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Kent

Find fairy tale castles, a treasure house fit for a king, the home of Churchill and a world-renowned garden dedicated to beauty. These are just some of Kent’s highlights along with spectacular coastline, ancient woodlands and rolling downs. Discover what to see and do in the Garden County of England.

Places to visit

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Top places to visit in Kent

Daffodils in the grounds at Chartwell on a sunny spring day, Kent
Place
Place

Chartwell 

Family home and garden of Sir Winston Churchill

Westerham, Kent

Fully open today
View of the house across the parkland at Knole, Kent
Place
Place

Knole 

Be part of a 400 year history of visiting Knole

Sevenoaks, Kent

Fully open today
The front range at Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Place
Place

Sissinghurst Castle Garden 

Historic, poetic, iconic: a refuge dedicated to beauty. Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson fell in love with Sissinghurst Castle and created a world-renowned garden.

near Cranbrook, Kent

Partially open today
Scotney old castle and moat in winter
Place
Place

Scotney Castle 

Romantic Picturesque garden with a 14th century moated castle and a Victorian country mansion - all in a beautiful wooded estate.

Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Partially open today
Blue sky over the half-timbered west front of Ightham Mote, a moat in the foreground
Place
Place

Ightham Mote 

Outstanding 14th-century moated manor house, gardens and estate

Sevenoaks, Kent

Partially open today
Image of visitor walking along the clifftop at the White Cliffs of Dover, Kent on a sunny day in August
Place
Place

The White Cliffs of Dover 

Magnificent coastal site overlooking the English Channel

Dover, Kent

Partially open today
Cherry blossom trees underplanted with tulips on the meadow at Emmetts Garden
Place
Place

Emmetts Garden 

Interesting hillside garden with year-round features

Sevenoaks, Kent

Fully open today

Top gardens to visit in Kent

Discover year-round interest in walled gardens, vegetable plots and borders – and one of the most famous gardens in the country.

A view over the misty garden at Ightham Mote manor house, complete with small bridge, pond and shrubbery

Winter highlights 

Explore rich evergreens at Emmetts Garden and garden water features at Chartwell and Ightham Mote. Keep your eyes peeled for the pure white of snowdrops as they begin to grow. Our gardens offer peace and tranquillity in the winter months. Wrap up warm and take in their structural beauty.

Apple blossom with the house in the background at Chartwell, Kent

Spring highlights 

Gardens in Kent burst into life in springtime. From sunshine-yellow daffodils at Sissinghurst Castle Garden, to beautiful blossom across the gardens at Chartwell and a sea of tulips at Emmetts Garden. The orchards are soon filled with fruit tree flowers, including heritage varieties in delicate pink and white. Magnolia trees are a particular favourite, lining the paths later in spring at Chartwell and Sissinghurst. Blue skies bring with them beautiful reflections in the lakes at Ightham Mote, whilst Scotney’s Flower Festival spreads spring cheer into the mansion house too. Discover more highlights for the spring season in Kent.

Autumn leaves in the foreground at Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst, Kent, with the ruins of the fourteenth-century moated castle in the distance

Autumn highlights 

With gardens filled with colour and orchards hanging low with fruit, autumn is a great time for a day out at National Trust places nearby. Catch late flowers in the Purple Border in early autumn at Sissinghurst, and breathe in the intoxicating scent of the Katsura Cercidiphyllum japonicum (toffee apple tree) near the North Lake at Ightham Mote. Dahlias and sunflowers continue to bloom in the early autumn sunshine at Chartwell. Later in the season, spot weird and wonderful mushrooms emerging at Emmetts Garden.

What's on in Kent

A large portrait of a man from the 18th century dressed lavishly is carried over to a wall to be re-hung in a historic house
Article
Article

Restored masterpiece at Knole 

A full-length portrait of John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset (1745-1799), gazes imperiously over the showrooms at Knole once more. After expert cleaning and conservation, visit Knole to see the eighteenth century masterpiece by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) in vivid colour and newly restored detail. Watch a short video to hear how expert conservators, including in the Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio at Knole, transformed the Duke back to glory.

A woman hangs a large watercolour painting of a buffalo onto a wood-panelled wall
Article
Article

Rare Jungle Book illustration at Bateman's 

An original illustration from 'The Jungle Book' has gone on display at Bateman’s, family home of the story's author Rudyard Kipling. The large watercolour is one of just four known to have survived from a set of 16 painted for the book by the Detmold twins. See more illustrations of the much-loved tale from around the world in a new display. Plus, browse illustrated story editions and hear a reading of the classic tale in our new cosy reading space.

Vita Sackville-West at the plain of Malamir (now called Izeh), Iran
Article
Article

A Persian Paradise Exhibition at Sissinghurst Castle Garden 

Love gifts collected by Vita Sackville-West from the ruins of the ancient palace of Persepolis in Persia (now modern-day Iran) are reunited for the first time in nearly a century at Sissinghurst Castle Garden. The pieces of sculpture were gifted by Vita to her lover Virginia Woolf and husband Harold Nicolson. They are part of a new exhibition revealing untold stories, unseen photos and personal mementoes from Vita and Harold’s time in 1920s Persia.

Mercury head found at Smallhythe
News
News

See 'incredibly rare' Roman finds at Smallhythe Place 

Roman finds have gone on display in the tearoom at Smallhythe. The head of a figurine of the god Mercury - one of less than 10 ever discovered from Roman Britain – was discovered during a dig there last summer. There are also tiles stamped with the mark of the Roman fleet (the Classis Britannica) and an intact pot, all dating from 1st to 3rd centuries AD. The discoveries were 'quite exceptional', says archaeologist Nathalie Cohen. In the main house, discover the story of Victorian actress Ellen Terry. Open Wed to Sun from 28 February.

What's on for families in Kent

Let little explorers loose in the outdoors. They'll love squelching in mud kitchens, scrambling across natural play areas and running free across open meadows at places like Chartwell, Knole and Sissinghurst Castle Garden.

A family of four walking across the grass parkland at Knole in Kent looking for clues on a family trail activity

Family-friendly places in Kent 

Find inspiration for your next family day out in Kent, with nature-themed activities ranging from spotting fish to bug hotels.

Visitors on an Easter egg trail

Easter egg hunts in Kent 

Plan ahead for an Easter adventure at National Trust places in and around Kent. Take part in family-friendly activities and trails, make your own Easter discoveries and collect your chocolate egg at the end.

Castles and forts in Kent

Scotney old castle and moat in winter
Place
Place

Scotney Castle 

Romantic Picturesque garden with a 14th century moated castle and a Victorian country mansion - all in a beautiful wooded estate.

Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Partially open today
Woodland pathway through Oldbury Hill, Kent
Place
Place

Oldbury Hill 

Discover the remains of an Iron Age hill fort

Ightham, Kent

Fully open today

Coast in Kent

The Kent coast is home to towering chalk cliffs and grass downland teeming with wildlife. Pack your binoculars and get ready to take in some fantastic views.

Image of visitor walking along the clifftop at the White Cliffs of Dover, Kent on a sunny day in August
Place
Place

The White Cliffs of Dover 

Magnificent coastal site overlooking the English Channel

Dover, Kent

Partially open today
A man and a child are walking a black-and-white dog through a grassy field towards South Foreland Lighthouse, Kent. The lighthouse is painted white and stands against a grey cloud that's hanging in the sky.
Place
Place

South Foreland Lighthouse 

Striking and historical lighthouse high on The White Cliffs of Dover

Dover, Kent

Closed now

Outdoor activities in Kent

A cyclist enjoying a ride along a leafy lane in the Kent countryside
Activity
Activity

Cycling, riding and running at Toys Hill 

With a network of bridleways, there are plenty of ways to explore Toys Hill including horse riding, mountain biking, road cycling and running on a 6km Run England route.

Spring sun through the trees at Toys Hill, Kent
Activity
Activity

Walking at Toys Hill 

Discover lots of walking routes, points of historical interest and wide-ranging views at one of Octavia Hill’s favourite places. Visit to see the landscape that inspired her.

Places to stay in Kent

The exterior of 2 Bettenham Cottages, Kent

2 Bettenham Cottages 

Immerse yourself in rolling farmland and peaceful countryside. This cosy cottage is the perfect getaway for friends, family and one well-behaved dog.

The exterior of Priest's House, Kent

Priest's House 

Sitting on the edge of Sissinghurst Castle’s gardens, this is the perfect spot for garden lovers.

Sustainable travel

Whether you're looking to travel by train or bus. Plan your visit using greener travel options.

Bicycle leaning against a wall at Ightham Mote, Kent.
Article
Article

Sustainable travel in Kent 

There are a number of sustainable travel options for travelling to and from the places in our care in Kent, whether you're looking to travel by train or bus.

A woman cycling uphill on a road with grass banks either side.
Article
Article

Sustainable travel in Sussex 

There are a number of sustainable travel options for travelling to and from the places in our care in Sussex, whether you're looking to travel by train, bus, bike or foot.

Upcoming events

Event

Animals of Ightham Trail 

Ightham Mote, Sevenoaks, Kent

Can you spot all the animals hiding in our garden?

Event summary

on
27 Feb to 17 Mar 2024
at
10:00 to 16:00
+ 19 other dates or times
Event

Pooch Passport 

Scotney Castle, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Enjoy fresh air, great walks and free dog treats - at Scotney Castle and 18 other National Trust properties across London and the South East.

Event summary

on
27 Feb to 29 Feb 2024
at
10:00 to 16:00
+ 2 other dates or times
Event

Old Castle tours: Behind-the-scenes at Scotney 

Scotney Castle, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Discover the secrets of the castle with these rare behind-the scenes tours of Scotney's old castle.

Event summary

on
27 Feb to 29 Feb 2024
at
10:30 to 11:15
+ 8 other dates or times
Event

A Persian Paradise exhibition (Until 19 May) 

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, near Cranbrook, Kent

An immersive exhibition that reveals the travels and inspirations of Vita and Harold in 1920s Iran. Now extended until 19 May.

Event summary

on
27 Feb to 19 May 2024
at
11:00 to 15:30
+ 82 other dates or times
Event

Chartwell Highlight Tours: Clementine Churchill 

Chartwell, Westerham, Kent

Join one of our expert volunteer guides on an intimate tour of select rooms in the house at Chartwell, focusing on Clementine Churchill.

Event summary

on
27 Feb to 26 Apr 2024
at
16:10 to 17:00
+ 41 other dates or times
Event

Tree Planting Days 

Ightham Mote, Sevenoaks, Kent

Lend a hand planting trees at Ightham Mote

Event summary

on
28 Feb 2024
at
09:00 to 15:30
Event

Attic tours 

Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent

Hidden above the showrooms lie Knole's attics. Join a behind the scenes tour to explore these spaces and see a different side to Knole.

Event summary

on
28 Feb to 14 Dec 2024
at
11:30 to 12:15
+ 125 other dates or times
Event

Westerham and the Foundling Hospital 

Quebec House, Westerham, Kent

Discover the history of the Foundling Hospital in Westerham through free talks at Quebec House.

Event summary

on
1 Mar to 29 Mar 2024
at
10:00 to 10:30
+ 12 other dates or times
Family walking down the main drive with lady in a tramper at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire - CTA crop only

Where will you visit next?

Discover lots of gardens, historic houses, days out at the coast and more.