Gorgeous stately homes, irresistible gardens, Roman remains and a picturesque landscape, including the rippling hills of the High Weald and the rolling North Downs, make Sevenoaks in Kent a destination you can't afford to miss.
Sevenoaks wears its long history well, with its traditional Kentish architecture in its attractive towns and villages; Sevenoaks, Westerham, Edenbridge and Eynsford overflow with atmosphere, vibrant shopping streets, architectural treasures and appealing places to eat and drink, providing a slice of traditional Kent life
One of Britain's most impressive stately homes is in the heart of Sevenoaks: the vast, enchanting National Trust property of Knole. Dating from the 1450s and famously sporting 365 rooms, 52 staircases and seven courtyards, here you'll wander through exquisite galleries, past shimmering silver, atmospheric portraits and fine fabrics. Then head through the sunlit orangery and into a 1000-acre park dotted with gnarled trees and herds of deer.
All around Sevenoaks are more must-see sights. Discover National Trust-run properties at Chartwell the much-loved family home of Winston Churchill; Quebec House, residence of 18th century soldier, General James Wolfe; and Emmetts Garden, with its profusion of roses, shrubs, and bluebells in spring.
Historical homes, castles and gardens are a plenty. There’s enchanting, double-moated 13th century Hever Castle – childhood home to Anne Boleyn, while Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Penshurst Place and Chiddingstone Castle, offer more culture and history, and an impressive range of year-round family and themed activities. Or discover the rare shrubs and exotic perennials at Great Comp Garden that surround a beautiful 17th century manor house.
Just 7 miles north of Sevenoaks, Lullingstone Roman Villa is one of the best-preserved in the country. Its vivid mosaics and striking wall paintings really bring the mid-4th century to life - check out the Roman-era under-floor heating in the bathroom. Then scroll forward 12 centuries at nearby Lullingstone Castle and World Garden, where a 15th century manor house is surrounded by plants from all around the globe.
Sightseeing done, perhaps make for one of the district’s leisure centres or the all-in-one cultural hub, cinema and theatre that is The Stag Community Arts Centre , before bedding down at the Royal Oak or the Premier Inn. Sleep at the Thistle Brands Hatch after watching thrilling car or bike racing at Brands Hatch; you can even screech round the world-famous circuit in a racing car yourself.
If you looking for cosy bed and breakfasts in the charming countryside, or other places to stay in Sevenoaks, visit the Sevenoaks District Accommodation Forum.
Discover more at www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/tourism
Find out more about Westerham at www.visitwesterham.org.uk