Sissinghurst Castle Garden has long been on my list to visit. It’s one of the UK’s most famous gardens, designed and created by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson and now a Grade I listed National Trust property. We made our first visit last summer, but sadly we weren’t lucky with the weather and it rained quite heavily the whole time we were there. This year we decided on a revisit and we couldn’t have been luckier with the weather!
The entrance takes you through into a courtyard with perfectly manicured lawns and in spring the scent of the hyacinths hits you straight away.
Although it’s named Sissinghurst Castle Garden, the only nod to the Castle is the Tower, which you can walk up the 78 steps to the top if you’re feeling energetic. I left that to Max and John while I went for a potter around the gardens – can you spot them waving to me from the top though?
The Lime Walk
The beautiful thing about Sissinghurst is that there’s always one part of the garden in particular which will be the highlight in any given season. In April, the highlight of the garden is the Lime Walk – an avenue of lime trees, surrounded by densely planted bulbs of all kinds. The colours are just spectacular and it really is a beautiful view.
The garden is designed as a series of garden rooms, and I always love that thrill of walking through a gate or an archway and not quite knowing what you’re going to find. Then that gasp as you step through and the beauty opens up before you.
The Cottage Garden
Another spring highlight is the Cottage Garden which comes alive with yellows and reds. As you can see, I’m not the only lover of flowers and photography – Max took well over 300 photos on this trip with his new camera!
A surprise spring highlight for me was Delos, a part of the garden named after the Greek island, but which was a shady refuge from the strong sun on the day we visited. A carpet of blues and pinks stretched out beneath the stunning pink magnolia – the woodland feel and the colour combinations just sum up spring for me.
It’s worth noting that Sissinghurst is perhaps not one of the most baby friendly National Trust gardens I’ve visited. It’s very much a gardener’s garden, and pushchairs are not allowed within the garden itself, although can be taken in the grounds and left outside. But baby carriers can be provided on request, and for a child of Max’s age, the garden has all the ingredients he tends to love – lots of paths to explore and potentially lose us!
I adore Sissinghurst – it has all the ingredients I love in a garden. Beautiful views, unexpected surprises, and highlights all year round. I’m so pleased we managed to make a return visit in better weather this year! My next goal is to see the White Garden looking at it’s best – it had some lovely tulips out on this visit, but the best is definitely yet to come.
Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Entrance fee: Free for National Trust members, adult £12.50, child £6.10 (prices correct at April 2017)
Opening times: 11:00 – 17:30 (garden), 10:00 – 17:30 (Shop & Restaurant)
Have you visited Sissinghurst? Or do you have a favourite garden to recommend? I’d love to hear in the comments!