Gourmet Garden trail attractions

Attractions, activities and experiences

From guided tours of gardens, to five star dining and unique spots to rest your head, choose from our selection of days out and places to stay, and start planning your adventure.

Restaurant

Amano

Gardens

Audley End House and Gardens

Step back in time as you explore life above and below stairs in this decadent mansion house surrounded by peaceful grounds.

Mid range
Experience

Bardfield Vineyard

Meet with the owner for coffee to learn about the Tudor history of the estate; tour of vineyard and wine tasting, explore the walled gardens and woodland and visit the alpaca herd and shop selling wine and alpaca wool. Ploughman’s lunch or afternoon tea can be pre booked.

Historic

Beth Chatto Gardens

Beth Chatto Plants & Gardens is a place for people who are passionate about plants and gardens. Beth herself influenced and inspired generations of gardeners across the world. She authored eight highly regarded gardening books and won 10 consecutive gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Mid range
Experience

Blooming Green

Mid range
Gardens

Chartwell - National Trust

Family home and garden of Sir Winston Churchill, Chartwell was the much-loved Churchill family home from 1922 and the place from which Sir Winston drew inspiration until the end of his life.

Mid range
Historic

Chatsworth

Chatsworth, home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, is set in the heart of the Peak District. Explore the historic house for fascinating stories and one of Europe’s most significant art collections. In the garden, discover water features, giant sculptures and beautiful flowers, or come face to face with the animals in the working farmyard. With holiday cottages, hotels, shops and restaurants, including the award-winning estate farm shop, Chatsworth has something for everyone.

Experience

Clayhill Vineyard

Relax in the beautiful surroundings of the Crouch Valley, take in the stunning views of the River Crouch. Enjoy from our selection of cakes & baked goods while overlooking a working Essex Vineyard. Sample our still & sparkling wines.

Historic

Colchester Castle Museum

Built on the foundations of the Temple of Claudius in Britain’s First Roman City, Colchester Castle museum tells the fascinating story of this ancient town.

Experience

English Spirit Distillery

The site of our main distillery, Great Yeldham is home to not only twenty copper stills, but also Dr John and his family, who live in the hall adjacent to the 200 year old barn where all the magic happens. We run distillery tours and tutored tastings from our Great Yeldham site.

Transport

Eurotunnel

A trip on Eurotunnel Le Shuttle will take you just 35 minutes between Folkestone and Calais. The ease of accessing motorway to motorway links means you too can be enjoying the beautiful county of Kent in no time at all.

Mid range
Mid range
Experience

Gusbourne

Historic

Hatfield House

Historical house open to the public for guided tours and views of grounds.

Experience

Hush Heath Estate

Visit the 400 acre Estate, with beautiful vineyards, apple orchards and the state-of-the-art tasting room and winery.

Historic

Ightham Mote (National Trust)

Hidden in a secluded valley, this 700 year old medieval moated manor house is one of the most beautiful and interesting in the country. Explore 14 acres of gardens, lakes, natural springs, secret glades and a house full of stories and character.

Experience

Kent Life Heritage Farm Park

Discover Kent Life Heritage Farm Park, where history and family fun sit side by side. A real working farm, Kent Life showcases and breeds traditional animals, and the hands-on cuddle corner and onsite Owl Academy are always popular with visitors. Explore our collection of historic buildings; including Britain’s last working coal-fired Oast House.

Historic

Layer Marney Tower

England’s tallest Tudor Gatehouse was built in the reign of Henry VIII, who came and stayed in August 1522. Layer Marney Tower stands within the Essex landscape, with commanding views to the River Blackwater and beyond. Layer Marney Tower is surrounded by beautiful gardens, set in acres f parkland with woodland, deer and rural walks. There are lots of different activities taking pace throughout the year.

Historic

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle is without a doubt one of the most beautiful venues in Kent.

Historic

Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum

Marks Hall Estate is a striking heritage landscape that extends to over 2,200 acres of Essex countryside. At its heart is an Arboretum; a stunning collection of trees from all the temperate areas of the world. The Arboretum forms an unmissable attraction in Essex, combining beautiful formal lakeside gardens, an enviable collection of trees originating from every temperate area of the world and miles of leafy woodland walks to explore and enjoy. Marks Hall provides a great day out for the whole family with a delicious tea room, plant centre and a shop housed in our 15th Century Essex Barn.

Experience

Mighty Oak Brewing Company

Brewing in Essex since 1996, Mighty Oak Brewery produces fine ales of high quality and great popularity.

Transport

P&O Ferries Dover

Step onboard one of our ferries for a relaxing and refreshing journey to Kent, arriving in just 90 minutes. There are up to 46 crossings each day to choose from, so you can be sure to find a time to suit you.

Mid range
Transport

P&O Ferries Hull

Cruise overnight to Northern England (Hull) from Holland or Belgium. With a cinema, casino, great restaurants, lively bars and even a disco on-board, you’ll feel like your holiday is well underway.

Mid range
Experience

Peak Ales Visitor Centre

An interactive Brewery Visitor Centre with working micro-brewery and gin distillery. Learn about the brewing process and the raw materials involved. Working bar, and brewery shop. Also available to hire for private events.

Historic

Renishaw Hall & Gardens

Renishaw Hall & Gardens offers award winning gardens, designed by Sir George Sitwell Bt. In 19th century and added to by current owner, Alexandra, to create a wonderful and tranquil green space.

Experience

Shepherd Neame Brewery

Discover the secrets of Britain’s oldest brewer, take a tour of the historic brewery, learn about the ancient art of brewing & taste Kentish ales & lagers.

Experience

Simpsons’ Wine Estate

Join a fascinating tour of Simpsons Wine Estate, situated in the North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Charles & Ruth Simpson have made award-winning wines at Domaine Sainte Rose, their stunning, southern French property, for the past 17 years. In 2014 they brought their expertise and savoir-faire back to the UK establishing Simpsons Wine Estate in Barham, Kent, with an aspiration to create the finest quality Method Traditional English sparkling wine.

Historic

Smallhythe Place – National Trust

Nestled in the Kentish countryside, Smallhythe Place is a simple oasis that once belonged to renowned Victorian actress Dame Ellen Terry. This English country cottage with a unique Barn Theatre, exudes Terry’s artistic spirit and its bygone history of the sea.

Mid range
Transport

Southeastern

Sit back and relax with Southeastern, Kent’s only rail provider, running train services to and from over 180 stations.

Mid range
Gardens

St Paul's Walden Bury

This charming small stately home with its Grade 1 listed garden, 1 hour from London, was the home of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

Pub / Bar

The Barge Tearooms

Moored by Maldon’s picturesque Quay on board a 1931 barge, our tearoom combines riverside and saltmarsh views with homemade cooking.

Experience

The Cookery School at Braxted Park

The Cookery School at Braxted Park, based in Essex, combines a stunning location with award-winning chefs and a diverse range of courses to suit all abilities. We aspire to provide a high quality service and an experience that you will never forget.

Restaurant

The Eight Bells

Whether you’re after a comforting home-cooked meal after a long day at work or fabulous fine dining for a special celebration, we’ve got something for every occasion. Choose from our locally sourced, innovative menu and excellent wine list in our oak beamed bar or stylish restaurant.

Experience

The Foundry Brew Pub

A multi award winning artisan Brewery & Distillery. Located in The Foundry Brew Pub, a beautiful industrial Victorian Foundry building. Located in the heart of historic Canterbury. You can view the brewing and distilling whilst eating a meal in the restaurant and sampling a wide range of handcrafted beers and spirits, all made on site from grain to glass. Brewery & Distillery tours and tastings are available to book online or by pre arrangement. Canterbury Brewers & Distillers also organise The Kent Green Hop Beer Festival in the City the last weekend of September.

Experience

The Heights of Abraham

Award winning historic 60 acre “savage garden” estate, originally opened in 1780. Reached by fully enclosed cable cars that take visitors across the stunning Derwent Valley to the Summit. Garden trails through Regency period installed serpentine paths.

Cafe

The Little Book Cafe

A friendly little café, situated in a 17th century cottage in the traditional market town of Halstead, Essex. We offer a cosy, relaxing environment in which to enjoy freshly prepared homemade breakfast, brunch and lunch. We also have used books to browse, borrow or buy.

Pub / Bar

The Shakespeare, Canterbury

At The Shakespeare, best of British doesn’t just mean putting traditional favorites’ on the table, it means showcasing the finest local produce around. Dishes are crafted with ingredients from the Garden of England as much as possible - complemented by a range of ales brewed in nearby Faversham, and a collection of bar snacks also made in Kent. Adjoining The Shakespeare is our wine bar where customers can order from a full range of wines.

Pub / Bar

The Windmill

Michelin award winning country pub on the outskirts of Chelmsford. A relaxed, informal pub serving elevated classic British dishes.

Historic

Walmer Castle and Gardens

Built during the reign of King Henry VIII and sited on the coast of Kent, Walmer Castle is one of the most fascinating visitor attractions in the South East. Explore eight acres of award winning gardens, and enjoy home-made food from produce grown on site in the castle tea-room and new Glasshouse Café.

Mid range
Experience

West Street Vineyard

English wine tasting on an Essex vineyard with a huge selection of over 70 wines from our vines in Coggeshall, our neighbours in Essex & East Anglia through to Yorkshire in the North and Cornwall in the South West a unique experience in the heart of the medieval village of Coggeshall.