Spring at Smallhythe Place

Girl playing amongst daffodils in the gardens at Smallhythe Place

In its spring glory, there is a lot to discover at Smallhythe Place. The carpet of primroses and bluebells are a colourful backdrop to our blossoming gardens and newly installed exhibitions.

Wander through the orchards towards a sea of floral vibrancy and hear the garden buzzing with wildlife. Spring bulbs are surfacing around the ponds and pale pink and white apple blossom litter the grounds.


New exhibitions

Kent Wildlife Trust Photography Exhibition

This free exhibition is a celebration of Kent’s wildlife. Photographers far and wide have captured the best the county has to offer, from fauna and flora, to landscapes, coastlines and people. Now the 15 winning images from the 2018 Kent Wildlife Trust Photography Competition are being showcased at Smallhythe Place, on display until 31st March.

Click here for opening times.

Winter sunset on Darland Banks
C3 Landscape 3rd - Winter sunset on Darland Banks - Nigel Leonard
Winter sunset on Darland Banks

The Gift of Smallhythe Place

In 2019 we will be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the creation of the Museum and the 80th anniversary of it being bequeathed to the National Trust by Edith Craig. Edith Craig had created a shrine in memory of her famous mother the great Victorian Actress Ellen Terry but her artistic temperament and lack of business sense proved something of a disaster. We look at the stories behind the creation of the Museum, the Theatre and its eventful journey to the National Trust.

Find out more here.

The Ellen Terry logo

Spring activities for children

Tick off some of your '50 Things' activities at Smallhythe Place this spring. Here are some of our favourite:

#1 Get to know a tree - wander through the apple orchard and nuttery and find your favourite tree. Can you guess how old it is? What colour are its leaves? What makes this one different to the others in the garden?

#13 Make a mud creation - find a muddle puddle or bank and build a mini sculpture.

#17 Set up a snail race - in damn dark areas of the garden, can you find some shiny shelled friends to race?

#18 Create some wild art - go foraging for fallen petals from our apple blossom trees, acorns from the oak trees and greenery and twigs from our hedges. What masterpiece can you create from bits around the garden?

#22 Find some funky fungi - they like to shelter from the sunlight in cool, damp ground, will you find any on your nature quest around Smallhythe?

#31 Make friends with a bug - our bug hotels, log piles and rockeries are a great place to hunt for bugs and hold a scary beast. How many will you find on your nature hunt around the garden?

#35 Discover what's in the pond - explore the banks of our recently rejuvenated pond. Full of life and colour, it's the perfect spot for all sorts of wildlife to bask in the sun or make a home. Why not make a list of all the wildlife you see there today?

#44 Watch a bird - follow our resident swallows swooping in and out of the Theatre Tea-room and across the bright spring skies. You can also watch them feed their hatchlings and peak inside their nest on our new wildlife camera in the Tea-room.

Children playing by the pond

Performances in the Barn Theatre

We have a whole host of shows and talks taking place in the Theatre. From April to October the walls of the Barn echo with the words of actors and the applause of the audience. Join us for an evening of theatre in this unique venue, bring a picnic or treat yourself to something tasty from the Theatre Tea-room before the show begins. Discover whats on and book your tickets here.

The Ellen Terry Memorial Barn Theatre
The Barn Theatre at Smallhythe Place, the home of actress Ellen Terry from 1899 to 1928 at Tenterden, Kent
The Ellen Terry Memorial Barn Theatre

Explore Smallhythe's History with our Kids Quizzes

Smallhythe Place is full of hidden secrets, history and unique artefacts. Grab one of our House quizzes or nature worksheets from Visitor Reception and see what you can learn as you explore the house and grounds. For our littler visitors we have an interactive spot sheet, let your young ones lead you around the rooms and see what they can find.

Two young boys filling out the property quiz at Smallhythe Place

Why not get out and about this spring? With something for everyone, it's the perfect time to explore.