Group Visits in Kent

Best Group Visits in Kent

If you are looking for inspiration of where to take a Group in Kent, take a look at the list of attractions below as they all offer a fabulous day out whether you decide to visit just one attraction or combine a visit with another attraction closeby.

Group Visits to Gardens in Kent

New discounted admission for Groups visiting Hole Park Gardens

The beautiful Hole Park Gardens in Rolvenden, Kent, will open to visitors every day from Sunday 1 April 2018.  These delightful gardens were crowned Kentish Garden of the Year in 2016 by both Visit Kent and Kent Life Magazine.

What’s New at Hole Park Gardens in 2018

The first long border was replanted this year with more herbaceous plants, keeping Christopher Lloyd’s pink and blue colour from his original design. The second long border, which is yellow and white, will go through the same transformation this winter ready for visitors to admire in 2018.

In early April visiting groups can admire the swathes of crocus, narcissus and daffodils across the 16 acre gardens and 10 acre woodland. Walk through the pretty Camelia walk and admire the shade-loving hellebores and early flowering cherry and magnolia trees.  The meadows and woodland floor will be a sea of primroses and dainty blue scillas.

Later in April visitors can look forward to the amazing display of bluebells which can be enjoyed via the circular woodland walk; taking you past the solar powered renovated ice house and through the garlic walk.

In May the gardens are full of tulips, roses and clematis and the vineyard garden has impressive standard wisterias to admire.  Rhododendrons and azaleas flower throughout the gardens and the wild orchids will start to appear in the meadows alongside the delightful spires and star-shaped flowers of ‘Camassia’.

In spring and summer the recently planted long herbaceous border is quite lovely and leads visitors to the garden’s impressive statue ‘The Eagle Slayer’, by the famous 19th century sculptor John Bell, which was exhibited at the 1851 Great Exhibition.

The late flowering agapanthus and exotic border with its cannas and dahlias take centre stage in late summer before the reds, yellows and golds of autumn bring interest during October.

A circular network of hard paths enables visitors of all ages, including those who require a wheelchair, to enjoy the gardens.  Wheelchairs may be reserved free of charge and there are full disability WC facilities.

Light lunches and delicious homemade cakes are available in the coach house where apple juice, local beer and homemade jam and honey produced from the fruit and bees on the Hole Park Estate can be purchased. There is also a small plant stall next to the coach house.

There is a dedicated tea room for groups, free parking for cars and coaches and conducted tours can also be arranged for groups by prior arrangement.

Group Admission: £7.00 for 10+ adults and £1 for children (5 to 18).  The gardens are open 11am to 6pm.  Normal Admission Adults £7.50.

2018 Events at Hole Park:  Wealden Times Midsummer Fair – Thursday 7 – Saturday 9 June 2018

Napoleonic Re-enactment – Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 September 2018

Visit www.holepark.com or telephone 01580 241344 events@holepark.com.    Group bookings should be made in advance.

c. National Trust Images/ John Miller

Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst, Kent

Groups can visit the National Trust’s Scotney Castle near Lamberhurst in Kent.

The house was built by Edward Hussey III from the sandstone quarried from the grounds of the Old Castle. It is positioned to overlook the Castle and estate and the garden was also designed and created at the same time. This meant that all the three elements: house, garden and estate would work as one in creating a perfect picturesque country home.

The garden has naturalistic planting which is seemingly untouched by human hand and its cloud-like planting of rhododendrons and azaleas creates a fairytale feel, with the ruins of the Old Castle at its centre. Wisteria and old English roses adorn its sandstone walls, whilst the surrounding herbaceous beds are always throwing out new colours throughout the seasons.

Group admission price £11.30 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/scotney-castle

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Group Visits to the Oldest Vineyard in Kent

Biddenden Vineyards in Kent offers a wide range of visits for groups available by appointment. Take a guided vineyard tour to learn the history of the vineyard followed by a visit to the winery where award-winning wines, ciders and juices are made. Also included in the price are tastings in the vineyard shop, as well as a glass of wine or juice. Group tours cost £7.50 per person. There is also the option to book a ploughman’s platter or deli-style sharing platter for your group to accompany your guided tour. Call: 01580 291726 to book.  Their website has details of joint visit ideas www.biddendenvineyards.com

Group Visits to a unique Englishman’s Home –  Chiddingstone Castle, nr Edenbridge in Kent

Chiddingstone Castle in Kent is delighted to welcome group visitors all year round – even during the closed season (by prior arrangement). The Castle offers a unique chance to visit an historic house with Tudor origins and Victorian rooms containing a fascinating collection of art, artefacts and antiquities (Ancient Egyptian, Japanese Samurai and Lacquer, Buddhist and Stuart & Jacobite) and an exciting story of unrequited love and attempted murder! The extensive grounds are delightful in all weathers, and feature a Grade II* Victorian Orangery, a rose garden and the new ‘Fields of Eternity’ Ancient Egyptian Garden. The Castle also has a new permanent exhibition room which tells visitors the history of the house, and the original owners and creators of Chiddingstone Castle – the Streatfeild family. The Victorian Kitchen, Scullery and Servants’ Hall offer visitors an interesting insight into the days of ‘upstairs downstairs’! Groups can also tour the extensive Castle Library.

A visit to the Castle can also be enhanced by a brief stroll across the bridge over the lake into the National Trust-owned village of Chiddingstone, where visitors can admire the remarkable row of Tudor houses, explore beautiful St Mary’s Church and discover the story of the Chiding Stone.

Group entrance (min. 15 paying persons) to the Castle is at the reduced price of £7.50 per head. Guided Tours of the Castle, as well as Garden Tours are offered, each at the price of £50 for groups up to a maximum of 25 persons per tour/guide. Guided group visits can include a climb up the secret back stairs to the attic Servant´s Bedroom for those that wish to.

The charming cosy Tea Room with its adjacent sunny courtyard is the perfect place for a light lunch or delicious cream tea – pre-booked ploughman’s lunches and cream teas are available at the reduced price of £5.50 per person for groups only. Group visitors are also offered the opportunity to enjoy tea/coffee and biscuits upon arrival at the special price of £2.50 per head. The former Well Tower now houses a Gift Shop, selling a delightful and varied array of local produce and gifts.

A large car park provides plentiful parking for cars and coaches – just one minute from the main entrance door. Disabled visitors are most welcome at the Castle and most of the exhibition rooms are located on the ground floor. A disabled toilet can be found in the Tea Room courtyard.

To book a visit, or to learn more about Chiddingstone Castle, call Ali, Anna or Margo on 01892 872746 or email events@chiddingstonecastle.org.uk. www.chiddingstonecastle.org.uk

(c) National Trust Images / John Miller

New for 2018:  Exclusive Group Package to visit Chiddingstone Castle and Knole in Sevenoaks

Groups can visit two of Kent’s finest heritage attractions in one day for just £26 including a ploughman’s lunch.

Start your day at Chiddingstone Castle with a guided tour of the house with its Tudor origins and Victorian rooms; see Egyptian, Japanese Stuart and Buddhist artefacts; uncover a story of unrequited love and attempted murder – and enjoy a ploughman’s lunch too.

Spend your afternoon at Knole to discover 600 years of history in one house; view world-class paintings and furniture; learn about conserving priceless treasures through interactive displays and enjoy panoramic views of a 1,000 acre medieval deer park.

Pre-booking essential through Chiddingstone Castle 01892 872746 events@chiddingstonecastle.org.uk

Offer available for groups of 15 or more, Monday or Tuesday only, April to October 2018 Offer excludes any transport.

Group Visits to Tenterden’s Steam Railway

The Kent & East Sussex railway in Tenterden, Kent has plenty on offer for groups in 2016. Itineraries start from £22.95 per head for groups of 15 or more.

Joint group visits include the following:  Ales and Rails, Gardens and Guards, Vines, Wines and Railway Lines, Reins and Trains, Swords, Shields and Passing Fields, Whistle Stops and Waterways, A Ride on the Wild Side, Cream and Steam.

www.kesr.org.uk   Telephone: 01580 765155 to book or e-mail enquiries@kesr.org.uk

c. David Hodgkinson

Guided Walking Tours of Royal Tunbridge Wells every Thursday and Saturday from April to December or by arrangement for groups.

Guided tours of the town can be arranged to suit groups requirements on a day and time to suit.  Tours in foreign languages can also be arranged.

Groups can meet at the Tourist Information Centre in the Corn Exchange and learn all about the historic spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells in a one hour guided stroll through the Pantiles and the historic heart of the town. Visit King Charles the Martyr Church, paid for by public subscription, and see the original lodging houses in the ‘village’ area of the town. Discover the town’s 400 year history and hear about the famous visitors – from Queen Anne to Samuel Pepys – who made Tunbridge Wells the place in which to see and be seen.

Tours cost only £5 per person (minimum £45) for one hour and include the Pantiles, the Chalybeate Spring, King Charles the Martyr Church, the historic ‘village’ area and the ancient Grove.

See the website for details www.visittunbridgewells.com