Accessibility at Knole

A sign containing an image of a person in a wheel chair sits in the foreground against a backdrop of green grass, trees and Knole house in the distance, a large 17th century building.

We work hard at Knole to provide a great experience for all of our visitors, and are constantly looking for ways to improve. The 600-year-old house presents us with challenges, but we have many measures in place that enable us to share Knole with as many people as possible. Below are some useful accessibility pointers to help you plan your visit.

About Knole

  • Knole is a large property in the midst of a 1,000 acre deer park near the town centre of Sevenoaks.

  • Access to the lower levels of the house are available on pathways.

  • There is a reasonable mobile reception across most of the site.

  • Light levels are kept low in the house for conservation purposes.

Arrival & Parking

  • The main car park is located approximately 145 metres from the entrance on a gradient of 1:32.

  • There are 10 designated spaces for blue badge holders, 145 metres away from the Visitor Centre.

  • A drop-off zone is located outside of the main doors 87 metres from the house. Please ask the member of staff working at the entrance to the park for directions. The drop off zone may be used but cars must be moved to the main car park.

  • During our most busy periods car park attendants will be available for advice.

  • The pathway to the Visitor Centre is tarmacked and on a 1:32 gradient slope.

Toilets

  • There are two large accessible toilets on site, one located in the Porter’s Lodge in the main entrance to the house, and another located in the Conservation Studio.

  • Both accessible toilets are left hand transfer.

  • Baby changing facilities are available here. There are no adult changing facilities.

  • All toilets have hand dryers, tiled floors and are lit with artificial light.

Showrooms

  • The entrance is 73 metres of level paving through the two courtyards.

  • There is one step, with accessible ramp into the Great Hall entrance.

  • The Great Hall is the only area of the showrooms that is accessible to wheelchair users.

  • iPads are available within the Great Hall to view the showrooms upstairs.

  • A portable induction loop is available if required.

  • The interior of the building is wood and stone with low light levels for conservation reasons.

  • The Great Staircase provides access to the rest of the showrooms which has handrails on both sides and wide access.

  • Most rooms have at least one seat. There are no seats with arm rests inside the showrooms.

  • There are no toilets available in the showrooms.

  • Braille and large print interpretation is available as well as a Visually Impaired Guide Book and sensory prop bags. Please ask a member of staff on entry.

  • Interactive showroom multimedia guides exploring our Inspired by Knole conservation project that concluded 2019, are available for free from the Visitor Centre. They include audio narration over headphones. Printed transcripts are also available.

Gatehouse Tower

  • There are 77 spiral steps to reach the top of the tower. Stairs can be steep and uneven in places.

  • There are two tower rooms and the rooftop which is located on the third floor.

  • There is a handrail on the left around the spiral staircase for visitors to use.

  • Lit by natural light, lamps within the tower rooms and some lights on the landings of the spiral stairs.

  • Seats are available within the tower rooms; there are two seats on the rooftop terrace.

  • A short film of the tower is available to watch in the Visitor Centre.

Conservation Studio

  • Located within the Brewhouse Courtyard 112 metres from the car park. The Brewhouse Courtyard is located on a 1:14 decline.

  • Toilets, accessible toilets and baby change are located on the ground floor.

  • The building has three floors: the Conservation Store, the Conservation Studio and the Conservation Lobby with toilets.

  • Reception desk is located on the ground floor and is 88cm high.

  • A lift is available for access to all floors, but is not an evacuation lift.

  • Within the studio on the second floor, there are interactive displays to encourage smell, sight and touch.

  • Lit by natural and down lighting throughout the building.

  • Wheelchair accessible. Mobility scooter on lobby area only.

  • An induction loop is available at reception and in the studio.

Catering

  • Within the Brewhouse Courtyard approximately 112 metres from the car park. The Brewhouse Café and shop is located on a 1:14 decline.

  • The surface outside within the Brewhouse Courtyard is gravel.

  • Toilets, accessible toilets and baby change are located within this courtyard.

  • There is an automatic doorway into the Brewhouse Café and shop as well as a manually operated door.

  • The surface is level throughout. There is one step up to enter the Grab and Go.

  • The Café has both tiled and hardwood flooring.

  • The seating area is furnished with wooden tables and chairs.

  • Lit with a mix of natural light and artificial light.

  • The counter is 90cm high with no lowered section.

  • The circulation space between the tables is approximately 90cm.

  • An induction loop is available at the till points.

  • Menus are displayed on large chalk boards above the counter. An allergen menu is also available, please ask a member of staff.

Parkland

  • Knole’s parkland, a Site of Special Scientific interest (SSSI) is a 1,000 acre historic deer park (100 acres of which is managed by the National Trust). The parkland consists of rough undulating grass, ant hills and some steep paths.

  • A mobility scooter is available to hire and must be booked with a minimum of 24 hours in advance (see below to download the mobility scooter route). Please phone 01732 462100 to book (suggested routes are available). Currently the scooter is not available at weekends or on bank holidays as they are our busiest times at Knole and, with 1,000 acres of parkland available to visitors, we cannot guarantee the resources on those days to be able to support the safety and security of anyone using the vehicle in such a wide area.

  • An enclosed picnic area is located in the park next to the car park. It has decking flooring and a ramp suitable for wheelchair users.

Dementia Awareness

We have a team of volunteers who have been specially trained in dementia awareness - please contact us (details below) if you would like more details, or book ahead for a tour with a dementia-friendly guide.

If you have any further questions about accessibility at Knole, please contact us on: 01732 462100 or knole@nationaltrust.org.uk.