Access at Chartwell

A room steward talking to a disabled visitor in the garden at Chartwell, Kent

Chartwell is located on a hillside, meaning some visitors may have difficulty navigating certain areas. We've listed a few important points below in relation to access at Chartwell to help you plan your visit.

A full access statement can be downloaded from our website under the facilities and access section.

Manual Wheelchairs

  • A limited number of manual wheelchairs are available to borrow from the Visitor Centre. We are unable to take bookings and wheelchairs are available on a first come, first serve basis.

House

  • The car park is 250 metres from the house with access via a sloping path and 24 shallow steps. For those unable to negotiate steps we run a mobility bus, which has a manual wheelchair tailgate lift, from the car park to the front of the house. Unfortunately, the mobility bus cannot accommodate mobility scooters or electric wheelchairs.
  • Please note that the mobility bus is run by volunteers and although we try to provide this service everyday there may be days when it’s not running. For days when the mobility bus isn't running we do allow visitors to drive their car to the front of the house to drop off any visitors with access needs and then return to the car park to park. Coaches are unable to drive and drop to the house due to the size of the entrance gates. Please do arrive at the Visitor Centre in the car park for the most up to date information about the mobility bus.
  • Due to the layout of the house the Sitting Room, Drawing Room, Hall and Library on the ground floor of the house are accessible via wheelchair. For those able to use stairs we have a second wheelchair available on the second floor of the house for wheelchair access to Lady Churchill's Bedroom, the Medal Room, Corridor, Museum Room, Uniform Room and Study. There is then another set of stairs down to the entrance.
  • A virtual tour with information on all the show rooms of Chartwell is available in the Sitting Room for wheelchair users unable to use stairs.
  • For the safety of all our visitors in the case of an emergency it is necessary for us to restrict the number of wheelchairs in the house. We welcome two wheelchairs in the house at once; one upstairs and one downstairs (access to top floor is by stairs only). Please be aware there may be a wait to use the wheelchair on the second floor if that wheelchair is already being occupied by another visitor.
  • For the safety of all our visitors please be aware that there may be an increased delay on top of your timed entry to enter the house with a wheelchair on our busiest days. To avoid disappointment, we recommend avoiding weekends and Bank Holidays. We're quietest Monday-Friday during school term time, particularly after 3pm.

Visiting the House in an electric wheelchair or power wheelchair

  • For any visitors in an electrical wheelchair who are unable to transfer to a manual wheelchair we do allow drivers to drop off visitors with access needs outside the house before returning to park in the car park.
  • Please do read the full access statement in the link at the top of the page for measurements of space in the rooms. It is the responsibility of all our visitors to be aware of their surroundings and other visitors.
  • Do let us know ahead of your visit on 01732 868381 if any in your party are visiting in an electric wheelchair and we will help as best we can to ensure a smooth visit whilst maintaining the safety of our visitors and the security of our collection.
  • We are unable to allow mobility scooters in to the house.

Visually impaired and braille guides

  • We have braille and visually impaired guides available on request at the House.
  • Our visually impaired guide is currently under review and we would welcome your feedback to help with the improvements. Do let us know ahead of your visit on 01732 868381 if you will require a guide and we may be able to prepare added content from our handling collection to support you on your visit.
The house at Chartwell in spring
The house at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent
The house at Chartwell in spring

Gardens

  • Due to the hillside nature of the property the garden doesn’t lend itself easily to wheelchair users.
  • There is a wheelchair accessible route from the front entrance of the house to a viewpoint overlooking the kitchen garden and the golden rose avenue.


Studio

  • The studio has an accessible entrance. The route to the studio is step free but wheelchair users should be prepared to go across a glassy slope or down a steep slope to reach it. 

Shop and Café

  • The shop and café are accessible from the upper level of the car park where there are additional designated parking bays, or from the ramped area to the left-hand side of the shop area.
  • There is a lift from the ground floor of the restaurant to the Mulberry Room (used for catering functions and overflow seating) and an accessible toilet.