Home for Christmas at Chartwell 2021

A family out enjoying the outdoors

Join us for a 1940s Christmas in the gardens of Chartwell in search of some of the bottles that Winston Churchill asked his own children to look for to help him paint one of his now famous artworks, Bottlescape.

Home for Christmas trail at Chartwell

Saturday 27 November – Sunday 2 January (*excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).

Explore the gardens of Chartwell this Christmas as you hunt for hidden bottles, just as the Churchill children did. Each of them has been filled with some very special ingredients for you to discover as you go.

Collect the names of all the ingredients hidden in each of the bottles to learn the recipe for a traditional Christmas treat!

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!

Bottlescape

The original painting, Bottlescape, by Sir Winston Churchill can now be found in the Dining Room in the house here at Chartwell. It features a collection of bottles of all different shapes and sizes to create a still-life oil painting.

The story goes, in order to collect so many bottles all together, he asked his children to run all around Chartwell and collect them for him, bringing them back for him to paint.

Although the house is closed for conservation over the winter, there’s still a chance to see this wonderful painting for yourself this year as the house re-opens on December weekends in the lead-up to Christmas.

The house will open on Saturday and Sundays: 4&5, 11&12, 18&19 December, dressed for a 1940s Christmas. Tickets for the house on these days are sold from the Visitor Centre on the day, on a first come first served basis and are limited in number. The house will then be closed entirely until spring 2022.

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.

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?

There's family fun this winter at Killerton.

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. 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.