The Darling Buds of May – Garden of England Trail

The Darling Buds of May Logo- The Darling Buds of May written in brown, pink and grey

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May…..

The Darling Buds of May- A walk around the garden of England text in brown, pink and green. image of the cast sitting around a large garden table smiling at the camera.


2011 celebrated the 20th anniversary of The Darling Buds of May, a series that captured the hearts of Britain like no other. The Darling Buds of May [1991-1993] idolises the life of a family, living on a small holding in rural Kent. Set in the 1950’s, the village of Pluckley in Kent and the surrounding countryside provided the main backdrop for the series. The Kent County Council Film Office, with support from Visit Kent, Produced in Kent,  Explore Kent, and Kent Life have created The Darling Buds of May – Garden of England Trail which will transport you back to the 1950’s as you walk in the footsteps of  the Larkins and visit some of the modern award winning local food and drinks producers, rural attractions and rolling countryside that keep Kent crowned The Garden of England.

E-Booklet – to read online, tablet or phone

Print Booklet – to print out, fold in half and read like a booklet

For an accessible Word Document of the trail click here.

Or view the trail on our interactive Darling Buds of May Moviemap Live.

David Jason, Pam Ferris, Philip Franks and Catherine Zeta Jones standing behind a table of food.

David Jason, Pam Ferris, Philip Franks and Catherine Zeta Jones © ITV

Experience the trail with the local Pluckley Greeter

Kent Greeters give visitors to Kent a unique and personal insight into the county, saving precious time and making you aware of what is available locally.  It is a free service, booked at least five days in advance, that will help you get ‘under the skin’ of your chosen Kent destination. To book a ‘Greet’ please visit the Kent Greeter website and mention the darling buds of may Trail when booking a Greeter.

Behind the Scenes

The trail wouldn’t be complete without a sneak peek behind the scenes and a few local stories. Get the real low down on the filming on our Darling Buds Of May- Garden of England Trail- Behind the Scenes page. 

This trail would not have been possible without the kind help and support of all those involved. The Kent Film Office is forever grateful to Richard Bates, Roger Holmes,  Anton Darby, Menzies Kennedy and Sir David Jason.


The Series

Writers: H.E. Bates (Author of the novels and short stories of the Larkin family) Paul Wheeler and Stephen Bill (Writers for television)

Behind the scenes photo of a blue truck and camera equipment, with cast and crew surrounded it.

Behind the scenes © ITV

Stars: David Jason, Pam Ferris and Catherine Zeta Jones.
Awards: In 1992 Sir David Jason won Best TV comedy actor at the British Comedy Awards.
The Directors: David Giles, Robert Tronson, Rodney Bennet and Steve Goldie

Kent Filming Locations: Pluckley Village, Buss Farm, Tenterden, Folkestone, Church Gates Cottage, Fig Tree Cottage, Folkestone Leas Lift, Halden Place, Kent & East Sussex Railway, Little Chart, Pluckley Church of England Primary School, St Nicholas Church, The Black Horse Pub, Shepherd Neame Brewery, Wentwood Cottage, Maidstone Grammar School.


The Darling Buds of May was first produced as a novel in 1957.Hollywood film company MGM bought the film and television rights in 1959 and it wasn’t until 1989 that son of H.E. Bates, Richard, had an opportunity to buy back the television rights.
The series first aired in April 1991.
It went straight to the top position of National Audience Ratings with its first episode.
Each one-hour episode took two weeks to shoot and another two months post production time.
300 girls were auditioned for the part of Mariette before Catherine Zeta Jones was found.


In 2021, ITV commissioned a new adaptation of The Darling Buds of May titled The Larkins. The series filmed in North Kent and ran for 2 seasons. 

Catherine Zeta Jones dressed in character holding pots of strawberries.

CZJ with Strawberries © ITV



This trail would not have been possible without the kind help and support of all those involved. The Kent County Council Film Office is forever grateful to Richard Bates, Roger Holmes, Anton Darby, Menzies Kennedy and Sir David Jason.


Kent County Council Logo- Kent County Council written in white on a red background with a white horse to the right. Links to the KCC website. Visit Kent Logo- Visit Kent garden of England written in black on a white background. A white horse to the right. Links to their website. Produced in Kent Logo- Produced in Kent written in gold on a white background. cartoon image of a house, fields and fruit are in gold above. Linsk to their website. Explore Kent logo. EK written in white in the middle of a red circle.