Royal Tunbridge WellsBack to Classic Trips: England's Heritage Gardens and Stately Homes »
Royal Tunbridge Wells gets a bad rap as a middlebrow London suburb, but it's a fine base for exploring. Home to a healing spring and close to some of England's most impressive manors and gardens, the Wells have more to offer than just shopping and solitude.
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- About 10 miles (16.1 km) northwest is Hever Castle, a classic structure with turrets and battlements that was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn.
- Penhurst Place, 7 miles (11.3 km) to the northwest, is one of England's finest medieval manor homes; the hall was built in the 14th century.
- Sissinghurst, home to Vita Sackville-West's incredible floral displays, is surrounded by the beautiful Sissinghurst Castle.
- Knole, the 16th-century home where Sackville-West grew up, is also where she set her book The Edwardians.