A pair of grand houses built two centuries apart (the 14th and 16th) but both strongly connected with the Elizabethan era. Parham Park is one of the finest Elizabethan houses remaining, while Penshurst Place was the birthplace of the great Elizabethan poet, courtier and soldier, Sir Philip Sidney. They’ve been passed down through the generations, Penshurst staying in the Sidney family, while Parham is only on it’s third owner.
I didn’t go inside Penshurst but enjoyed the exterior and gardens, with some impressive topiary. There is also a large playground to keep the little ones entertained, and in summer a huge maize maze to explore. Flags are provided to wave in case you get lost!
Parham also has good gardens, and wonderful interiors, particularly the Long Gallery at the top, one of the longest in the country.