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The Beautiful, Award Winning Gardens of Groombridge Place

The Knot Garden

Boasting a wonderful display of tulips. In summer the two colour contrast is maintained using different planting schemes each year. The Giant Chessboard opposite the Knot Garden will entertain visitors of all ages.

The central pathway through the gardens leads along the Apostle Walk, bordered on each side by 12 drum yews, thought to have survived from the original planting in 1674.

The open door in the wall by the edge of the moat leads to The Secret Garden, a tiny hidden corner where the waters of the stream feed the moat. In spring the pink blossom of the cherry tree overhang the azaleas and late flowering snowdrop candelabra primulas. In late May the garden is garlanded with laburnum. On hot summer days the deep shade and cooling waters make the Secret Garden a reflective oasis.

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden, which is sited in the corner of the gardens and reached by opening a thick wooden door, has recently benefitted from a renovation project which has seen extensive new planting which includes beautiful blue agapanthus, foxgloves and gazania.  The streams which give the garden a cool feel, tumble down rocks into the moat, which surrounds the historic manor house.  A bridge has also been restored and wooden seating added.

Many areas of the gardens have some interesting histories attached to them and the Secret Garden is no exception.  Philip Packer, who was a courtier to Charles II and a friend to Christopher Wren, rebuilt Groombridge with Wren’s help in 1662 and it was here in the secret garden, said to be his favourite garden, that he died while reading a book in the sunshine on Christmas Eve in 1686.

Philip Packer also laid out the gardens surrounding Groombridge Place from 1674 with the help of horticulturalist and famous diarist John Evelyn who designed a series of formal gardens arranged as "outside rooms" of the house.  The idea was to blur the boundary between indoors and outdoors which is a theme which became popular again in the twentieth century.  Some of Evelyn's garden rooms at Groombridge also pre-empted modern design in creating an artfully "natural" landscape. The Secret Garden is the best example.

The White Rose Garden

Commemorating the 200 year ownership of the estate by the Waller family and is a celebration of the art of planting in shades of white; featuring over twenty varieties of white rose. Other white-flowering plants provide season-long beauty, including foxtail lilies, primulas, tulips, peonies, poppies, hyacinths and lavender.

The Peacock Walk is planted with a variety of shrubs, including rhododendrons, viburnum, aucuba and azalea. The garden wall is a favourite roosting place for the Groombridge peacocks.

One of the garden highlights is the herbaceous border planted with clematis and a rich collection of traditional English perennials, including asters, cynara, rudbeckia, salvias and hollyhocks. In spring the focus is on tulips and primulas.

The Oriental Garden

Zinging with vibrant hot colours, shaded by magnificent Japanese maples and has a new, very unusual, grass fountain at its centre.

The Drunken Garden

A favourite of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has a blue and yellow theme, with veronica, clematis, ceanothus and lilies.

Draughtsman’s Lawn

A white mulberry tree, planted in 1993 marks Groombridge’s connection with the smuggling trade. Early in the year there are spring bulbs and primroses, a beautiful magnolia stellata and a variety of azaleas. In summer the ornamental trees and shrubs provide a striking display of contrasting leaf colours, from deep copper to lime green.

Christmas Elfxtravaganza at Groombridge Place


Christmas Elfxtravaganza at Groombridge Place

Groombridge Place in Tunbridge Wells will be open to visitors between 10am and 4pm for an exciting fun filled Christmas Elfxtravaganza on 3, 4,10, 11, 17 - 23 and  December 2016.
Families visiting Groombridge Place can enjoy a day full of festive entertainment including joining the elves on a Treasure Hunt to find Jack Frost, running through falling snow, writing letters to Santa and making reindeer food ready for Santa’s visit on Christmas Eve.  Everyone can also visit the Elves Craft Workshop and decorate gingerbread to take home.
Festive stalls will be selling mulled wine, candy floss, popcorn and Christmas gifts. 
The ticket prices are £12.95 for adults and £8.95 for children.  A family ticket (2+2) is £39.95.  All advance bookings online will receive a 10% discount.    For a small additional charge children can have their face painted.
Families can also pre-book to see Father Christmas in his delightful grotto including a gift for each child.  Visits to see Father Christmas are £11.95 per child.  Adults free with a paying child.  Admission to Groombridge Place applies.. 
The Groombridge Café will be offering a range of sandwiches, soups and jacket potatoes to order together with delicious Christmas Cake, Mince Pies and speciality teas and coffees.
The attraction is less than 4 miles from Tunbridge Wells and accessible by road or via the Spa Valley Railway (check their timetable before travelling).
Groombridge Place, Groombridge Hill, Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 9QG. 
Last entry 4pm. Car Parking Free.

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