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Kent February half term activities for outdoor fun and messy play at National Trust properties

By Angela Cole

It’s all about getting messy, muddy and back in touch with nature this half term – and creating special memories as a family.

Why not give nature a hand and try hedge planting at Scotney Castle or have a high-flying adventure on a hot air balloon-inspired trail at Emmetts Garden?

And while you’re out it’s good to know, your entry fees go towards helping the conservation charity care for those special places.

Half term this February at Ightham Mote Picture: National Trust
Half term this February at Ightham Mote Picture: National Trust

1. Emmetts Garden, Sevenoaks

The property at Ide Hill, Sevenoaks, is set to open early this year, offering a chance to pay a half term visit to Frederick Lubbock’s hidden retreat.
Visitors can discover the story of the inventor of Emmetts’ water pump on a new trail inspired by his other invention – the hot air balloon.
You can pick up a map and follow the paths around the garden and little ones can also let loose in the wild play area, hide in the tepee or try crafts in the discovery cabin.
The trail runs from Saturday, February 10 to Sunday, February 18, between 10am and 4pm. Normal admission charges apply, with an extra £1 per child for the trail.

Half term at the National Trust properties
Half term at the National Trust properties

2. Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst

Join the rangers on an interactive estate walk or have a go at hedge planting this school holiday. There’s also the chance to meet the artists who have been inspired by Scotney on a new trail, followed by creative fun afterwards with some art activities.
The trail, which is open daily during half term, costs £2 per child, plus the normal admission costs.

Let the kids run wild this half term Picture: National Trust
Let the kids run wild this half term Picture: National Trust

3. Ightham Mote, Borough Green

There’s a natural play area where young visitors can clamber and climb to their heart’s content. Pick up a winter activity pack that’s full of fun ideas and tips for playing outside.
You can also discover the classic Hans Christian Andersen story of the Elf Mound as they follow a trail around the garden.
The events are open daily during half term, between 10am and 4pm. The trail costs £1 and winter activity pack £2, plus normal admission charges apply.

4. Knole, Sevenoaks

There will be a workshop to create a birdhouse on Wednesday, February 14 and Thursday, February 15, which can be decorated with colourful paints – and, to make it homely for its future inhabitants, you can make a mossy nest inside.
Wrap the family up warm to explore the trails in the parkland, or, on Family Monday, on February 12, young visitors can make a bookmark or clay leaf dish inspired by Knole Park. Prices and times for sessions vary, so check the website to find out when to head there.

Knole House in Sevenoaks
Knole House in Sevenoaks

5. Chartwell, Westerham

There’s a bomb crater in the woodland to see, for those intrepid explorers, and when they’ve finished there, they can go wild in the outdoor play area.
Visitors can explore the gardens and woodland on a new trail inspired by Lady Clementine Churchill, wife of Sir Winston. Join Clemmie for a round of golf and discover more about her favourite sports and hobbies in the shadow of her former family home.
Events run daily during half term between 10am and 4pm. The trail is free, though there are normal admission costs.
It’s all about outdoor fun, though, as the house is closed at this time of year.


To find out the admission charges and more information about all the events on offer at half term, visit nationaltrust.org.uk

You can also call 0344 800189.

Get creative with the National Trust
Get creative with the National Trust

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