Things to see and do

 
A historic plan for the layout of the Glen at Walmer.

Re-discovering Walmer's Pleasure Grounds

Made possible by a £1.35m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Re-discovering Walmer’s Pleasure Grounds project is set to restore two areas of Walmer’s award winning gardens formerly inaccessible to the public.

Paths and planting that existed during Pitt the Younger’s time as Lord Warden will be reinstated, evoking the atmosphere described by Lady Hester Stanhope, Pitt’s niece. Meanwhile the surrounding woodland will be re-presented to more closely resemble its historic layout and conserve the chalk downland meadow.

The works are due to be completed in 2019 and the castle will remain open throughout the project. Follow Walmer Castle on Facebook and Twitter for news and updates on the projects’ progress.

Painting depicting the death of Wellington

Wellington Room

Feel the spirit of one of England’s most famous historic figures living on in this carefully conserved bedroom.

The Duke of Wellington spent 23 years at Walmer Castle. Following a major re-presentation conducted at Walmer in 2015, in honour of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, Wellington’s bedroom has been refurbished to appear as it would at the time of his residence. Taking inspiration from a contemporary painting to recreate the interior decoration, you can see the campaign bed in which he slept and the armchair in which he died. 

See highlights from the collection at Walmer Castle.

A pair of Wellington's brown leather boots

Walmer Re-Imagined

Explore the re-imagined Walmer covering Wellington's career, life story and the iconic 'celebrity' status he attained during and after his lifetime. The displays were created during the re-presentation of the castle that marked the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger, lived here at the time he was organizing opposition to Napoleon Bonaparte. Find out how he orchestrated England's defences against invasion, and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the era.

Take a new look at Walmer, explore the castle with a multimedia guide, and hear previously untold stories of the castle and its residents.

Walmer's herbaceous broadwalk borders

Broadwalk Garden

Enjoy the replanted herbaceous borders in the Broadwalk Garden, unveiled recently following a four-year restoration programme. See the seasonal highlights in the garden.

With the backdrop of the undulating cloud yew hedge, the double borders are full of colour throughout the summer months. The colour and planting scheme is inspired by the influential British horticulturist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll.

The flat Kent coastline is frequently blasted by salty winds from the English Channel, yet protected by the castle walls, the gardens flourish here.

Kitchen Garden

Kitchen Garden

See where the fruit and vegetables for the tearoom are grown and maybe pick up some ideas for your own garden or allotment.

The Kitchen Garden has grown produce for the castle for nearly 300 years. The Castle's gardeners use complementary planting methods and grow all the cut flowers here for the castle arrangements. See the seasonal highlights in the garden.

Step inside the adjacent greenhous bursting with colour in all seasons. Nearby the moat garden also provides a great safe space for children to explore.

View of Walmer gardens

Queen Mother's Garden

Enjoy the tranquil setting of the Queen Mother's Garden as she did while here at Walmer Castle. See the seasonal highlights in the garden.

The Queen Mother was Lord Warden for 23 years, and this contemporary garden was created in honour of her 95th birthday. The Queen Mother declared, "I have been given many flowers before, but never a garden." 2017 marked the 20th anniversary of the gardens’ creation by famous designer Penelope Hobhouse.

Nearby, the rest of the gardens have plenty more to offer. Explore the mature trees of the woodland walk, a haven for spring snowdrops, and autumn leaves. On the Oval Lawn, take time to read a book, or play with giant garden games in the summer.

A rose-shaped cake served at Walmer's cafe

Lord Warden's Tea Room

Try some fresh produce from the Kitchen Garden at the castle's tea room.

Produce from the garden means the menu of light lunches and baked treats is seasonal, and there is always something new to try. Afternoon tea here is the perfect way to relax after exploring the gardens, and the castle's home made scones are a perennial favourite.

Perfect for all seasons inside, or sit outside in the sun. You may also decide to take a drink up onto the Bastions where you can enjoy the views out across the English Channel.

Walk to Deal

Walk to Deal Castle

If you have time why not take a walk or cycle along the seafront to Deal Castle? Only one mile away, like Walmer it was built by order of Henry VIII and is one of a chain of 'Device' coastal forts built locally, including Camber, Sandgate and Sandown.  

Plan your visit to Walmer Castle and Gardens today.

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