The diverse coastline of Kent offers visitors breathtaking views, invigorating walks, and charming coastal towns:
White Cliffs of Dover: These striking chalk cliffs have long stood as a symbol of hope and freedom. Hike along the cliff-top paths for panoramic views of the English Channel, or explore the tunnels beneath the cliffs at Dover Castle.
Whitstable: This charming seaside town is renowned for its oysters and bustling harbour. Wander through the narrow alleys, browse the boutique shops, or dine in one of the many seafood restaurants lining the coast. This is my home town, where I was born and grew up; the town had not really been discovered then, but now that has changed in recent years with a thriving visitor scene.
Broadstairs: This quintessentially British seaside resort boasts sandy beaches, colourful beach huts, and a lively promenade. Visit the Dickens House Museum or enjoy an ice cream while strolling along the Victorian architecture-lined streets. This town is also the main surfing location in Kent.
Kent, the Garden of England, offers diverse attractions for visitors seeking natural beauty, historic charm, and coastal delights. With its enchanting gardens, ancient castles, and picturesque coastline, Kent is an idyllic destination that encapsulates the very essence of England’s pastoral splendour.