Great golf in Garden of England

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Many golfers are keen gardeners - one thing both have in common being a love of the natural environment and the rural delights of the countryside.

Now, Kent – known as the Garden of England – is inviting golfers to sample a region that epitomises the ‘green and pleasant land’ with a golf break that also takes in some of the county’s world-renowned gardens.

Golfers booking golf breaks to the county, venue of the Open Championship this summer, can now log on to www.visitkent.co.uk/golf, the county’s official tourism website, and not only find out about more than 100 outstanding golf courses, but the 180 gardens that are open to the public.

Some of the most scenic and popular gardens – many of them ornamental – include the National Trust-owned quartet of Scotney Castle (voted among the top 10 best English gardens to visit), Emmetts, Sissinghurst and Smallhythe Place along with Leeds Castle, Goodnestone Park, Walmer Castle, Lullingstone World, Hever Castle, Penshurst Place, Mount Ephraim, Bedgebury National Pinetum, Yalding Organic, Brogdale Farm and the Secret Gardens of Sandwich.

Golfers planning to enjoy the many and wonderful delights of Kent’s magnificent gardens, once they have completed a round of one of the county’s many celebrated golf courses or visited the Open at Royal St George’s in Sandwich from July 14-17, can do so at a number of special events this summer, including:

·Hever Castle (Edenbridge) – Best of British Garden Festival, June 20-26

·Goodnestone Park (Canterbury) – Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice (outdoor performance), June 24

·Brogdale Farm (Faversham) – Soft Fruit Day Festival, June 26

·Mount Ephraim (Faversham) – Cherry Day, July 10

·Leeds Castle (Maidstone) – Live at the Castle outdoor music concert, July 17

·Lullingstone World (Eynesford) – Plant Hunter Weekend, July 30-31

·Bedgebury National Pinetum (Cranbrook) – Wildlife Safari, August 2, 9 16 & 23

·Sissinghurst Castle (Cranbrook) – Smallholding Fair, 13 & 14 August

·Secret Gardens of Sandwich – Sandwich Festival/Art Exhibition, August 22-29

All these gardens are situated within reach of the celebrated ‘Regal Golf Coast’ links golf courses of Royal St George’s, Prince’s (home of the 1932 Open), Royal Cinque Ports (venue of the 1909 and 1920 Opens), Littlestone (an England Top 100 Course) and North Foreland – all located along Kent’s picturesque south-east coastline – along with fantastic downland, parkland, castle and championship courses, such as London Golf Club (a European Tour Destination) and Chart Hills (a UK Top 100 Course, designed by Sir Nick Faldo).

Many excellent-value golf break packages in the Garden of England are offered through a recently announced partnership between Visit Kent, Golfbreaks.com and Shepherd Neame, the renowned Kent-based brewer, pub and hotel operator.  

Furthermore, many Kent courses - such as Canterbury, Redlibbets and Marriott Tudor Park - belong to 2-FORE!-1 and offer half-price green fees with a 2-FORE!-1 voucher of course.

*For more information on golf breaks in Kent, visit www.visitkent.co.uk/golf