Magnificent Kent Gardens with historic castle near the coast
From coastal towns to stunning countryside, Kent is one of the most vibrant and picturesque places in the UK. If you’re near Deal, head to the Tudor Castle grounds to explore its stunning gardens.
Originally built in the 16th century on the orders of Henry VIII to protect against French invasion, Walmer Castle has over eight acres of award-winning gardens, set in the estate’s picturesque coastal grounds. The building is full of history, and its interior is full of stories and secrets from the castle’s past.
Visitors can see some “cool” items, including a pair of original Wellington boots. The castle became home to the lords of the Cinque Ports – among them the Duke of Wellington and the Queen Mother. The garden bearing the latter’s name is a combination of “still water, rich plantings and cool shade.”
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It features an arched pavilion and a central rectangular pool, surrounded by deep borders with sculptural plants such as tall purple-headed cardoons, deep blue Agapanthus and lilac. Verbena, fragrant rose and violet garlic. New displays were installed in 2019 as part of a project to rediscover Woolmer’s lost joys.
It reads on the English Heritage website: “As well as improving accessibility, new tactile exhibits tell the story of the gardens like never before, and explain the work of Walmer’s gardeners. You can also learn about Walmer’s wildlife and discover the biodiversity of the surrounding area.”
This calm and relaxing space is the perfect place to take care of your mental health. Local practitioners and small businesses offer a wide range of therapeutic wellbeing activities available for all ages and abilities. This includes yoga, tai chi and meditation.
“The idea of good health on the English seaside had been around for a long time – in the mid-18th century, Woolmer Castle had become a comfortable, secluded retreat for its lords, while retaining its role as a fortress. “William Pitt the Younger, the former Prime Minister and Warden, was pleased with Woolmer’s serenity.” As stated on the website.
Another area worth visiting is Broadwalk Park with its “unique design”. It continues: “With a backdrop of undulating cloud yew hedges, the double borders are bursting with color throughout the summer months. The color and planting scheme was inspired by the influential British horticulturist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll.”
People visiting the castle can explore the kitchen garden where fruits and vegetables have been grown for nearly 300 years. Visitors can also enter the adjacent greenhouses.
For the little ones, there is a nature play trail along the forest walk. Kids can climb into hollow logs, giant nests and cross wobbly bridges. “They can also learn about wildlife by seeing the forest bird sculptures dotted around the trail,” he adds on the website.
Before entering the castle, you can enjoy a delicious meal in the Lord Warden’s Tea Room and Glasshouse Café. It offers a seasonal menu of snacks, lunches and homemade cakes in a beautiful setting.
After a well-deserved break, you can explore the castle with a multimedia guide and “listen to never-before-told stories about the castle and its famous inhabitants from its history.” However, photography is not allowed inside the castle.
Downstairs you will find a book store run by volunteers. You can find anything from best-selling novels to gardening and history books.
There will be a new Christmas light trail. The show will run from December 1 to January 1, and will be joined by an array of festive food and warm cocktails adding to the impressive light show.
How to visit Woolmer Castle
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