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Central and southern Kent is scattered with castles, stately homes and gardens.

Considered by many to be one of the world’s most romantic castles, Leeds Castle has a beautiful setting on an island in a lake, set in extensive grounds. The less grand but no less enthralling Hever Castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and to where Henry VIII travelled to try to win over the girl who was to become his second queen.

Fascinating Penshurst Place is one of the best examples of a medieval manor house in the country with a captivating history dating back to the 14th century, while 600 year old Knole House is one of England’s grandest stately homes. Nearby, the house of Chartwell, Winston Churchill’s home for the last 40 years of his life, provides a captivating insight into the life of Britain’s wartime Prime Minister.

Stunning gardens take centre stage at Sissinghurst Castle, where Vita Sackville-West famously transformed the grounds into the beautiful scene that exists today.

To sample some of the garden of England’s famous produce, visit the increasingly popular vineyards in the region or try local ale made from Kentish hops at England’s oldest Brewery.

 Image © VisitBritain / Rod Edwards