The natural play area at Ightham Mote

Two young girls clambering on a log in the Ightham Mote play area

Scrambling, dashing and splashing, our natural play area offers the perfect place for our younger visitors to let off steam.

There are lots of opportunities to paddle, run and hide, so the young and young at heart can kick back and enjoy some well-earned family fun. And when you're ready for a break, we have plenty of picnic spots close-by or you may prefer to refuel at the Mote Café.

What you’ll find in our play area

With a stream coming from natural springs, children can expect to have a ‘splashing’ time and wellies are recommended. But you can also expect:

  • Chestnut wigwams
  • A laurel den
  • Balance beams
  • Chimes
  • A wooden den
  • Willow tunnel
  • Log stepping stones
  • Bridges and water
  • A willow igloo

Don’t forget to tick off some of those 50 things to do before you’re 11¾.

Go wild in our natural play area
A boy making music with the wooden chimes in the natural play area
Go wild in our natural play area

Conservation & Play

The stream at Ightham Mote is very attractive to children and a great place to paddle and play. There is an open section of stream in the natural play area and a couple of places are accessible as it flows through the grassy valley of the Pleasure Grounds.

We encourage children to enjoy this stream for play, but all we ask is that families respect the conservation of the historic garden and do as little damage as possible to this natural feature and its wildlife.

So, please do continue to enjoy splashing in the stream, building small dams, and floating leaves and twigs. But, please can we ask that children do not dig out rocks and stones from the stream's bank, or drag these from elsewhere into the stream. At times recently, we have had to close parts of the stream as banks have been damaged by erosion from lots of little feet and by children digging out the banks. On these occassions we have needed to allow natural vegetation to recover so that play can begin again. Please help us to preserve the stream for families now and in the future to enjoy.

Please note: during or following adverse weather conditions, we may have to close our play area for safety reasons. Children should be supervised at all times.