Weekend Visits to Knole
Knole is fortunate enough to sit amongst one of the most beautiful parks that Kent has to offer, but that does mean that it has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Busy days are becoming more frequent, particularly at the weekends and over school and bank holidays. Find out how to best plan your visit.
Ways to get to Knole
To avoid queuing on busy days we’d recommend using local transport links that take the stress out of driving. This is number one on our list, and also the most ecologically sound (we are a conservation charity after all). Sevenoaks train station is a mile from the entrance and there is a bus stop with regular buses to and from Sevenoaks School, located near the entrance gates. Visit our page on the Good Journey website, which will help you plan a car-free route.
We’re delighted to offer our visitors a FREE bus service on our busiest Sundays between Sevenoaks Station and Knole, stopping along the way at the Town Centre Bus Station and new Sevenoaks Town Centre car park. The Knole Shuttle bus service will run on school holiday Sundays on a continuous half hourly loop from 11am - 4.45pm. Find out more on our shuttle bus web page.
If you are planning to visit with friends and family, you could also consider car sharing - a fun and economical way to make your journey. Bicycles can also access Knole Park through the main and pedestrian entrances and cycle throughout, except on the golf course. Cycle racks can be found adjacent to the outdoor picnic area.
Our car park
We have about 300 parking spaces and during off-peak times this is enough to accommodate our visitors. However, in recent years the number of cars we have welcomed to Knole has increased, particularly on Sundays and bank holidays when the car park often gets full.
When are we busy?
Sundays, bank holidays and some school holidays (particularly when the weather is sunny) are always popular, and visits tend to peak between 11.30am and 2pm.
If you want a quieter visit, why not visit mid-week? If you are coming at the weekend, arriving earlier in the day or after 2pm can help avoid the queues. You can find out the opening times of the house, garden, estate, shops and catering outlets here.
What happens when it’s busy?
Staff and volunteers in the car park work hard to direct visitors and closely monitor the spaces that we have available. Closing the park is always a last resort and something we try to avoid.
When we do reach capacity, we put a message on the Knole website, then we close to vehicles for between 45 minutes to 1 hour to allow us to clear a block of spaces and avoid tailbacks onto the High Street. Once enough spaces are available, we can re-open.
When the park is closed, there will be signage at the entrance and a member of staff will be positioned on Sevenoaks High Street waving cars by to prevent a gridlock. It is not safe for vehicles to wait on the High Street until the park re-opens. It also causes major traffic disruption to the local area.
Alternative parking options
There are several public car parks in Sevenoaks, meaning you can enjoy a walk through the parkland to get here. Knole’s main entrance is a five-minute walk away from the town, or you can enter the park via Webbs Alley behind the High Street. The new, large Sevenoaks Town Car Park (sat nav postcode TN13 1LW) provides 480 parking spaces and is free on Sundays..
Why can’t we add extra car parking spaces?
We understand just how frustrating these problems can be for both our visitors and our local residents, but we are unable to build or expand the area as Knole’s 1,000 acres are a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Additionally, the National Trust only manages 100 of those acres, with Lord Sackville’s Knole Estate managing the remainder. In 2018 work was carried out to improve the ground conditions to the existing car park and to create identifiable segmented spaces.
National Trust is a conservation charity, so we need to make sure that any work we do is sensitive to this special place with its 600 years of history, and that our commitment to caring for land, outdoors and nature is at the heart of any decisions we make.
Inspired by Knole
We know that Knole is loved by our visitors, staff, volunteers and local residents for many reasons: the fascinating showrooms, views, events, conservation studio, wildlife and the parkland all included. We love all these things too - it’s a place to find inspiration, adventure and tranquility in equal measure. We want to keep those unique elements to Knole special and cause as little disruption to the house, landscape and wildlife as possible.
Thank you for helping us to ease congestion at Knole and in Sevenoaks.