As we head out on our afternoon walks, we’re starting to notice the landscapes we know so well beginning to change, with fiery reds and oranges dotting the trees, chilly winds calling for us to pack a scarf, and a hot drink somehow always working itself into the journey. This season, we’re spicing things up a bit (and yes, we mean the pumpkin kind), and bringing you some of the best grounds and gardens that truly show off the autumn season in Kent at its best. So, pack those cameras, grab your keep-cup, and head on out for a seasonal stroll to remember.

Great British Life: Canterbury Cathedral (c) David King PhotographerCanterbury Cathedral (c) David King Photographer

Canterbury Cathedral

At the heart of Canterbury, welcoming pilgrims and visitors for over 1,400 years, is the magnificent Canterbury Cathedral. But did you know, surrounding one of the county’s most iconic sites, are the lesser mentioned but equally as significant grounds? This year, you can delve into the history of the gardens, monuments, and ruins, bringing to life the stories of people that have lived and worshipped here for centuries. With a yearly calendar of events, exhibitions, and tours, there’s always a new way for you to discover the wonder that built England’s first ever cathedral.

Great British Life: Canterbury Franciscan Gardens (c) Canterbury Franciscan GardensCanterbury Franciscan Gardens (c) Canterbury Franciscan Gardens

Canterbury: Franciscan Gardens

While you’re in the city centre, the garden-glory doesn’t stop there. Tucked away behind the cobbled streets of Canterbury, you’ll find the Franciscan Gardens. A hidden gem filled with symbolic paintings, peaceful paths, and the beautiful Greyfriars Chapel, this is the perfect spot to discover little trinkets of history, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re all in the stunning hues of autumn. Come along for a wander through the gardens, before heading back into the hustle and bustle of the high street just minutes away.

Great British Life: Mount Ephraim (c) Mount EphraimMount Ephraim (c) Mount Ephraim

Mount Ephraim Country House & Gardens

Just an hour from London, your next autumn adventure awaits. Retreat to Mount Ephraim Gardens' ten acres of breathtaking Edwardian grounds, beautifully backdropped by Swale’s sweeping countryside. Admire the beauty that radiates from the glorious garden, while soaking in the postcard-perfect views of the Swale and Thames Estuaries. No sun? No problem! No matter the weather or season, Mount Ephraim Gardens is sure to bring with it landscapes beyond compare.

Great British Life: Wildlife at Wildwood (c) WildwoodWildlife at Wildwood (c) Wildwood


All the wildlife lovers amongst you are in for a treat with this one – with the planet and its inhabitants in mind, Wildwood Kent is at the forefront of the conservation movement in the county. This autumn, come along to Wilwood for the day and see more than 200 species of British wildlife from past and present, living across 40 acres of wonderful woodland. And with the recent arrival of European bison in the Blean Woods, you can climb up a bison bridge and see these magnificent animals for yourself, surrounded by the fiery oranges and reds of the place they call home.

Great British Life: The Mansion at Port Lympne (c) Port Lympne Hotel and ReserveThe Mansion at Port Lympne (c) Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve

Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve

For even more roar-some days out this cosy season, Kent’s largest wildlife park offers stunning landscapes, magnificent mammals, picturesque views, and overnight stays. Visit Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve and you’re not only in for a day of animal amazement but, new for 2023, you can enjoy a tour of the gardens until the end of October and see the glorious flora, maintained by the dedicated team that keep it looking lovely and luscious year-round. Top off the day with an afternoon tea to make it one you’ll never forget.

Great British Life: Godinton House & Gardens (c) Godinton House & Gardens Godinton House & Gardens (c) Godinton House & Gardens

Godinton House

Surrounded by farmland and countryside, Godinton House is a true Kentish getaway spot, reflecting the peace and tranquillity of our corner of the world that we love so much. Discover leaf-crunching strolls through the grounds, admire the breath-taking beauty of the likes of the walled garden and Italian Garden and keep an eye out for sculptures found throughout the gardens.

Great British Life: Anne Boleyn's Walk (c) Hever CastleAnne Boleyn's Walk (c) Hever Castle

Hever Castle

As the evening sunlight starts to fade and the mist starts to make an appearance in the mornings, it’s time to head outside and discover all the ways autumn is decorating Kent’s countryside. From the Boston ivy around the front of Hever Castle turning vivid shades of red, to the beautiful Italian garden filled with crunching leaves, we can't wait to take a tour around the 700-year-old site for our autumnal fix!

Great British Life: Sissinghurst Caslte, Delos (c) Nina Elliot-NewmanSissinghurst Caslte, Delos (c) Nina Elliot-Newman

Sissinghurst Castle

Pure autumn colour and wonder are bursting into place at National Trust’s Sissinghurst Castle as we speak, where the symbol of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson’s love came to fruition in the Formal Garden in the 30s. The series of ‘rooms’ that make up the garden are ideal for an afternoon walk, our favourite being Delos, the area of the garden named after the Greek island where the two used to visit. With pomegranate, cork oak, and cypress trees, the place evokes the beauty of the faraway island, all while still in the Kentish countryside.

Great British Life: View of Penshurst Place and Gardens near Tonbridge in Kent (c) Penshurst PlaceView of Penshurst Place and Gardens near Tonbridge in Kent (c) Penshurst Place

Penshurst Place

Autumn arrives in spectacular fashion at Penshurst Place, where the many varieties of apple and crab apple trees show off their fruit, vibrant hips form on many of the roses, and intricate seedheads are just as photogenic as their floral predecessors. Red is a predominant hue on the grounds as the acers start to change colour, and the Demi-Lune Archer is framed by fiery pyracantha berries. Step outside of the garden wall, and a stroll around the Arboretum, Woodland Trail or Parkland will assail your senses with autumnal scent.

Great British Life: Leeds Castle (c) Sarah MedwayLeeds Castle (c) Sarah Medway

Leeds Castle

Trust us, the grounds at Leeds Castle are no less vibrant once summer ends! Explore the beautiful castle and grounds, discovering breath-taking views around every corner. And with acres of gardens to explore, we can pretty much guarantee that perfect Insta-worthy shot. And with craft and design workshops throughout September, you can finish off your seasonal stroll by settling down and learning something new in this magnificent castle.

Great British Life: Mote Park (c) Mote ParkMote Park (c) Mote Park

Mote Park

Being one of Kent's finest free parks, at 450 acres of total parkland, Mote Park is the place to go to kick your way through crisp autumn leaves. Making a scene from the start, the entrance has rafts of autumnal leaves, which lead on a trail around the park itself leading to the pinnacle that is the reflections on the lake - meaning you can double up on the views – now that’s a way to kick start your season this year.

Great British Life: Walmer Castle & Gardens (c) Walmer Castle & Gardens/Nigel Wallace-IlesWalmer Castle & Gardens (c) Walmer Castle & Gardens/Nigel Wallace-Iles

Walmer Castle & Gardens

This one is for all you history buffs out there (who just so happen to love those rich and fiery autumnal hues!). And, with over eight acres of award-winning gardens, how could this one not make the list!? As you wander the grounds of Walmer Castle, walking past the kitchen garden, wildflower meadows, woodland trails, and flower-filled borders, you’ll be thrown right into that cosy feeling you’ve been waiting for since those first leaves started falling. Stroll the day away, before discovering the history of the castle, and taking a moment of respite in the Glasshouse Café.

Great British Life: Riverhill Himalayan Gardens (c) Riverhill Himalayan GardensRiverhill Himalayan Gardens (c) Riverhill Himalayan Gardens

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens

Outdoors yoga? Wreath making? Willow weaving? Pumpkin festivals? Yes please! No need to travel far and wide to make your autumnal dreams come true…you can find all you need right here in Kent at the Riverhill Himalayan Gardens. A true hidden gem of the county, a visit will bring with it a day of adventure and unforgettable views over the Weald of Kent as you’ve never seen it before.

Great British Life: Great Comp Garden (c) Great Comp Garden Great Comp Garden (c) Great Comp Garden

Great Comp Garden

Sevenoaks might be one of the most picturesque spots to visit this time of year, so if you haven’t had the chance to visit Great Comp Garden, you’ll be in for a treat come autumn. Seven acres of rare plants can be found here, with ornamental grasses, a myriad of colour and beautiful borders found in the garden, and the welcome of tea and cake in the Old Dairy tearooms.

Great British Life: Belmont House and Gardens credit Josh Carter Belmont House and Gardens credit Josh Carter (Image: Josh Carter)

Belmont House & Gardens

A favourite of Kent locals, Belmont House comes alive during the autumn, contrasting perfectly with the stone house. With the estate's trees and plants going a golden colour, you can still enjoy the gardens as winter rolls in from 10am to dusk, daily, but as there are more than 3,000 acres which also contain orchards, we've got to recommend a few visits to see the changing spectrum!