From giant The Snowman sculptures to enchanting storybook worlds and 1960s parties, Kent’s National Trust locations are making this Christmas one to remember.
See some of the county’s most stunning historic properties illuminated with festive lights, explore the grounds and gardens with family-friendly activity trails and stop off for a spot of lunch in a cosy cafe…
Step into a magical storybook Christmas recreated through the eyes of Winston Churchill and his daughter Mary Soames at their former family home. The historic house has been transformed into a 1930s time capsule with nods to Mary’s love of literature, including characters from children’s books in the Walled Garden. On weekends, there will be Christmas carols performed by local choirs and music groups outside between 2pm and 3pm.
Details: Saturday, November 25 to Saturday, December 23 at Chartwell in Westerham, near Sevenoaks. Standard admission applies, Christmas trail costs an additional £3. Book online here.
EMMETTS GARDEN, Sevenoaks
Inspired by the name Emmett, which comes from a local word for ant, these glorious gardens are putting on a unique Ant’s Christmas event over the festive season. There will be stunning willow sculptures spread out across the 19th century garden showing how ‘Anta Claus’ and his ant helpers are getting ready for Christmas. You can also look out for surprise characters and photo opportunities.
Details: Saturday, December 2 to New Year’s Eve at Emmetts Garden in Sevenoaks. Standard admission applies, Christmas trail costs an additional £2. Book online here.
IGHTHAM MOTE, Sevenoaks
Travel back in time and celebrate a Tudor Christmas with decorations, music and activities inspired by Ightham Mote’s historic past. There will be plenty to enjoy including traditional carols in the courtyard, late-night workshops, Tudor musicians and a dressing up box. In the evenings, there will also be twinkling lights and festive music, and visitors will even have the chance to meet Father Christmas.
Details: Saturday, November 18 to Sunday, January 7 at Ightham Mote in Sevenoaks. Standard admission applies, activities are included in the entry price. Book online here.
Discover 12 giant sculptures inspired by Raymond Briggs’ Christmas classic The Snowman, each with its own unique design created by contemporary artists, dotted around the parkland. Follow the trail and see how many snowmen you can spot before heading inside Knole’s Great Hall and admiring the festive decorations, including the roaring fire and traditional tree.
Details: The Snowman trail opens from Wednesday, November 15 to Sunday, January 7 and the Christmas decorations will be up from Saturday, November 18 to Saturday, December 23 at Knole in Sevenoaks. Standard admission applies, activities are included in the entry price. Book online here.
SCOTNEY CASTLE, Lamberhurst
Get into the party mood as Scotney Castle is throwing a Swinging Sixties celebration. The rooms will be decorated with glittering trees inspired by the flamboyance of the decade and rare items from the castle’s collection, such as Betty Hussey's original 1960s outfits and artwork by John Ward and John Piper. When it comes to the castle grounds, there is an outdoor children’s trail and illuminations on select evenings.
Details: Saturday, November 25 to New Year’s Day at Scotney Castle in Lamberhust, near Tunbridge Wells. Standard admission applies, activities are included in the entry price. Book online.