The Kent Website since 1999
Welcome to our short introduction to Lullingstone Castle. Lullingstone is one of the most important historic areas in North Kent, it is home to the Lullingstone Roman Villa one of the county's most important Roman sites. Attached to the Castle is the Lullingstone estate which has a mention in the doomsday book. The local parish church of St. Botolph is nearly 700 years old and it is of some historic importance in its own right, it was built in the Decorated style and amongst many features has stained glass windows from the 14th century. Visitors to the castle in times past have included Henry VIII and Queen Anne.
Despite being steeped in history the castle and estate is probably best known for something other than its heritage; it is home to the highly acclaimer World Garden of Plants. This is a collection of over 8,100 plants of which only about 20% are native to the UK. This ground breaking initiative (the first such project in the UK) is the vision of Tom Hart Dyke, Tom shot to international prominence when he was kidnapped in the year 2000 on a plant collecting trip to to Colombia.
Tom, the castle and gardens have been featured in the media on several occasions such is the public fascination with this project. The World Garden of Plants covers over two acres, all of the plants are set in an appropriate geographic context through the use of a giant world map. The Garden has been further enhanced through a range of sculptures which include Europa riding Zeus and Ayers Rock (Uluru).
The World Garden is just one of the horticultural attractions on site. The Hot and Spikey House is home to over a thousand amazing specimens of cacti from arid and desert terrain around the world. Perhaps the star of the show is the two and a half meter tall Echinopsis. 2009 saw the construction of the Cloud Garden a temperate and permanent home for plants too delicate to spend the UK winter outdoors,. It is made from a polypropylene plastic a substance that has excellent properties of light transmission and heat retention.
Other points of interest include a working weather station, an alpine garden, arboretum and an important Eucalyptus collection. If you are bringing younger visitors remember to ask for a childs' activity pack on arrival. As you might expect there is a specialist plant nursery on site as well as a gift shop, refreshments are on sale at weekends. There is disabled access to the ground level of the house and the World Garden (except the greenhouses), there are wheelchairs on site for public use and there are also disabled toilets. No dogs are admitted with the exception of guide dogs.
There is an annual programme of events including flower arranging courses and plant fairs. For the current details take a look at the events diary on the website.
The estate is open from the end of March to the end of September, the World Garden is open most weekends on Friday Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays (see website for more details). The house is also open during most weekends, for precise details visit the website.
At the time of writing admission was £7 (adult) and £4 (child). There is a family membership offer and a 2 for 1 deal for English Heritage members.
This is our introduction to Lullingstone Castle it is intended to provide an accurate summary for anyone thinking about making a visit, it is also a jumping off point for more information. We do review our content on a regular basis but if you can suggest any improvements or find any mistakes let us know. We're not responsible for the content of other websites, take a look at our disclaimer.
"The World Garden is the most exciting attraction I have seen during my stay in Kent, it really deserves a much greater level of promotion. It is a visionary project and history in the making. It might appeal to adults more than young children. I urge all to go and visit. Maura (a visitor)"
Something for everyone
Kent is as beautiful as it is diverse, within its boundaries there exists a rich range of things to do and places to see. Outstanding natural beauty, a rich history, sites of world wide cultural and religious importance, sensational beaches, ancient woodlands, the list is endless. The point being; if you are looking for a day out Kent can offer something to suit every pocket and taste.
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This feature has been checked and edited but if you feel there is an error or omission let us know.In common with all our pages, this is a feature under development, changes will occur from time to time. We take care over our content but we're happy to correct errors, please see our disclaimer. If you wish to suggest somewhere worth visiting in Kent please let us know.
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