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Christmas markets, crafts and events by the National Trust across Kent

Looking to escape the crowds this Christmas? Then head to a National Trust property across Kent, where there will be seasonal crafts, winter markets, food and frosty winter gardens, as well as intriguing stories to take your mind off the to-do lists and shopping. Here's our guide:

Christmas at Ightham Mote Picture: National Trust/John Miller
Christmas at Ightham Mote Picture: National Trust/John Miller

Chartwell, Sevenoaks

The house is the first to start its festive fun, on Thursday, November 21, opening its annual Christmas market for four days until Sunday, November 24. There will be stalls to browse and local products to choose from. The house itself is open on weekends from Saturday, December 7 to Sunday, December 2. There will be a trail in the house and outside a Twelve Days of Christmas around the garden daily. Head to the treehouse in the woods and pop to the Langmere Cafe to fuel up. Normal admission applies with the trail and lunch extra. Details at nationaltrust.org.uk/chartwell

Knole, Sevenoaks

The Great Hall will be decorated for Christmas, showing it in all its glory with a fire roaring and carol singing on Saturday afternoons from Saturday, November 30 to Saturday, December 21. Crafts include Christmas calligraphy; wreath and garland making and create a paper-cut Christmas decoration. The Tiger Who Came to Tea is also at Knole throughout the Christmas period in the Orangery, with tiger-themed activities including dressing up, storytelling and a trail around the grounds. There will also be a festive pop-up shop. Workshop and the trail are additional to normal admission. Details at nationaltrust.org.uk/knole

Wreath making at Knole
Wreath making at Knole

Ightham Mote, near Borough Green

Christmas at Ightham Mote gets off to a grand start with a festive opening weekend on Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1, when there will be a Christmas mini-market, Father Christmas is rumoured to be making a visit along with someone special for your canine friends, Santa Paws. Craft activities and festive music be on throughout the day and the ground floor of the house will be in its Christmas glory and open throughout December. Festive workshops will take place in early December, and there’s also a Victorian Christmas toys family trail in the garden and crafts in house daily. Normal admission applies, plus workshop and trails costs. More at nationaltrust.org.uk/ightham-mote

Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst

The house will be open and decorated for a traditional Victorian Christmas Eve with lights sparkling from Saturday, November 23. On selected dates, Father Christmas will be hosting storytelling and meet and greet sessions and there will be a Noah’s Ark trail in the garden. Wreath making workshops will be on Wednesday, November 27 and Saturday, November 30. Festive fun runs until Sunday, January 5. Normal admission applies. Details at nationaltrust.org.uk/scotney-castle

Visitors admiring the festive Christmas decorations at Knole Picture: National Trust/James Dobson
Visitors admiring the festive Christmas decorations at Knole Picture: National Trust/James Dobson

Sissinghurst Castle, Sissinghurst

The annual festive market takes place on Saturday, November 23 and Sunday, November 24 November, with local food, drink, crafts and produce available plus gifts and treats. There'll also be live entertainment on both days. Throughout December festive lunches are available in the Granary Restaurant using fresh produce from the vegetable garden and wreath making workshops are on Sunday, December 8 and Saturday, December 14. Visitors can also browse the International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) Sissinghurst Award exhibition in the Oast House until Thursday, January 2. Normal admission applies. Details at nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle

Emmetts Garden, Sevenoaks

Enjoy some family time on the Emmetts Magical Christmas Fairy trail from Saturday, November 30 to Monday, December 23. Children can run off some energy exploring the garden looking for the fairy doors and decorated trees until Sunday, January 5. Finish up at the café for a warming treat. Price: Normal admission applies. Trail priced separately. Book at nationaltrust.org.uk/emmetts-garden

Visitors at Knole
Visitors at Knole

Quebec House, Westerham

See the house decorated with natural greenery as it would have been in the Georgian era from Saturday, November 30. Join in the Georgian fun and play Hunt the Slipper around the house or try one of the free tastings for some truly festive flavours. Visitors can also write a festive message using the special ink and quill set. Normal admission applies, activities run at weekends until Monday, December 16. Details at nationaltrust.org.uk/quebec-house

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