Re-Discovering Walmer's Lost Pleasure Grounds
An exciting project is underway at Walmer, improving our facilities and rediscovering landscapes begun during William Pitt the Younger’s time as Lord Warden. Discover the newly restored paths and planting, enjoy new displays and tactile interpretation, and relax in the brand new Glasshouse Café.
At the end of April 2019, the historic glen will open, making the area accessible for the first time in over 100 years, and bringing to life the tranquil atmosphere once described by Lady Hester Stanhope, Pitt’s Niece.
Things to See and Do
Created as part of the project underway at Walmer, experience the gardens in a new light, with brand new interpretation and tactile displays throughout the castle's award winning landscape.
Find out more about the work of the gardeners, and see what's growing in the Kitchen Garden. Learn about the biodiversity of the surrounding woodland, and discover Walmer's wildlife. In the Queen Mother's Garden, take a seat beside a royal corgi, and explore the story of the first woman to become Lord Warden.
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.
Explore the Castle
Explore the castle with a multimedia guide, and hear previously untold stories of the castle and famous residents from its history.
Discover the Duke of Wellington in his role as Lord Warden, and explore exhibits covering his career, life story and the iconic 'celebrity' status he attained during and after his lifetime. Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger, also lived here, and at this time organized opposition to Napoleon Bonaparte. Find out how he orchestrated England's defenses against invasion, as well as beginning the landscaping of the castle's grounds.
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 and garden walls, the gardens flourish here.
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.
Queen Mother's 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."
Nearby, 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 giant garden games in the summer.
Tea Room and Glasshouse Café
You have seen where it's grown, now come and try some of our fresh produce in the Lord Warden's tea room and new Glasshouse Café. An always changing seasonal menu of snacks, lunches and home made cakes makes the tea room a perfect place to recharge after a stroll around the historic gardens, whilst the Glasshouse Café offers sandwiches, snacks and afternoon tea in the beautiful setting of the gardens themselves.
On select weekends in the season you can join us for Sunday lunch at Walmer, as we serve a traditional roast with all the trimmings alongside vegetarian/vegan options. Booking not essential, but can be made by calling the castle on 01304 364288 (Mon - Fri 10am - 4pm). Normal site admission applies.
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.
Plan your visit to Walmer Castle and Gardens today.