Getting on off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles; garden terrain, stairs in historic buildings.
We’ll board the motorcoach and make our way to Sissinghurst Castle. As we ride through the countryside, fields and rolling hills present an evocative picture of rural English life. We’ll take some time to explore the interior of the castle with our Group Leader before taking a relaxing walk in the idyllic gardens. From its beginnings as a Saxon pig farm, the place we know as Sissinghurst has become a “poetical refuge” dedicated to beauty and one of the most famous gardens in England. Its modern history began in the 1930s when it was purchased as a derelict by poet and author Vita Sackville-West and her husband, poet and diplomat Harold Nicolson. They began building up the surrounding farm and developing the garden, inspired by the examples of Sir Edward Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. Sackville-West and Nicolson opened the garden to the public in 1938. After her death in 1962, Nicolson gave it to the National Trust, who have been its guardians ever since.
At Sissinghurst, there will be a lunch allowance to have what you like. The restaurant serves hot food at lunch as well as coffee, tea, and cake all day. Tasty vegetables and salad travels feet, not miles from the organically-managed vegetable plot.
Moving on, we’ll ride to a renowned winery. Increasingly popular internationally, Kentish wines had previously been a connoisseur’s best kept secret. We’ll explore the vineyard with a local wine producer, and discuss the challenges and rewards of producing fine wine in the South of England. Our host will also lead an educational wine-tasting with some of their most popular vintages.
In the winery’s multi-award winning restaurant specialising in modern British cuisine, we’ll have a plated and served dinner with wine, tea, coffee, water included; other beverages available for purchase. The terrace has spectacular views across the vineyards and surrounding countryside.
Returning to Canterbury, the remainder of the evening is at leisure.