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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Groombridge Place Garden

Groombridge is known as a beautiful, peaceful garden retaining a sense of history, romance and intrigue whilst providing an exciting modern landscaping of ancient woodland for the Enchanted Forest, designed to appeal to young and old alike. The gardens are laid out on a south-facing slope with a backdrop of a medieval moat and surrounding a classical Restoration manor house. They are designed as rooms and include the lovely White Rose Garden with over 20 varieties of white roses and the Secret Garden with deep shade and cooling waters in a tiny hidden corner. Visitors will also be fascinated by the Oriental Garden with its Paradise Walk, the Knot Garden and Nut Walk and not least the Drunken Garden with its crazy topiary. Planting is designed to offer colour and interest from Spring to Autumn.In complete contrast on a high hillside above the walled gardens and estate vineyard is the Enchanted Forest, designed by Ivan Hicks to challenge the imagination. Children love the Dark Walk, Tree Fern Valley, Village of the Groms, Serpent's Lair and Mystic Pool. There are also the Romany Camp, Double Spiral and Giants' Swing Walk.

Garden Address: Groombridge Place Garden, Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells, TN3 9QG England
Directions for Visiting: Groombridge Place garden is 4 miles south west of Tunbridge Wells, by A264 and B2110.
Opening Dates and Times: April to October Daily Open 9am to 6pm
Public Admission: Adult £8.30

Groombridge Place Gardens and Enchanted Forest is a remarkable place to find in Kent. Some 65ha of grounds and gardens, heavily water-biased. A step through the door of the walled formal gardens at Groombridge Place is a step back in time, back into the seventeenth century, for much of what you see here today has been lovingly preserved and maintained for over three hundred years. Along these very paths wandered generations of families who created these exquisite gardens and left them for you to enjoy. Though the 17th Century house has a residual moat there are also formal terraced gardens and topiary appropriate to the house's origin (1660), as well as the earlier Elizabethan walled garden which belonged to the house displaced in 1660.

The medieval moat has become a water-garden, and there is a great deal of decorative planting of specimen trees. Much has been made of the springs which rise some distance from the house and make possible a 'canal-boat trip' to view the happy combination of mature trees and still, clean, clear spring-fed water. Fountains make further beneficial use of natural resources. On any day, but more especially when it is hot, a visit is quite literally a refreshment. On a steep and wooded hillside, hidden from view, lies the Enchanted Forest, where magic and fantasy await discovery. Here are secret mysterious gardens to challenge and delight your imagination and reward you mind's ingenuity. Inspired by its ancient past, the Enchanted Forest affirms the perpetual symbolism of the spirit across cultures, time and the span of human life.

Garden Features
Enchanted Forest - voted Visitor Attraction of the Year. Birds of Prey displays three times a day. Canal Boat cruise to and from the Enchanted Forest Spa Valley Railway steam train stop is 10 minutes walk from the gardens.

History of Garden
Originally laid out in 1694 with help from John Evelyn, the diarist and horticulturist, the gardens have survived almost intact with the 12 pairs of drum yews - The Twelve Apostles - believed to be original.

More Medieval Pictures

Groombridge Place Garden Official Website


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