Things to see and do

 
A view of Walmer Castle from the front.

The Castle

Discover a castle like no other. Built as a coastal fortress by King Henry VIII, it became the rural retreat for the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. Distinguished holders of the post have included William Pitt the Younger, the Duke of Wellington, WH Smith, Winston Churchill and the Queen Mother. All of whom have stayed at the castle at various times and many of whom collected the furniture and artwork that can be seen here today.  See highlights from the collection at Walmer Castle.

Explore Walmer's fortress past.  See the basement, the various gun ports, and the cannons lined up on the bastions aimed out towards the continent.

Painting depicting the death of Wellington

Wellington Room

Feel the Duke of Wellington's spirit living on in the bedroom. You can see the armchair in which he died and his campaign bed in this room.

The Duke of Wellington spent 23 years at Walmer Castle. In this anniversary year of Waterloo come and see how the room would have looked when he lived here. This year the room is freshly refurbished and conserved, taking inspiration from an early painting the decor and ambiance is now even more authentic.

See highlights from the collection at Walmer Castle.

A pair of Wellington's brown leather boots

Walmer Re-Imagined

Come and 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 to mark 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, in the new displays.

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.

A strawberry picker in Walmer's gardens

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. We 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 greenhouses 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 presents before, but never a garden." 2017 is a year of celebration, as July marks 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 the new giant garden games in the summer.

A rose-shaped cake served at Walmer's cafe

Lord Warden's Tea Room

You have seen where it's grown, now come and try some of our fresh produce in the castle's tea room.

Always with a succulent new cake to try, this is the perfect place for afternoon tea. Our 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? 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.

Why not stay in the area at one of Walmer's two holiday cottages - the Greenhouse Apartment or the Garden Cottage. Explore the castle's beautiful gardens after hours. With the beach on your doorstep, this is the perfect base to enjoy a break away in East Kent.

Plan your visit to Walmer Castle and Gardens today.

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