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Family-friendly visits to Knole this winter

A family admires a Christmas tree in the Orangery at Knole, Kent, with orange and silver baubles and a dried orange slice decoration
A family admires a Christmas tree at Knole, Kent | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

There are plenty of things for families to enjoy on a visit to Knole. Try a walk in the parkland and see if you can find all the sculptures on the Walking with The Snowman™ trail, or enjoy festive decorations in the showrooms and Gatehouse Tower. There's also a bookshop with an area dedicated to children's books, toys and games, and a cafe where you can get drinks, snacks and lunch.

Planning your visit

How to get here

Pre-booking is essential if you wish to use the National Trust car park during your visit to Knole at weekends and during school holidays.

The car park is for National Trust members and paying visitors who wish to visit the National Trust element of Knole, and therefore admission is charged per person at the Gatebox. If you just wish to use the parkland then alternative parking is available in Sevenoaks town.

Please use postcode TN13 1HX to get to the main entrance to Knole by car.

Family facilities

  • Toilets are located in Green Court and in Conservation Studio building near to Brewhouse Cafe. There are baby changing facilities in both of these locations also.
  • There is an enclosed picnic area near the car park.
  • There are lifts available in the bookshop, gift shop and Conservation Studio building. There is step-free access to the Visitor Centre, Brewhouse Cafe and toilets.
  • Pushchairs and buggies are not permitted in the showrooms or Gatehouse Tower.
  • There are lockers available for storing large bags. Please ask in the Visitor Centre.
  • Dogs are allowed in the courtyard but not in the indoor spaces, including the showrooms, cafe and shops. Assistance dogs are welcome throughout the property. Dogs must be on a lead at all times, including in the parkland.
  • There are some hard-standing paths in the parkland, but the rest of the park is rough and uneven ground and can get muddy in wet weather. If walking in the park please keep away from the deer, espeically if you have children with you.
  • If you’re not sure where to start exploring or don’t know Knole Park very well, why not try one of the suggested walking routes? These colour coded routes start from the front of the house and range from 4-5km each. They are sign-posted and take 50-75 minutes to complete. They are mainly across rough, undulating ground, so not suited to those with mobility issues. The red walk is best suited for visitors with sturdy pushchairs. These routes have been agreed with the park’s landowner, Knole Estate, and follow routes safely away from the golf course. For those looking for a route on hard-standing paths in the park, there are a few options but many of these cross the golf course so please take care if using them. Take a look at the maps displayed outside the Brewhouse Café and by the picnic area before you set off to choose a path that suits you. Alternatively, call in to the Visitor Centre to ask for advice.

Christmas at Knole

Christmas is a magical time of year at Knole where you can enjoy some festive cheer. Discover 12 giant The Snowman™ sculptures in the parkland and courtyards, sparkling Christmas trees in the showrooms, wintry walks in the parkland and plenty of shopping opportunities. For more information visit our Christmas webpage.

Explore the historic showrooms and collection

For the last 400 years, the showrooms have been open to visitors rather than inhabited as family rooms. Discover fascinating portraits, textiles, furniture and objects including Stuart-era beds, chairs and tapestries as you make your way from the Great Hall, up a grand painted stiarcase and on into galleries, bedrooms and a ballroom. Some of the showrooms are closed for winter cleaning and conservation, but the following are still open until Saturday 23 December: Great Hall, ballroom, Reynolds Room, Cartoon Gallery, and King's Room.

Continue your journey around Knole and climb the spiral stairs in the Gatehouse Tower for panoramic views of the parkland. On the climb up you can discover the life and loves of former resident, Eddy Sackville-West and see some rooms as Eddy would have lived in them in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio

The Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio at Knole is open Wednesdays to Saturdays from 11am. This is a great opportunity to see the team of expert conservators working on precious and historic items. There are also interactive displays giving you the chance to explore the materials, tools and techniques used in conservation work. When the studio is open, volunteers are on-hand to answer questions and share stories about objects being conserved.

The Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio

Take a stroll around Knole Park

After a visit to Knole House, why not take a stroll around the park? There are hard standing paths and walking routes of different lengths you can follow - pick up a map from the Visitor Centre or look for the boards situated on the National Trust managed areas of the parkland. Enjoy watching the deer from a distance but please do not approach, pet or feed them. Be aware of golfers as some paths do cross the golf course. Please also be aware that the park becomes muddy after rain.

Eating and shopping

The Brewhouse Cafe

Take a walk to the Brewhouse Cafe for lunch or a snack, and choose from a delicious selection of drinks and cakes. There is covered seating available both inside or outside, or enjoy views of Knole Park from the terrace. Highchairs are available on a first-come first-served basis.

The Little Green Truck Co

We are pleased to announce that The Little Green Truck Com will be at Knole at weekends throughout December. They'll be offering take-away hot and cold drinks, cakes and snacks. You can find them out of the front of Knole House from 11am-3pm on the following dates:

Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December
Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 December
Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December
Saturday 23 December

Shopping at Knole

In the bookshop you'll find a wide selection of new books on gardening, cooking, history, notable figures from Knole's past, nature and the local area. Alongside titles on art history, artists and paintings, you'll find books on how to create you own masterpieces as well as inspiration for budding young artists who want to unleash their creativity. There is also a range of art materials, including watercolour paints, charcoal, pencils and sketch pads. For younger visitors, there's a dedicated section just for children to enjoy. From children’s classics, picture books and sticker books to fact and fiction and current bestsellers, there's sure to be something to keep active minds engaged for a few hours. There are also some pocket money toys to choose from, jigsaws and souvenirs.

We also have a gift shop seling home and fashion accessories, sweets, biscuits, jams, curds and more. For the perfect memento of your visit to Knole, there are pens, pencils, notepads, bookmarks, puzzles, boxes of biscuits and guidebooks to choose to take home with you.

Whatever you buy, every purchase is helping to conserve Knole and help us carry out essential work to preserve the collection.

Area of the Bookshop at Knole in Kent, with children's books, toys and activities.
Children's area of the Bookshop at Knole in Kent | © National Trust / Ivan Jones
A family of four walking across the grass parkland at Knole in Kent looking for clues on a family trail activity

Book your visit

We recommend that you book tickets to visit Knole. You can book tickets up to an hour before your visit (subject to availability). Every Thursday time slots will be available for the next four weeks.

The wood panelled Brown Gallery at Knole in Kent, lined with rows of 16th and 17th century gold framed oil portraits and a collection of early English furniture set in a row underneath

Booking your visit to Knole 

Pre-booking is essential at weekends and during school holidays. Find out how to pre-book your visit to Knole as well as how to purchase tickets for tours of Knole’s attic spaces and access to Lord Sackville’s private garden.

Christmas tree in the ballroom at Knole

Knole at Christmas 

There are giant sculptures and sparkling trees in historic rooms to discover at Knole this Christmas.

An aerial view of the estate at Knole with the house sat at the centre surrounded by parkland and trees

Explore the park at Knole 

The parkland at Knole is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), covering 1,000 acres of trees, undulating valleys, open parkland and is home to a herd of wild deer.