The family home of the late gardening writer Christopher Lloyd. The garden, with its topiary, mixed borders and explosions of colour, is exquisite in summer and has influenced gardeners throughout the world.
Created by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, this is one of the world’s most famous gardens, arranged as a series of romantic outdoor ‘rooms’ around a central Elizabethan tower, where Sackville-West used to write.
The garden is part of a wider 450-acre estate, and makes a fine base for a countryside walk.
Victorian actress Dame Ellen Terry’s 16th-century timbered home. Some of her amazing theatrical costumes are on show, there’s a sweet cottage garden, and it’s virtually opposite the excellent Chapel Down vineyard if you want to stock up on local food and drink while you’re here.
The atmospheric Jacobean home of Rudyard Kipling, who lived here from 1902 until his death in 1936.
Kipling regarded Bateman’s as a place of sanctuary; with its mellow sandstone architecture and tranquil garden, it’s easy to fathom why. The house is a memorial to the writer, left as he and his wife lived in it, and includes letters, memorabilia and Kipling’s library, where he would write.
Climb the turrets of this 14th-century moated castle with ruined interior. It’s a great place for children to let off steam – buy them a wooden sword in the shop, then let them run riot.
Bodiam station is a stop on the Kent and East Sussex Railway; you can walk the quarter of a mile from the station to the castle itself.