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PENSHURST PLACE AND GARDENS

Partner Garden
Free access for RHS members at selected times

Penshurst
Tonbridge
TN11 8DG

Follow brown tourist signs from A21 Hildenborough exit.

11 acres

Tel
01892 870307

Visit website

Opening Hours

Please see website for opening dates and times.

Admission

Please see website for admission prices.

RHS members

Free access (Member 1 only) - applies Mon–Fri (except school hols and BH).

Facilities

  • Assistance dogs only
  • Accessible facilities
  • Accessible garden
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children’s play area
  • Children's activities
  • Free carer entry
  • Gift shop
  • Group rates
  • Parking
  • Picnic area
  • Plant sales
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets

Features

  • Arboretum
  • Autumn colour
  • Champion trees
  • Colour themed borders
  • Herbaceous border
  • Mediterranean/Italian garden
  • Pond or lake
  • Sculpture
  • Woodland

About the garden

Owned by
Viscount De L'Isle

Designed By
George Carter

Walking through the 11 acres of formal gardens at Penshurst Place is truly transportive. Divided into 11 garden rooms by over one mile of yew hedging, it’s little wonder why Penshurst Place remains a popular choice for visitors seeking a variety of colour and form in a garden of significant historical importance.     

Owned by the Sidney family since 1552, Penshurst Place is a family home first and foremost, where the gardens serve as a fascinating horticultural family album with many of the gardens featuring new planting to immortalise events in 2nd Viscount and Viscountess De L’Isle’s family.    

Records for the gardens date from 1346 and are among the oldest in private ownership. Each garden room has a unique theme, and displays a plethora of colours, blooms and foliage to ensure season-long interest for visitors. Current custodians Viscount and Viscountess De L’Isle work hard to retain the historical accuracy of Penshurst Place for enjoyment by visitors and future generations alike, yet they recognise the need for the gardens to evolve. New additions have resulted in visually appealing gardens, which effortlessly combine the historical integrity of more than six centuries with unique and contemporary enhancements.    

Among the many garden highlights is the Italian Garden - originally laid out in the 1560s by Henry Sidney. The Italian Garden and the various other smaller rooms began life as kitchen gardens, hosting a variety of fruit trees and sink ponds. Sir Henry’s layout has remained virtually unchanged for the succeeding 460 years. Add to this a further 10 garden rooms featuring more than 5,000 roses, almost 500 fruit trees, 12,500 spring flowering tulips, a magnolia garden, ponds and fountains, ancient trees and parkland, lakes and woodland, statues and topiary, and it is easy to see why Penshurst Place is one of Kent’s most cherished gardens.  

Plants of special interest

  • Agapanthus
  • Alliums
  • Asters
  • Begonias
  • Bluebells
  • Camellias
  • Clematis
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodils
  • Dahlias
  • Delphiniums
  • Fruit blossom
  • Fruit bushes/trees
  • Grasses
  • Hellebores
  • Irises
  • Lavender
  • Magnolias
  • Maple
  • Orchids
  • Primulas
  • Rhododendrons/azaleas
  • Roses
  • Snowdrops
  • Spring bulbs
  • Topiary
  • Waterlilies
  • Wildflowers
  • Wisteria

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.