Walmer Castle and Gardens

Walmer Castle and Gardens

Built during the reign of King Henry VIII, Walmer Castle is one of the most fascinating visitor attractions in the South East and has magnificent gardens.

Originally designed as part of a chain of coastal artillery defences it evolved into the official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. The Duke of Wellington held the post for 23 years and enjoyed his time spent at the castle and in recent years Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother made regular visits to the castle.

The armchair in which Wellington died and an original pair of 'Wellington boots' along with some of the rooms used by the Queen Mother are among the highlights. And with the magnificent gardens, a woodland walk and some excellent bird spotting there's something for everyone to enjoy. There is also a pleasant cycle path along the beach front to nearby Deal Castle.

Garden highlights
  • 'Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother's Garden' has been installed in the old Walled Garden. It has been designed by the designer Penelope Hobhouse, and contains topiary, a 95ft pool, an evergreen double 'E-shaped' parterre, and exuberant, large mixed borders.
  • The Broad Walk with large formal herbaceous borders on either side, which mirror one another in the plantings and are backed by great yew hedges. The colour scheme of pastel shades, starts with blue at either end, going into white, then pink to yellow and finally darker shades in the centre.
  • The moat, now grassed over and planted with shrub borders, is designed to provide interest all year. Plants include lilacs, fuchsias and hydrangeas. Nearby is a Magnolia grandiflora, a mass of blooms in spring and ancient cordon pear trees are trained on the walls.
  • The terraces contain plantings of a pink patio rose named after the Queen Mother.
  • The Kitchen garden with espalier trained fruit trees, vegetables and flowers for cutting, is run on organic principles. Its main purpose is ornamental through using unusual vegetables and plant combinations. The vegetable areas are grown on a three-year rotation and for summer display only, with a new design each year.
  • Sea views to the south, parkland and beautiful Evergreen Oak avenue can be seen on the inland side.
  • The meadow in the paddock with groups of orchids such as the Pyramid Orchid, Anacampsis pyramidalis.
  • The main glasshouse was restored and replanted in 2002. Its main purpose is to add interest in the winter months. It has three areas : one for foliage and scents, one with a succulent collection and information panels, and one with ferns and a seasonal potted display. The second glasshouse has recently been restored and will be planted as a cold house.
Please contact Walmer for the latest prices.

Food & Drink
The Lord Warden’s Tea Room uses fruit and vegetables grown in our organic kitchen gardens and all our food is locally sourced. We still buy from the butcher and the baker used by the Queen Mother.
The Cafe closes half an hour before the site.
Homemade lemonade and ginger beer
Hot meals
Afternoon teas
Locally made sandwiches and light lunches

Walmer Castle and Gardens
Kingsdown Road,
CT14 7LJ

01304 364 288


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Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015