The Pines Calyx, at the Pines Garden, is an exemplar in low-carbon design (© The Pines Calyx Trust)

Parks and Gardens of White Cliffs Country

Goodnestone Park Gardens, one of Jane Austen's favourite places (© Sally Lewis)

Parks and Gardens of White Cliffs Country

The Pines Garden Tearoom (© The Pines Calyx Trust)

Parks and Gardens of White Cliffs Country

Early morning at Kearsney Parks, Dover

Parks and Gardens of White Cliffs Country

Soak up the beauty and tranquillity of our parks and gardens

If 2020 was the year you discovered your love of gardens and parkland, then why not continue your new-found passion in 2021? White Cliffs Country, a unique destination in Kent, offers a stunning selection of outdoor spaces to enjoy, from formal gardens to public parkland, by the shores of our striking coastline and nestled amongst the beautiful Kent countryside.

Discover Goodnestone Park Gardens, considered to be one of the best gardens in the South East and one of only three in Kent to be featured in the Good Gardens Guide. Jane Austen loved to stay here and it’s no surprise. Enjoy the woodland, walled garden, arboretum, parterre and terraces and more. Described as “the very heart of rural England”, it’s a must-see for your Parks and Gardens tour of White Cliffs Country.

The Pines Garden at St-Margaret’s-at-Cliffe enjoys a fantastic location behind the White Cliffs of Dover and takes in six acres of organically-managed gardens with unusual, mature trees and shrubs, a cascade with adjoining lake and grass labyrinth. The kitchen gardens – with more than 40 different species of fruit and vegetables - also supply the tearoom and a statue of Sir Winston Churchill (by the acclaimed sculptor Oscar Nemon) looks out towards the Dover Patrol Memorial in the village.

Walmer Castle Gardens near Deal, which cover more than eight acres of award-winning gardens, include the Queen Mother’s Garden, a contemporary garden design created in honour of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s 95th birthday. Explore the mature trees of the woodland walk, read a book on the Oval Lawn or stroll along the Broadwalk to take in the herbaceous borders, colourful planting and cloud hedge.

Don’t forget to check out the recently revamped Kearsney Parks while you’re in White Cliffs Country. Just on the outskirts of Dover, Kearsney Abbey’s picturesque gardens are laid out as informal parkland and you can enjoy a walk or relax watching the wildlife on the lake, all year round. Over the road you’ll find the Grade II listed Russell Gardens, designed by the renowned Edwardian landscape architect Thomas H. Mawson (1861-1933) and presented in a more formal style. Kearsney Parks were restored in 2020 with a £3m investment from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery Community Fund. Offering a well-resourced outdoor space for everyone, renovations include an improved café space, enhanced wooded children’s play area and Changing Places facility.

And make sure you take a moment to relax in Sandown Castle Community Garden. This beautiful and award-winning tiered garden stands on the site of the former historic Sandown Castle, built by Henry VIII. Originally constructed in 1949, the garden has been restored by a group of community volunteers who began their project in 2015.

Don’t rush to enjoy the outdoor beauty of White Cliffs Country’s parks and gardens. Take your time, go at your own pace and make memories to treasure. There are plenty of accommodation options to choose from throughout White Cliffs Country – from pet-friendly cottages in the countryside to hotels by the coast and traditional guesthouses in our towns and villages. Of course, if you’re keen to continue the outdoors theme, you could come glamping here or enjoy a camping at a countryside farm – the choice is yours!

Make 2021 your year to enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of White Cliffs Country’s parks and gardens.