Bravely contemporary yet steeped in history, Riverhill Himalayan Gardens was first planted by John Rogers, a friend of Charles Darwin and a patron of the plant collectors of his day. Much of this hillside garden was lost over time, particularly in the post-war years, but Rogers’ great-great-great-grandson and his wife Sarah are managing the ongoing restoration project. It’s a fascinating process, as areas of the garden are re-discovered, revealed and restored.
In spring, the rhododendrons, bluebells and primroses dazzle. Come summer, the Rose Walk is awash with scent, while the peony borders run a riot of colour around the Walled Garden in June. The Wood Garden is the place to wander in autumn, but expansive views across the Weald of Kent and the British sculpture exhibitions are there to admire whenever the garden is open. The fabulous Otto’s runs the on-site café for truly special brews and light lunches and teas.