Half term at Chartwell 2021

Kick up the leaves at Chartwell this autumn

Join us this autumn half term to learn about some of Chartwell’s unsung wartime guardians and find out how they kept Chartwell ticking over whilst the family was in London.

Wartime Gardens at Chartwell 2021

Saturday 16 October - Sunday 31 October; 10am-4pm

The war-time team at Chartwell need your help to look after the gardens and wider estate this autumn half term.

Meet the various characters who kept Chartwell running whilst the Churchill family headed to London for the war. Discover the different tasks they carried out over the years such as the family secretaries who would help collect fruit and veg from our Walled Garden, sending it all up to London and Downing Street to feed the family.

Head out around the gardens and parkland to take part in various activities and help us keep Chartwell running. Help the secretaries transport the produce around the Walled Garden, or try your hand at some of the gardening yourself with different seeds to plant (and keep at the end too!).

How much?

The trail will be £2.00 per person (including National Trust members). Normal site admission applies.

Suitable for ages 3-15 years. The route is buggy friendly, though families wanting to visit the wider woods should be aware that there are steps in places and steep inclines. The woods can also get pretty muddy when it rains, so you might want to pack the wellies!

Autumn activities for all

Chartwell in the 1940s

At the outbreak of the Second World War, the Churchills left Chartwell for London.

The house was mothballed; the furniture covered up, the serving staff moved on, and the hubbub of political life followed Churchill to the capital.

Chartwell was not left entirely alone, however. A small number of individuals remained both living and working at Chartwell throughout the war - and the few years following - helping to keep watch over the estate.

One of the characters who came to help and who you’ll meet along the trail was called Hilda, a member of the Women’s Land Army that was brought in to look after the Jersey Cows that the Churchills kept on their estate, even shampooing their tails. Mrs Churchill even called the cows ‘Hilda’s Glamour Girls’.

This autumn half term, come and meet all these different characters and find out about the vital work that they carried out to keep Chartwell running.

Continue Your Family Adventure

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


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.

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

Chickenham Palace

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?

A family enjoying the sun at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent

Family facilities

Baby changing facilities can be found by the visitor welcome centre, the toilets behind the shop and the toilets just beyond the croquet lawn in the garden. These are all approximately 30 minutes from the treehouse so you may want to use them before heading off to the woods. The café has a yummy children's menu, bottle warming and high chairs. Please note scooters and trikes are not suitable at Chartwell.