One of the most famous gardens in the world, unpretentiously beautiful and quintessentially English, Sissinghurst rests deep in the Kentish countryside. The gardens, with 10 themed "rooms," were laid out in the 1930s around the remains of part of a moated Tudor castle by writer Vita Sackville-West (one of the Sackvilles of Knole, her childhood home) and her husband, diplomat Harold Nicolson. Climb the tower to see Sackville-West's study and to get wonderful views of the
garden and surrounding fields. The view is best in June and July, when the roses are in bloom. The beautiful White Garden is filled with snow-color flowers and silver-gray foliage, while the herb and cottage gardens reveal Sackville-West's encyclopedic knowledge of plants. There are woodland and lake walks, too, making it easy to spend a half day or more here. Stop by the big tea shop for lunch made with the farm's fruits and vegetables. If you'd like to linger, the National Trust rents the Priest's House on the property for a minimum stay of three nights.