Exploring Sissinghurst Castle Gardens

Sissinghurst Castle Gardens

On Sunday, Mum and I took advantage of the clocks going back and an extra hour to our day to drive to Sissinghurst Castle, former home (now National Trust owned) of Vita Sackville-West, famed for her connection to the Bloomsbury Group and love affair with Virginia Woolf.

I’d been wanting to visit Sissinghurst for ages. Having absolutely loved my visits to Charleston and Monk’s House, Vita Sackville-West’s home was next on my list. I’d heard wonderful things about the garden Vita designed in the 1930s, but it by far exceeded all my expectations. We were extremely lucky with the weather: the sun was shining brightly, and I’d never seen the Kent countryside look prettier, glowing in the golden-toned orange and red of autumn. The famous garden is divided by bricks walls or clipped hedges, rather like a series of ‘rooms,’ each with its own theme. We spent all afternoon walking along its paths and marvelling at the sheer beauty of the place.Β Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens Sissinghurst Castle Gardens

Climbing to the top of the Elizabethan tower that is such a prominent feature of the grounds is most certainly worthwhile. For one thing, half-way up you can stop and peer into the cosiest looking nook that you can imagine, filled with books and deep armchairs (note: if I ever happen to have a tower in my garden – hey, you never know – I am definitely creating a library / study space in it). Once you get to the top, these are the views laid out before you:

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Absolutely spectacular – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the countryside look prettier! After touring the gardens, you may feel peckish, so I feel it’s worth mentioning that the cafe at Sissinghurst is very nice, with a menu that features fruits and vegetables grown in the gardens. I very much enjoyed a warming bowl of pumpkin barley risotto, and Mum said her beef casserole was delicious.

Have you ever visited Sissinghurst Castle Gardens? What did you think of it?

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  • Scarf Addict

    Wow what a beautiful post! I visited Avebury Manor and Hidcote (both NT) this year and was similarly blown away now I must put Sissinghurst on my list (another use for my NT card!) . we are so lucky to have such lovely places to visit in this country! Seen any ballet lately? BRB at Sadlers Wells were fabulous! Thanks again loved this post πŸ™‚

    • Oh I’d love to visit both those places. I have a NT card too, and it is nice to make good use of it. You must definitely visit Sissinghurst – it is so glorious! The only ballet I’ve been to so far this autumn is Cheri, which was on briefly at the ROH. I think I’ve got quite a few coming up in January at the ENO though so am looking forward to that! I haven’t been to Sadlers Wells for ages – must look at what’s on πŸ™‚ xxx

  • Barbara

    Hello Miranda,
    Last year was a choice between Great Dixter and Sissinghurst with friends and GD won. Fingers crossed for Sissinghurst next year. Looks beautiful and very very quiet. Or did you just manage to avoid crowds in your pictures?
    Barbara

    • Oh I hope you get to Sissinghurst Barbara – I am sure you would adore it! I haven’t been to Great Dixter – would you recommend it? I’ve heard it’s lovely too. We were lucky it wasn’t very busy at Sissinghurst, so it was easy to avoid any people in my shots πŸ˜‰ xxx

      • Barbara

        My Swiss friends are both very keen gardeners and they rated GD very highly. I’m not a gardener but still love to visit them. A local tea shop would have been nice. Catering at GD is very limited. I enjoyed the house visit too. I think you’d enjoy it, Miranda. Depends how crowded it is. I’m still impressed that you visited Sissinghurst on such an empty day.

        • I’m definitely keen to go! I’ll bear in mind that the tea options are rather limited too – what a shame! Yes, I think the summer must be terribly busy, but at this time of year Sissinghurst seems much quieter. I would still like to go in the summer, of course – in fact I’d like to go every season, as it’s meant to be beautiful all year round. xxx

          • Barbara

            Thank you, Miranda. Maybe end September/beginning October next year … who knows?

  • These photos are INCREDIBLE Miranda! Especially those last few from the top of the tower!!!

    Raashi
    http://raashiagarwal.blogspot.com.au

    • Thanks so much Raashi! The view from the tower was really breathtaking. I felt so lucky the weather was so perfect. xxx

  • Wow! I love the photos from the top of the Elizabethan tower! x

  • I really love your outfit, Miranda! Black suits you fabulously! πŸ™‚ I seem to recall that we chatted about Sissinghurst Castle in the comments on your post on Monk’s House – how great that you managed to sneak in a fall visit! It does look like the perfect little English countryside escape! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much Melanie! Yes, I’m so thrilled I managed to get to Sissinghurst, and on such a glorious day. I love the countryside in the autumn – the colours are so spectacular. xxx

  • Joe

    So want to go here. Amazing photos (and outfit).

  • Kristina Collins

    What gorgeous pictures! I’ve been meaning to visit Sissinghurst for ages but have been worried about the crowds. I’d never thought about visiting in the autumn–what a super idea! xx

  • Your jumper is lovely! I know I would love this place. Also the history sounds fascinating! xx

  • what a lovely house! gorgeous photos!