Donkey Jack's Caravan at Chartwell

An exciting new addition to our family play area has landed at Chartwell. Join us in the Old Quarry to explore Donkey Jack's Caravan, complete with a trunk of dressing up clothes. It's just the place to let your imagination run wild whilst exploring an untold Churchill story.

Who was Donkey Jack?

Donkey Jack was a gypsy-type character who lived on public land on Mariners Hill, right next to Chartwell. He passed away in 1933 leaving behind his beloved wife.

Having previously turned a blind eye, the council issued his widow with an eviction notice.

A helping hand from Winston

Knowing Mrs Donkey Jack had nowhere to go, Churchill offered for her to come and live on the Chartwell estate. She did so willingly in her special blue caravan, which was thought to be a converted railway carriage.

After her passing the caravan was reportedly used by the Churchill's as a vantage point during shooting parties, as well as a quiet retreat for Winston.

Sadly in 1947 the original caravan was sold, but we've built a replica especially for you to enjoy.

 

Continue Your Family Adventure

A child playing on the swings at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent

Swings

Head up to the Old Quarry to discover our brand new swings just waiting to be played on. Each one is engraved with the names and nicknames of Winston Churchill's children. How high can you swing? Don't forget to bring an adult to do the pushing.

A young girl plays in a hammock at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent

Canadian Camp

Canadians camped out here in the woods at Chartwell during the Second World War. When there was an air raid they would cover up the lakes, so the German pilots would not recognise Chartwell from the air. Hold your own camp here, relax in the hammocks, 'cook' up a storm and plot your adventure.

A family playing on the balance beams at a National Trust property

Balance Beams

Follow the upper path through the woods and you'll come across our balance beams. Can you walk across them all the way without falling off?

The bomb crater at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent

Bomb Crater

During the second world war, bombs allegedly fell on the estate at Chartwell as the planes left London. The crater left behind by one of these bombs is just the place to have some family fun. Can you use the ropes to escape the crater? Only one way to find out.

The marycot at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent

The Marycot

The Marycot in the walled garden is a little brick house built by Winston Churchill himself for his daughter Mary. Everything is scaled down with a nearby notice announcing 'Children only' (though we won't blame the adults for joining in the fun). A great place to play and let your imagination run wild.

Chickens in the garden at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent

Chickenham Palace

Also in our Walled Garden is the famous(ish) Chickenham Palace. It's home to all kinds of bantam chickens, each with their unique colouring and feathering. Which one will be your favourite?

Family Facilities at Chartwell

Baby changing facilities can be found by the visitor welcome centre, the toilets behind the shop and also just beyond the croquet lawn in the garden. The café has a yummy children's menu, bottle warming facilities and high chairs. Want to find a more secluded spot to breast feed? Just ask a member of staff. There's a picnic area with tables adjacent to the overflow car park and you're welcome to bring a blanket and picnic on the slopes by the lakes. Please note scooters and trikes are not suitable at Chartwell.