May half term at Chartwell

A child enjoying the sunshine at a National Trust property

This article was about the 2019 May half-term trail and will be refreshed for 2020.

Exotic Animal Trail

Saturday 25 May – Sunday 2 June; 10am-4pm

£1.00 per person (including National Trust members). Normal site admission applies.

Discover Winston's favourite exotic pets and animals hidden around the garden on this fun family trail.

Some hop, some leap, some roar, some swim, some squawk and some crawl, and one of them still lives at Chartwell today - all of them have fascinating stories and facts connecting them to the amazing life of Winston Churchill.

Complete the trail to get a zoo animal themed prize at the end!

Maps can be picked up from the little black shed next to the Visitor Welcome Centre. Payment by cash will be taken in the shed; if paying by card please pay in the Visitor Welcome Centre.

Suitable for ages 3+

Keep an eye out for our black swans on your visit
Black swans at Chartwell, a National Trust property in Kent and family home of Winston Churchill
Keep an eye out for our black swans on your visit

Peak Times This May Half-Term

We're expecting a busy Bank Holiday weekend this 25-27 May. It's likely we'll have to close the car park when we reach full capacity, and tickets for the house will sell quickly.

We recommend avoiding the Bank Holiday weekend if you can for a calmer experience, and bring a picnic to avoid the café queues.

We'll be quietest Tue-Fri in half-term. If you can only visit on the Bank Holiday weekend then consider arriving before 11.30am to guarantee both your car park and your house entry.

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.

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?

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.