The manor house at Groombridge Place remains a private residence and is closed to the public, but the gardens, canal, forest and so much more are available for you to explore and enjoy on your visit. And for the adventurous, no visit would be complete without experiencing the UK’s longest and tallest treetop walkway!
No historic estate is complete without an Enchanted Forest and the vast woodland at Groombridge Place won’t disappoint. Take a stroll through the wide variety of beautiful trees and be amazed at the fun and adventure you will find around every corner and in every clearing. Take to the walkways and enjoy a daring adventure at the amazing Crusoe’s World, our pirates playground.
Try out the selection of swings – family-sized for everyone to climb on plus giant swings for one. Travelthrough the trees at ground level on the Upper Boardwalk. Set up camp in our teepees or imagine life on the road in a Romany caravan. Check out the Standing Stones and Jurassic ferns plus other unusual plants not often seen in the UK. Will you manage to find everything in just one visit?!
We are incredibly proud of our beautiful award-winning gardens and are delighted to share them with you. We have six unique areas for you to enjoy, each formally laid out and bursting with colour, style and horticultural features. Each season brings a new look so be sure to visit throughout the year.
About the Estate
Groombridge Place has everything you might expect from an English country house: a 17th century moated manor house; 200+ acres of parkland; sculpted gardens and follies; original farm buildings dating back to the 18th century; plus so much more for visitors, including a restaurant, roaming wildlife (see if you can spot our Zedonk!), and adventure galore.
The picturesque manor house as well as the bridges and moat gates were largely designed by Sir Christopher Wren, known for his redesign of London and particularly St Paul’s Cathedral, following the Great Fire in 1666. That the house is still inhabited as a family home today is testament to his skill and expertise along with that of Philip Packer, courtier to Charles II and charged with building the house.
As far as we know, the house was a replacement for the original manor house when Philip Packer completed it in 1662. Records show the first owner of a manor at Groombridge was William Russell, a Baron, who was granted Lordship of the Manor in the early 1230s. Twelve different families have lived on the site since, including the Earls of Clinton and the Earls of Dorset. The most famous resident is Thomas Sackville, cousin of Elizabeth I and Lord High Treasurer of England from 1599 to 1608.
The stunning gardens at Groombridge Place were also laid out by Philip Packer, with help from renowned horticulturalist and diarist John Evelyn, friend of fellow diarist, Samuel Pepys. The grid layout they used has remained unchanged since it was first devised in the 1670s with today’s gardeners updating and maintaining the distinctive planting schemes for each area. No visit to Groombridge Place is complete without enjoying and appreciating these diverse and timeless tranquil spaces.