Autumn gardens in Kent

13th September 2021

It will soon be that time of the year when the trees turn a vibrant shade of red, and the crunch of leaves on the ground are a welcome sound during those shorter days.

Yes, over the next few weeks the autumn leaf will decorate the beautiful Kentish countryside and a range of autumnal flowers will soon make an appearance. Summer may be long gone, but now is the perfect time to wrap up in a blanket scarf and peruse some of our favourite gardens and grounds.

Whilst you are out don't forget to tag us in your posts using #VisitKent!

Plus, as many of our businesses are proudly displaying VisitBritain's We're Good to Go kitemark, all you’ll need to worry about is packing as much gorgeous autumn colour into your Instagram grid as possible! 

Brilliant Belmont House

A favourite hidden gem of Kent's locals, Belmont House comes alive during the autumn, contrasting perfectly with the stone house. With the estate's trees and plants going a golden colour, you can still enjoy the gardens as winter rolls in from 10am to dusk, daily, but as there are more than 3,000 acres which also contain orchards, we've got to recommend a few visits to see the changing spectrum! 

Plot to Plate at Quex Gardens

On Sunday 26th September, local favourite Angela's restaurant, which is based in Margate, will bring Plot to Plate to Quex Gardens, a celebration of the fruit and vegetables grown locally in the gardens themselves. Creating a four-course vegetarian menu, when you arrive at Quex Gardens you'll be greeted with drinks and canapes and embark on a head gardener tour of the walled garden before settling down for your meal, which features a choice of either an English wine pairing or non-alcoholic cocktails inspired by the herbs and flavours from the garden.

Leeds Castle

Trust us, the grounds at Leeds Castle are no less vibrant once summer comes to a close! Explore the beautiful castle and grounds, and discover breath-taking views around every corner. And with acres of gardens to explore, we can pretty much guarantee that perfect Insta-worthy shot. Just imagine those autumn colours reflected in the moat! 

Make the most of Mote Park

Being one of Kent's finest free parks, at 450 acres of total parkland, Mote Park is the place to go to kick your way through crisp autumn leaves. Making a scene from the start, the entrance has rafts of autumnal leaves, which lead on a trail around the park itself leading to the pinnacle that is the reflections on the lake - meaning you can double up on the views! 

Hole Park Gardens

Striking autumn colours make their home in Hole Park Gardens in Rolvenden, with 16 acres of gardens and 10 acres of woodland. An array of dahlias and cannas stand at the front, with a backdrop of trees such as Japanese maples. Be sure to head out on the circular walk that also takes in the carved wooden sculpture!

Autumn colours at Hever Castle

As the evening sunlight starts to fade and the mist starts to make an appearance in the mornings, it’s time to head outside and discover all the ways autumn is decorating your favourite attractions. From the Boston ivy around the front of Hever Castle turning vivid shades of red, to the beautiful Italian garden filled with crunching leaves, we can't wait to take a tour around Hever Castle for our autumnal fix! 

© Martin Fagg

Godinton House

Set in the heart of farmland and countryside, Godinton House is a hidden gem. Discover leaf-crunching strolls through the grounds, admire the breath-taking beauty of the likes of the walled garden and Italian Garden and keep an eye out for sculptures found throughout the gardens.  

Penshurst Place

Autumn arrives in spectacular fashion at Penshurst Place, where the many varieties of apple and crab apple trees show off their fruit, vibrant hips form on many of the roses, and intricate seedheads are just as photogenic as their floral predecessors. Red is a predominant hue as the acers start to change colour, and the Demi-Lune Archer is framed by fiery pyracantha berries. Step outside of the garden wall, and a stroll around the Arboretum, Woodland Trail or Parkland will assail your senses with autumnal scent. 

Reuthe's - The Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks

Do we need to say more than our next garden is an acclaimed rare species arboretum & plant nursery which was created in 1902 by renowned plantsman Gustav Reuthe, to get you in the mood for a visit? If not, then perhaps it might be Reuthe's - The Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks' 28 gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show which Reuthe's won for its world beating plants, which in the autumn is home to pockets of chanterelle mushrooms, abundant chestnuts, quince & the rare and delicious cornus kousa fruit of which Reuthe’s holds a rare collection of these oriental fruit trees - a real treat for the senses.

Charming Chartwell

Once the home to Sir Winston Churchill, Chartwell's rolling grounds and surrounding landscape are perfect for an autumn day out. From catching the last of the summer vegetables in their impressive kitchen garden, to wandering the estate and discovering the playhouse designed for his youngest daughter, Mary, you'll soon agree with Churchill that a day away from Chartwell really is a day wasted. 

© National Trust images + Andrew Butler

Idyllic Ightham Mote

A visit to Ightham Mote is a must for anyone wanting to explore Kent's autumn gardens. So take a visit and discover why this moated manor house is such an Instagram hotspot and a wonderful sight during the colder months. Stroll the grounds and watch as the green leaves turn to orange and yellow - perfect for a relaxing Sunday afternoon. 

©National Trust Images/Megan Taylor

Enchanting Emmetts Garden

With glorious views across the countryside, a visit to Emmetts Garden is perfect year round, not just summer time. Discover the beautiful garden's vibrant hues and be sure to keep an eye out for their wonderful burnt toffee tree - just the thing to get you in the mood for Halloween!

Scenic Sissinghurst Castle

Did you know Sissinghurst Castle is set in a 460 acre estate? During the autumn months leaf-crunching walks through the woodland are a must for sightings of wildflowers, but don't forget to pay a visit to the beautiful gardens surrounding the castle for even more spectacular splashes of colour. 

© Shaun Tanner

Spectacular Scotney Castle

You may have spotted your Instagram feed filled with Scotney Castle images, and with pictures like this it’s easy to see why! Beautiful any time of the year, the gorgeous 14th century castle is a particularly popular spot among photographers during autumn. Get snapping and look out for vibrant reds and stunning greens decorating this fairytale castle for a picture-perfect day out.

Shepherd Neame's country spots 

After a wander around Kent's best autumnal spots, you might be in the mood to drink a similarly coloured beverage in the shape of Shepherd Neame's brews! If you venture to Belmont House, perhaps head into Faversham itself and escape to the Sun Inn, or if you're visiting Ightham Mote, take a trip to The Restoration. Read Shepherd Neame's full list of autumnal pubs here