9 April - 7 May 2023
Open 11am to 6pm.
Visitors to Hole Park Gardens in Rolvenden can enjoy all the glorious spring colour. Dogs are also welcome in the gardens but must be kept on a short lead. The gardens are also one of the best places to see a wonderful display of bluebells.
During the ‘Bluebell Spectacular’ in April/May visitors can admire one of nature’s most impressive shows. The Hole Park website will have a bluebell barometer with updates on when the bluebells are at their peak.
Hole Park sits quietly in the Wealden countryside with an extensive 16 acre garden and an additional 10 acres of beautiful woodlands. The gardens are laid out in a series of rooms divided by immaculately trimmed yew hedges. Round every corner there are surprises including sculptures, the standard wisterias which flower in May, the beautifully planted long borders, the sundial garden and the exotic border. Water features including ponds, rills and streams add to the relaxing nature of the gardens.
In addition to the bluebells, Hole Park Gardens offer visitors colour and interest all year round. There is always plenty to enjoy including impressive magnolias, camelias and rhododendrons which lead visitors past the bear family carved out of a fallen tree on the way through to the famous bluebell wood. A circular walk leads through to the renovated solar powered icehouse before winding its way back through the magical silver haze of the wild garlic walk.
The gardens and tearooms are open daily from April to June before opening on Wednesdays and Thursday until the end of October. The gardens will also be open on Sundays in October. Opening hours are 11am to 6pm.
Visitors can bring their dogs into the gardens and woodlands but please keep them on a short lead.
Hole Park is a family-owned estate which has been in the Barham family for the past four generations. Formalised gardens combine with natural woodland. These extensive gardens were developed, laid out and planted by Colonel Barham, the great-grandfather of the present owner, in the years between the two World Wars.
Visitors to the gardens in early April will see swathes of crocuses, narcissi and daffodils. A pretty ‘Camelia Walk’ with shade-loving hellebores takes walkers down a path flanked by flowering cherry trees. Before the bluebells take centre stage, the meadows and woodland floor are a sea of primroses and dainty blue scillas. Magnificent mature magnolia trees will also be flowering throughout the gardens and woodlands.
In May the gardens are full of tulips, roses and clematis and the vineyard garden has several impressive standard wisterias to admire. Rhododendrons and azaleas flower throughout the gardens and the delicate wild orchids will start to flower in the meadows alongside the architectural spires and star-shaped flowers of ‘camassia’. The sundial garden provides an interesting view over the Wealden countryside through an oval shaped window in the topiary hedge.
Visitors to the gardens in the summer months can see the recently renovated long herbaceous borders. Half the border has been replanted in the original pink and blue planting scheme first used by the late Christopher Lloyd when he first designed the border at Hole Park. The remainder of the border was replanted using the original colour scheme of yellow and white.
Late Summer and Autumn Highlights
The late flowering agapanthus ‘Hole Park Blue’ and colourful exotic border with its cannas and dahlias are an impressive sight in late summer before the reds, yellows and golds of autumn appear bringing colour and interest to the gardens in October. Visitors can enjoy the annual Napoleonic Re-enactment Weekend in September
One of the Seven Wonders of the Weald; the garden was also crowned Kentish Garden of the Year in 2016 by Visit Kent and Kent Life Magazine.
A circular network of hard paths enables visitors of all ages, including those who require a wheelchair, to enjoy the gardens. Wheelchairs may be reserved free of charge and there are full disability WC facilities.
Light lunches and delicious homemade cakes are available in the coach house where apple juice, local beer and homemade jam and honey produced from the fruit and bees on the Hole Park Estate can be purchased. There is also a small plant stall next to the coach house.
Entry prices: The gardens are open 11am to 6pm
- Online: £10 per Adult when prebooked via holepark.com. Children age 5-17 will be £2.50 and under 5's enter free of charge. Dogs welcome at no charge.
- On the gate: £11 per Adult. Children age 5-17 will be £2.50 and under 5's enter free of charge. Dogs welcome at no charge.
- Season Tickets - available now via the website £30 per Adult and £8 per child. Valid from 1st April 2023
There is a dedicated tearoom for groups, free parking for cars and coaches and conducted tours can also be arranged for groups by prior arrangement.
Hole Park is situated 4 miles west of Tenterden on the B2086 between Rolvenden and Benenden.
New this year is the option to book tickets in advance, but walk-up tickets will still be available on the day.
Images: copyright Pennington PR