Kent - The Garden of England
Why is Kent called the Garden of England?
The expression ‘The Garden of England’ was first coined by Henry VIII, and Kent has been known by this name for centuries for its green rolling hills, fertile soils, and an abundance of fruit-growing and hop gardens. In fact, Kent has become known for its standout landmarks, the iconic oast-houses or drying kilns with their tall pyramid-like roofs, once used for drying hops grown throughout the county, but today they are mostly converted into private homes.
Kent’s fruit growing pedigree has stood the test of time as the famous Wimbledon strawberries are lovingly grown here every year, to provide the perfect accompaniment for the quintessentially English Cream Teas served during the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world.
Why is Kent such a good place to visit?
Tucked away in the South-East corner of Great Britain, the county of Kent claims to be the oldest county in England and it boats some of Britain’s most ancient, and outstanding places to visit, including a number of World Heritage Sites.
This corner of England has been occupied since the Palaeolithic era some 400,000 years ago. Kent is home to many of Great Britain’s treasures and it has played an important role in British history for thousands of years. The castles, English gardens, cathedrals, churches and historic houses scattered across this beautiful county have been places of stronghold during times of great turmoil and triumph, and they have played an important part in shaping the course of British history from the time of the Romans, through to Medieval Britain, and the Great World Wars which have become synonymous with the iconic White Cliffs of Dover.
Where Can We Take You?
When it comes to places of interest in Kent, you will not be disappointed. This county is a true feast for all the senses, and it has it all, from flowering fields in the spring to autumn orchards laden with vast varieties of fruit to imposing cathedrals, ancient castles, gorgeous gardens, and truly breath-taking coastline.
The county of Kent is home to two of Britain’s finest Cathedrals. Come and visit Rochester Cathedral, England’s second oldest cathedral, a magnificent place of Christian worship since AD604 and soak up the beauty, solace, and grandeur of this incredible place.
Or explores the majestic Canterbury Cathedral, part of a World Heritage Site and home to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Marvel at the splendour of this magnificent feat of engineering and place of worship, and hear fascinating tales of murder and intrigue.
Our tour meanders through the countryside discovering tiny villages and ancient churches. We tour the historic and well preserved medieval town on Sandwich, once the principle Cinque Port (Five Ports) as ordered by Edward the Confessor to defend the country and supply the Crown with ships and men.
Kent is blessed with abundant natural beauty and its gardens are world renowned, Sissinghurst, Pashley and Great Dixter (almost in Kent) to name but a few.
Come on one of our tailor-made tours and marvel at the dazzling colours, seductive scents and superb seasonal shows. Whether it’s grand and historic, exotic or informal, pick up brilliant ideas for your own garden from celebrated designers across the ages.
Spend a few days touring Kent’s magnificent castles and stately houses to find the sumptuous real-life settings for the dramatic loves intrigues of King Henry VIII and learn how royal romance altered the course of English history.
Spend the day exploring two of Kent’s most splendid castles. The fairy-tale moated Leeds Castle built on two islands in the middle of a stunning lake is described as ‘the loveliest castle in the whole world’. Listed in the Domesday Book, this castle is steeped in history and legend. It has been a Norman stronghold, a royal residence, and a royal palace since 857AD and it is home to a myriad of invaluable art, artefacts, and fables.
Or explore the most iconic of all English cliff-top fortresses, Dover Castle, commanding the gateway to the realm for nine centuries. Described as the ‘Key to England’ due to its defensive significance throughout history, Dover Castle is a fascinating English Heritage site with 2000 years of history in one location. Our tour will immerse you in intriguing history as we roam through the centuries from the Romans to the Cold War.
Kent is blessed with a spectacular coastline. Stretching over 350 miles, it boasts glorious sandy beaches, striking sea-carved white cliffs, family-friendly bays, national parks, and rare wildlife.
Drive along the coast to St Margaret’s Bay for a close-up view of the famous and iconic White Cliffs of Dover, a well-known symbol of Britain and recognized the world over.
Take a drive through quaint little villages and stop to explore Walmer, with its English Heritage Tudor Castle built by Henry VII, and often visited by the Queen and the late Queen Mother.
Or stop at the historic Deal village, which is home to the legendary Deal Castle, an important artillery fort constructed by Henry VIII in the 16th century to protect the English coastline against invasion from France and the Holy Roman Empire.
Famously knows as the ‘Garden of England’, Kent also lays claim to some of the country’s top wine producers with an acclaimed reputation both on the national and international markets.
The secret of this world-class wine production lies in the ‘terroir’ of this luscious region, not dissimilar to the Champagne region of France. which provides the ideal growing conditions for many top grape varieties.
The good news is that many vineyards in Kent have now opened their doors to eager visitors to tour their beautifully luscious grounds and sample their excellent produce.
With more than 50 vineyards to choose from, visitors to Kent are spoilt for choice. Why not include a vineyard stop or two in your tour and sample some of the region’s award-winning wines and enjoy some outstanding local produce in their restaurants.