Excited members the society set off on June 28 to spend the next five days exloring the “Castles and Gardens of Kent”.

On June 29, the society set off to Sissinghurst which actually began as a Saxon Pig Farm but was transformed by the affluent Baker family in the late 16th century into a House with 37 fireplaces and tower at its centre with 78 steps to the top.

It was very interesting to see the famous Pantiles in Royal Tunbridge Wells on Monday. It is an elegant Spa town with historical architecture in the South East of England similar to Bath and Brighton.

In the past it was a playground for famous visitors eg. Queen Anne, Queen Victoria, Samuel Pepys and Daniel Defoe.

The Coffee Houses were magnificent. We travelled on to Scotney Castle which had a 14th Century Moated House at the top of the hill built in 1837 by Edward Hussey in Tudor Style. There were fairytale ruins of a medieval castle and moat at the bottom of the valley. The gardens were like a magical landscape painting. We saw spectacular, vibrant, purple displays of rhododendrons, azaleas, wisterias, climbing roses near the romantic folly and Ashburnham Tower. There were over 770 majestic acres of woodland and parkland on the estate We continued our busy schedule on Tuesday with a visit to Leeds Castle. It was a Norman stronghold and private property of medieval kings and queens.

once owned by Catherine of Aragon and Henry V111. Today it is used for Medieval Festivals, Jousting Touraments, Archery Competitions, living History Re-Enactment, Falconry Displays etc.

It was amazing that everyone had researched the Hippy Era and time of passive resistance and used great imagination to create their costumes.

On July 5 at Astley Village Hall with “ Bev Peg and his Cowboy Band” and a wonderful meal provided by the Clockhouse. A £500 cheque was donated to Acorns.