Sissinghurst Castle in Kent
View from the Tower over the Gardens
I’ve been to Sissinghurst lots of times as I used to live in Sussex and my brother was a good friend of Juliet’s but every time I visit, I am always blown away by its beauty. It’s now owned by the National Trust but with such a renowned history, the Trust is trying to keep the spirit of the Nicolson’s alive in how they manage the property.
Sissinghurst is 2 miles north-east of Cranbrook and 1 mile east of Sissinghurst village, just off the A262. If you are coming from Sissinghurst village, look out for brown signs on the left. If you are coming by bus, get off at the village and follow the footpath which is on the left just after the Church – it’s about 1 1/4 miles to the Castle and the path can get very muddy.
The garden is divided into a series of interlinked rooms.
The National Trust has been researching the original design so that they can restore Harold Nicolson’s and Vita Sackville-West’s vision for the garden.
The Elizabethan Tower was converted into a writing room for Vita and it’s a magical moment to enter the room and realise that this is where Vita spent so much time writing – and make sure you turn left as you come out of her room and climb to the top of the Tower. It’s a wonderful opportunity to look out over the garden and see the overall layout and design of the garden.
The Tower, Priest’s House and South Cottage are all that remain of the original Elizabethan house that was probably built by Richard Baker c1560-70. In 1930, Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West bought Sissinghurst and began restoring the buildings and garden.
There’s the usual National Trust cafe and shop on site.
The beautiful gardens at Sissinghurst are laid out in a series of ‘rooms’ and were created in the twentieth century by Vita Sackville West