Our trip to Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden was gifted to Well Travelled Munchkins. All words, photos and opinions are our own.
We have officially found Kent’s best kept secret: Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden! One of Britain’s oldest family run estates is nestled in the beautiful Kent countryside behind the very pretty village of Eynsford near Dartford.
Once through the Gatehouse you can amble around the 15 acre lake, explore woodlands complete with 18th century bathhouse and river walk and, of course, the ‘idea conceived in the jungle’ The World Garden.
With great links to London and the South East, Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden is a great day out for the whole family.
History of Lullingstone Castle
The Lullingstone estate has been in existence for over 900 years and is originally mentioned in the Domesday Book. The present Manor House and Gatehouse were built in 1497 and has been home to the same family ever since. This makes Lullingstone Castle one of the country’s oldest family estates.
Lullingstone Castle also has strong links to British royalty. Henry VIII and Queen Ann were regular visitors and the estate produced silk for the coronations of George VI and Elizabeth II.
Take time to walk around the thoughtfully tended formal gardens and enjoy a picnic under the trees, which is actively encouraged!
This made our visit feel completely unhurried and laid-back and the freedom to totally relax with the kids.
Then spend some time around the 15 acre lake before wandering off to explore the woodland. Here you will find a 18th century bathhouse and a walk along the river Darent. You can even have a little paddle in the shallows to cool off if you manage to visit on a hot day.
There are light refreshments available and also a gift shop selling soap and honey made on the estate.
Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden
On top of all this your ticket also gives you entrance into The World Garden.
The World Garden is the brainchild of Lullingstone Castle’s current heir and horticulturalist Tom Hart Dyke.
Unbelievably, it was an idea conceived while Tom spent nine months being held hostage in the Colombian jungle! A somewhat eventful end to a plant hunting expedition back in March 2000.
The World Garden
The World Garden is a celebration of the plants that have been bought back to British shores by history’s intrepid plant hunters.
The garden takes you on a walk around the globe where flowerbeds are the shape of the countries they represent.
As you adventure through Tom’s collection of botanical specimens there are also sculptures to spot, hidden paths to explore and Venus fly traps to contend with!
Tom himself can be found working tirelessly in the polytunnels towards the back of The World Garden. If you are lucky enough to meet the man himself you will gain an understanding of where the easy going nature of Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden emanates from.
With no expectation of what we would find at Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden we had a truly brilliant day. The kids had space and time to play, we all enjoyed The World Garden (proven by the amount of pollen I found on small noses) and found the river walk in the woodlands the perfect cherry on top!
For ticket prices and the latest information on opening times and upcoming events visit the Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden website.