Penshurst Place announces new programme and activities for 2020

Spring in the Italian Garden at Penshurst Place (c) Penshurst Place & Gardens

Historic house opens at weekends from 15 February, daily over February half term and fully from 28 March

      • New events and old favourites feature in the programme for 2020
      • Upcoming highlights include:
        • New installations on the Woodland Trail (from February, ongoing)
        • ‘Amazing Inventions’ trail throughout half term (15-23 February)
        • ‘Roasts & Rambles’ talks and dining experiences (2 and 16 February)
        • Elizabeth I and the Armada experience (21-22 March)
        • Mother’s Day activities (22 March)

Penshurst Place will be opening its doors to visitors at weekends from 15 February this year, throughout half term week and then weekends only until 28 March after which the estate will be open daily, with an engaging programme of events and activities already lined up across the year.

Trailfinders February Half-term at Penshurst Place (c) Penshurst Place & Gardens

The Woodland Trail has been enhanced over the winter period to encourage more wildlife into the Penshurst estate. New owl boxes have been built and installed throughout the woodland area to provide nests for the many owls that call Penshurst home, including tawny owls, little owls and barn owls. Meanwhile, ‘stumperies’ made from old tree stumps are being introduced over the coming weeks to provide a natural habitat for insects. These and other developments are being implemented by Penshurst’s team of gardeners as part of an ongoing programme of improvements to create a haven for wildlife and enhance the nature walks for visitors.

‘Getting your Garden ready for Spring’ with Tony Wiseman, Head Gardener at Penshurst Place & Gardens

Over half term, young adventurers will be able to test their skills in the ‘Amazing Inventions’ trail, which will be open daily throughout the half term week (15-23 February), from 10.30am until dusk. Children will be challenged to find hidden inventions in the gardens, matching them to the technology they inspired in today’s world. Examples could include matching wheels to a bicycle and the abacus to a computer, with interesting facts about the origins and evolution of these inventions provided along the way.

The ‘Roasts & Rambles’ series of talks and dining experiences concludes in February, with the final two themes focusing on getting the garden ready for spring (2 February) and romance at Penshurst Place (16 February). These exclusive events offer an opportunity to enjoy a guided tour and a delicious carvery lunch in the Garden Restaurant at a time of year when the house is usually closed to the public.

The Great Armada at Penshurst Place (c) Aardvark Productions

During the weekend of 21-22 March, the absorbing Armada experience returns to Penshurst Place, complete with costumed actors. Visitors will have an opportunity to travel back to the 16thCentury where they can meet and hear from Queen Elizabeth I and her household as they prepare for the Spanish Armada.

22 March is also Mothering Sunday, so why not treat the family to lunch in the Garden Restaurant or enjoy tea and cakes in the Porcupine Pantry after visiting the Armada experience? Children will be invited to make their own lavender bags or pot pourri to take home on Mother’s Day, bringing the scents of spring into their home.

Preparing for Armada at Penshurst Place (c) Aardvark Productions

New activities at Penshurst Place in 2020 include a food and wine matching evening focusing on Kentish wines that will be held in the spring during English Wine Week; the inaugural Penshurst Run Fest at the end of June that brings together running, music and a host of fun family activities; and a Teddy Bear’s Picnic in the newly-restored woodland glade this summer.

A number of other activities will be back by popular demand, including the Gin Tasting evening; Primavera Ensemble performance in the Baron’s Hall; and the annual garden celebration that is the Glorious Gardens Festival.

To view the full schedule of events for 2020, which will continue to be updated as new activities are confirmed, visit the Penshurst Place website at


Roast & Rambles

2nd  &  16th February @ 12noon

Join Penshurst Place’s head gardener, Tony Wiseman on 2nd February to pick up a few helpful tips and pointers on preparing your garden for spring or you can extend the Valentine Day spirit  by listening to a talk about the many romanic connections Penshurst Place has on 16th February.  Tickets cost £22.50 (per adult) £11.25 (per child) for each event and include a delicious 2-course roast lunch.  To find out more and to book, visit

Amazing Inventions!

15th – 23rd February, Trail 10.30am – dusk

Learn about the origins of some of the items we use every day in Penshurst Place’s half-term amazing inventions trail! Step along the gardens and help find hidden items as you discover the history behind each of these amazing creations and the modern technology that exists because of them!

Elizabeth I and the Armada

21st & 22nd March

After his rights to the English throne were stripped due to the death of his wife Queen Mary I, Philip II of Spain declared war on England and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I, in a bid to return the nation to Catholicism.

Travel back in time at Penshurst Place to meet the 16th Century people affected by Philip’s declaration, including Queen Elizabeth I herself.

Mothers’ Day

22nd March, 11am – 4pm

This Mothering Sunday at Penshurst Place you can make lavender bags or pot pourri to take home and enjoy the scents of a spring garden in your home. Perfect for children of all ages to get involved in!


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