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Accessibility at Chartwell

A volunteer guide talking to a visitor in a wheelchair in the garden at Chartwell, Kent
A volunteer talks with a visitor in Chartwell's garden, Kent | © National Trust Images / Ian Shaw

Chartwell is located on a hillside, meaning some visitors may have difficulty navigating certain areas. We've listed a few important points below in relation to access at Chartwell to help you plan your visit. A full access statement can be downloaded on the homepage.

Mobility bus and car parking

The car park is 250 metres from the house with access via a steep uphill path and 24 shallow steps. For those unable to negotiate steps we run a mobility bus, which has a manual wheelchair tailgate lift, from the car park to the front of the house.

Unfortunately, the mobility bus cannot accommodate mobility scooters or electric wheelchairs. The mobility bus is run by volunteers and although we try to provide this service everyday there may be days when it is not running.

For days when the mobility bus isn't running, we do allow visitors to drive their car to the front of the house to drop off any visitors with access needs and then return to the car park to park. Coaches are unable to drive and drop to the house due to the size of the entrance gates.

Please check at the Visitor Centre or call 01732 868381 on the day for the most up to date information about the mobility bus.

Mobility bus

This is a volunteer-run service and we recommend phoning on the day to check availability.

House access

Due to the layout of the house the Sitting Room, Drawing Room, Hall and Library on the ground floor of the house are accessible via wheelchair. For those able to use stairs we have a wheelchair available on the second floor of the house for wheelchair access to Lady Churchill's Bedroom, the Ante Room, landing, Museum Room, Uniform Room and Study. There is then another set of stairs down to the entrance.

Keeping you safe

For the safety of all our visitors in the case of an emergency it is necessary for us to restrict the number of wheelchairs in the house. We can welcome two wheelchairs in the house at once; one upstairs and one downstairs (access to top floor is by stairs only). Please be aware there may be a wait to use the wheelchair on the second floor if that wheelchair is already being occupied by another visitor.

Please note, there may be a delay on your timed entry into the house on our busiest days. For a quieter visit, we recommend avoiding weekends and Bank Holidays. We are usually quietest Monday to Friday during school term time, particularly after 3pm.

Virtual house tour

A virtual House tour is available in the Sitting Room and in the Visitor Centre.

Garden access

Due to the hillside nature of the property, the gardens can be difficult for wheelchair users to access fully.

There is a wheelchair accessible route from the front entrance of the house to a viewpoint overlooking the Walled Garden. There is also a wheelchair accessible route from the Visitor Centre, through the garden to the Lawn Terrace at the back of the house, affording views across the Weald of Kent.

Studio access

The studio has an accessible entrance. The route to the studio is step free but wheelchair users should be prepared to go across a grassy slope, or down a steep, hard surface path to reach it from the Lawn Terrace.

Shop and café

The Shop and Café are accessible from the upper level of the car park where there are additional designated parking bays, or from the ramped area to the left-hand side of the shop area.

There is a lift from the ground floor of the restaurant to the Mulberry Room (used for catering functions and overflow seating) and an accessible toilet.

Manual wheelchairs

A limited number of manual wheelchairs are available to borrow from the Visitor Centre. We are unable to take bookings and wheelchairs are available on a first come, first served basis.

Electric and power wheelchairs

For any visitors in an electrical wheelchair who are unable to transfer to a manual wheelchair we do allow drivers to drop off visitors with access needs outside the house before returning to park in the car park.

Please read the full access statement on the homepage for measurements of space in the rooms. It is the responsibility of all our visitors to be aware of their surroundings and other visitors.

Do let us know ahead of your visit on 01732 868381 if any in your party are visiting in an electric wheelchair and we will help as best we can to ensure a smooth visit whilst maintaining the safety of our visitors and the security of our collection.

Please note, we are unable to allow mobility scooters into the house.


Visually impaired and braille guides

Braille and visually impaired guides are available on request at the House and Visitor Centre.

Please let us know ahead of your visit on 01732 868381 if you will require one of the guides and we may be able to prepare added content from our handling collection to support you on your visit.

Easy-read guides

Easy-read guides are avaliable for visitors to borrow, please ask at the Visitor Centre.

Foreign language guides

Foreign language guides are available for visitors to borrow. Please call us on 01732 868381 so that we can check availability ahead of your visit.

A long view of the red brick house at Chartwell in Kent with a sweeping lawn running up to the terrace of the house and trees surrounding the grounds

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