South East Tour Guides are delighted to announce their new association with Lullingstone Castle in Eynesford, Kent. The castle is home to Tom Hart Dyke the famously unfortunate plant hunter who turned his misfortune into a positive force for life & the future. Tom was kidnapped in Columbia whilst searching for orchids in 2000, and during his captivity he whiled away his time designing a world garden.
On his release nine months later he celebrated his freedom by planting his designs in the grounds of the family home. The World Garden of Plants has received international acclaim and will be opening to the public this year in April.
Due to popular demand the Castle will be opening its doors for guided tours on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays through the season, many of which will be led by South East Tour Guides. The Castle has been owned by just five families in 900 years & Tom’s father Guy, is the 19th generation of the family to have lived in the castle.
Even earlier, the Romans knew a good site when they saw one & built a villa nearby which was re-discovered in 1750. Not fully excavated until the 1960′s, it is now believed to be the home of an important Roman Governor. Visitors to the villa today can see the spectacular mosaics and rare wall paintings, a heated bath-suite and a ‘house-church’.
Combine the two houses for a very enjoyable day out just off the M25, please take care you follow the road signs through the village!
You might even fit in time to visit the Shoreham Aircraft Museum with its relics from RAF & Luftwaffe aircraft which crashed locally displayed alongside personal accounts of those involved during the Battle of Britain.