A Reader says
Riverhill has the kind of dilapidated beauty that you just can't find in a National Trust property or one of the big castles like Leeds. Still privately owned, it's gradually rising from near-dereliction and emerging, phoenix-like, as a family pleaser that dares to be different. The bone structure is 19th century garden with massive specimen trees and shrubs sent back by plant-hunters but the current owners have added kid-friendly fun as well as an arty sculpture trail. There's den building in the bluebell woods, a small adventure playground, a maze, a gorgeous walled garden with grassy terracing to sit on and enjoy the view over the weald of Kent or roll down, depending on your fancy. The cafe is great, serving locally produced home made stuff but if you'd prefer to bring a picnic there are tables dotted around as well as 'Everest', the highest point around, on which you can eat, play and watch the landscape. It's worth keeping a look out for the Yeti too! We've been going as a family for the past year and each time we see something new. Sometimes its a plant with dazzling flowers, sometimes it's a crafty activity or treasure hunt. If you want to see what it used to be like, watch the Country House Rescue episode if it's still on iPlayer. We love it especially because it's not manicured and it has a rough and tumble feel worlds away from the pristine lawns of the average stately home.
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