Days Out

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Sissinghurst Castle Garden marks an important milestone this winter as it opens the South Cottage, with previously unseen objects and spaces to explore.

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Rarely accessible to the public, the South Cottage was the intimate retreat of famous residents Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West for over 30 years. Visitors to the National Trust property now have the chance to explore this little-known private space, including their bedrooms and Harold’s book room where he carried out much of his writing.

The atmospheric cottage sits at the heart of Sissinghurst’s renowned garden and has enjoyed the company of a variety of characters. If walls could talk, they’d tell of Harold designing the lime walk, the daily thoughts of its fascinating inhabitants and the tapping of typewriter keys crafting their next book.

The pink-bricked South Cottage has over the years been maintained as a writing haven by the Nicolson family, and much of the original décor remains. As visitors step through the low
doorframe, they will find themselves immersed in a retreat away from the world. The cottage is largely as Vita and Harold would have had it, with rich velvets framing the oak framed windows in the sitting room and stark, exposed brick in Vita’s bedroom.

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Sissinghurst is internationally famous for the garden created by Vita and Harold, who spent more than three decades helping it to emerge from the ruins of a 16th-century mansion.

Winter entry to Sissinghurst Castle Garden £6.50 for non-members, free for National Trust members. Opening times vary, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle-garden for details.

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