I visited the Sidney Oak at Penshurst Place near Tonbridge, Kent, on a really really hot day in August 2020. It was the first tree I’d visited in a year due to pandemic restrictions. I’d heard it was in a sorry state, so it’s been on my checklist to visit sooner rather than later. As I searched for the tree, wandering farther from the house, it’s formal gardens and attentive visitors, I grew a bit perturbed about ever finding it, and how I’d fare in the blazing afternoon sun. Yet I was also full of calm and relief to be on a grassy path again, seeing wizened old trees, hedgerows, and fields sprinkled with sheep.
Perhaps this was how Sir Philip Sidney felt, looking back toward the stately chimneys of grand old Penshurst Place, sat beneath his favourite tree.
Here's a comic about my trip to meet the Sidney Oak.