Chiddingstone Castle is a fascinating Historic House set in 35 acres of informal gardens with breathtaking views of the North Downs, large lawns for picnics, an intimate rose garden, woodland and a beautiful fishing lake. The springtime daffodil display on the East Meadow is truly spectacular.
The Castle's history can be traced back to Tudor times, and was remodelled in the fashionable 'medieval castle-style' in the early 19th Century. Today it houses the amazing collections of the late Denys Eyre Bower, a passionate and gifted collector of art and artefacts' Japanese lacquer and Samurai armour, Ancient Egyptian treasures, Buddhist objects, Stuart paintings and Jacobite manuscripts.
Visitors are welcome to enjoy Denys' remarkable collections, along with many other rooms that are open to display the Castle's diverse history. In Denys's study, one can learn of his eccentric and complicated life, which featured a notorious scan dal and subsequent imprisonment.
The original Victorian rooms, such as the Kitchen, Scullery and Housekeeper's Room, along with the recently opened Servants' Hall and Servant's Attic Bedroom (reached via a secret spiral staircase), give the visitor a truly 'upstairs downstairs' experience.
A cosy Tea Room and sunny courtyard are a treat in all weathers, serving light lunches and traditional sumptuous cream teas on vintage china. The Gift Shop sells a delightful array of local produce and gifts. The Tea Room and Gift Shop are open to visitors without an admission ticket to the Castle.
This year the Castle is opening a brand new permanent exhibition - The Streatfeild Room, located on the first floor. This fascinating room displays the history of the building and its inhabitants from its origins as a Tudor dwelling, then as High Street House and, approximately 200 years ago, its transformation into Chiddingstone Castle.
In July 2014, an Ancient Egyptian garden was launched at the Castle, entitled ‘The Fields of Eternity’. This innovative garden has been painstakingly designed by Egyptologists as a microcosm of Ancient Egypt, where visitors can learn about life and the environment in 2000BC by exploring carefully prepared paths of grasses, wild flowers and crops laid out to represent the River Nile, with its tributaries leading to ‘tombs’ and exciting discoveries. This experience encourages visitors, both young and old, to link the landscape of Ancient Egypt with the Castle’s own unique collection of antiquities from that time.
All this within 15 minutes from the M25 Jct5.
Chiddingstone Castle is one of the Seven Wonders of the Weald. An annual Seven Wonders pass allows one free entry for an adult and child to enjoy each of the seven attractions. Find out more at www.sevenwonders.org.uk