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Kent: Winter and Christmas at National Trust properties with family trails and festive workshops

By Angela Cole

The National Trust has a range of festive treats on offer from this weekend. Here’s what you can choose from:

 

IGHTHAM MOTE, NEAR BOROUGH GREEN

Picture perfect Ightham Mote will hold its traditional Victorian Christmas and festive market on Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3.

 

A roaring fire at Ightham Mote.

A roaring fire at Ightham Mote.

Pick up presents and treats at the Christmas market from local businesses including handmade jewellery, artisan glassware and a range of pampering products. There’s also a chance for young visitors to see Father Christmas and his elves and to enjoy the Robin Redbreast garden trail and Christmas crafts.

In the courtyard, local singers will be performing traditional songs and carols, while the ground floor of the house will focus on Queen Palmer’s Victorian Christmas in 1887, a combination of English tradition with some authentic American touches from the lady of the house.

In the Great Hall, the fire is lit, the table is laid, and the presents are under the tree ready to welcome Queen’s husband, General William Jackson Palmer.

Young Lady in White by John Singer Sargent was painted at Ightham Mote Picture National Trust

Young Lady in White by John Singer Sargent was painted at Ightham Mote Picture: National Trust

 

Upstairs, visitors can see John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Queen’s eldest daughter, Elsie, A Young Lady in White, and another of his Ightham Mote paintings, A Game of Bowls.

General manager Bernadette Gillow said: “We are delighted to be able to offer our visitors a truly magical start to the festive season.”

The market, shop, Mote Cafe and gardens are open from 10am to 3.30pm. Visitors can see the house dressed for Christmas throughout December from 11am to 3pm.

 

KNOLE, SEVENOAKS

A Christmas deer trail runs from Saturday, December 2 to Wednesday, January 3, between 11am and 3pm, but not Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Young visitors can follow the trail and help Father Christmas deliver his presents through the courtyards and park – with a prize at the end. The trail costs £5 and is suitable for ages 10 and under. Details at nationaltrust.org.uk/knole.

Don't miss a chance to explore the 1,000-acre deer park at Knole this winter

Don't miss a chance to explore the 1,000-acre deer park at Knole this winter

There will also be Christmas crafts and workshops in the new learning centre, which is in the restored 17th century hayloft. Seasonal workshops include wreath making from Monday, December 4 to Friday, December 8 between 10am and 1pm, and spangled baubles on Saturday, December 16 and Sunday, December 17 between 10.30am and 12.30pm and between 1.30pm and 3.30pm. See nationaltrust.org.uk/knole

 

Crafts are on offer this winter with the National trust

Crafts are on offer this winter with the National trust

EMMETTS GARDEN, NEAR SEVENOAKS

The Boise family trail, which leads from the visitor centre, runs from Saturday, December 2 to New Year’s Day, between 10am and 4pm, but is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The trail costs £1 each and is suitable for up to age 11. Visit nationaltrust.org.uk/emmetts-garden.

 

SCOTNEY CASTLE, LAMBERHURST

A woodland wonderland comes to the castle from Saturday, December 2 to Thursday, January 4 between 10am and 4pm, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Follow a family Christmas trail among natural sculptures around the garden and make decorations to take home. It costs £2 per trail, with normal admission charges applying. Go to nationaltrust.org.uk/ scotney-castle.

The fairytale setting of Scotney Castle Picture NTPLJohn Miller

The fairytale setting of Scotney Castle Picture: NTPL/John Miller

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