Discover great National Trust days out in Kent, Surrey & Sussex
Here at Mini Travellers we love National Trust days out! Did you know that they’re great for families and children? The National Trust has put children at the heart of a many of their properties, with lots to enjoy whatever your age.
From castles to landscaped gardens, there’s lots of choice for National Trust days out in Kent, Surrey & Sussex.
Bodiam Castle‘s towering walls and ruined interior offers a glimpse of 14th century splendour. There are often activities and volunteers in full character dress to immerse you into the history of the site.
Cathy, from Mummy Travels says:”It was just one of the many examples of the way the National Trust has made the castle quite so family-friendly. Yes, there’s plenty for adults on medieval life, history, its place in everything from the Wars of the Roses to the Second World War, but at every corner there’s something to entertain and educate kids too”
Read Cathy’s review of Bodiam Castle.
Box Hill offers an almost endless list of things to see and do. Kids can even borrow a kite or a tracker pack, which includes all the ingredients for little adventurers to explore the natural world around them.
Ting, from My Travel Monkey says: “During the year there are also particular events from sledging during snowfall, or you’re even able to borrow kites! Kids are encouraged to obtain ‘tracker packs’ to spot all the wonderful foliage and wildlife that is abundant in the area.”
Read Ting’s Box Hill review.
Chartwell was the home of Winston Churchill. He even build a small playhouse for his daughter which is open for children to visit, although there isn’t a miniature working aga now! There are also plenty of areas to play areas dotted around that will be sure to keep little ones occupied.
Gretta, from Mums Do Travel, says:”In another part of the woods is the Canadian Camp. Canadian soldiers were stationed here during WWII in order to guard Chartwell. One of their tasks was to camouflage the lakes and swimming pool with brushwood so that they couldn’t be identified from the air. The recreated Canadian Camp today has hammocks and a campfire and is great for kids to play in.”
Read Gretta’s review of Chartwell.
Claremont Landscape Garden
Claremont Landscape Garden has plenty of hidden surprises for children to discover and explore, just like the real Dukes and princesses who have played and visited there over the last 300 years.
Ting, from My Travel Monkey, says: “We then saw a trail leading to the Thatched Cottage and its Georgina Playroom. Set back in its own little area, Monkey headed straight inside to find lots of different activities from a dress up box of old costumes (Monkey refused to try any on!) to hobby horses, yo yos and wooden swords. They even had pretend rugs and wooden picnic food for children to play with”
Read Ting’s review of Claremont Landscape Gardens.
Dapdune Wharf has boat rides taking passengers on a 40 trip through the tranquil countryside. There is also plenty to see and do on land, with an old barge to explore and trails to discover.
Ting, from My Travel Monkey, says: “Dapdune Wharf is not only full of history about one of our oldest waterways, but it’s also a great day out. Monkey may have been too young to appreciate the facts, but nevertheless this picturesque area nestled in the centre of Guildford is alive with colour, and is a great starting point for exploring the River Wey”
Find out more about Ting’s visit to Dapdune Wharf.
Hatchlands Park has an adventure playground as well as huge spaces to wander, run and explore.
Donna, from What The Redhead Said, says: “After the adventure playground we followed the Sylvanian Families Nature Trail which had questions to answer and took you on a route through the woods. There were carved Sylvanian figures at different points and Little Man loved finding the signs as we went along”
Read Donna’s review of Hatchlands Park.
Ightham Mote always has something on offer to keep all members of the family happy, from meandering strolls to quizzes, trails and adventure playgrounds. There are usually extra activities on offer during the holidays too.
Emily, from Emily and Indiana, says: I think adding anything man made would spoil it. Indie loved jumping, climbing, exploring and even got muddy (much to her disgust haha). I think this is so much more fun for children, as they are free to use their imagination. There was no waiting for a swing or climbing up the slide. Indie just got stuck in, and when we finally encouraged her out, she left with a stick magic wand to carry on the fun”
Find out more about Emily’s day out at Ightham Mote.
Knole has over 1000 acres for visitors to explore. There are geocaches to discover, dens to build, wildlife to watch and trees to climb inside, yes inside!
Ting, from My Travel Monkey, says: “Top Tip: If you come to Knole on Mondays during school holidays, a wide range of family-friendly activities are on offer including arts and crafts suitable for ages five to 12. All these events are free”
Read Ting’s review of Knole Park.
Nymans has gardens and woods that are just waiting to be a family trail that takes you around the gardens and the woods has seasonal spotter activities for you to discover and enjoy.
Ting, from My Travel Monkey, says: “He then found a huge giant redwood, which we were all in awe of – craning our necks just to see the leaves, and then played hide ‘n’ seek in the topiary. We also made ‘tea’ in the Round House, a huge den that attracted several youngsters, not before running all the way to the Log Stepping Stones”
Find out more about Ting’s visit to Nymans.
Petworth House houses the National Trust’s finest art collection and during the holidays your children can become budding young artists with the many creative activities on offer. As well as the house, with kitchens that served 30,000 people in 1829, there is also 700 acres of deer park to explore. Bring your bikes if you want to see it all!
Ting, from My Travel Monkey, says: “Filled with ramblers, families, art lovers, history fans and dog walkers, Petworth Park has something for everyone. It would be impossible to feel claustrophobic wandering the grounds – there’s just so much space for all to enjoy”
Read Ting’s review of Petworth House.
Polesden Lacey is one of the National Trust’s most popular properties and it is easy to see why. Children will love spotting wildlife with the binoculars that are free to borrow. There is over 1400 acres to walk, so plenty of room for a picnic, and also an adventure playground for anyone who needs to burn off a bit more energy.
Ting, from My Travel Monkey, says: “Now that Monkey is older, he loves visiting the Squirrel’s Corner Adventure Play Area, which has a mini assault course with nets, stumps, tyres and climbing frames. And around the orchards there is a large chess board, plenty of picnic tables and best of all, plenty of places to get ice-cream”
Find out more about Ting’s day out at Polesden Lacey.
Scotney Castle is a great place to visit with children. There’s a buggy friendly nature trail with fallen trees to play on and a wilderness camp. A discovery room where children can see what the inside of a mole hole looks like. There’s also a trail that leads you through the estate to the working hop farm.
Ting, from My Travel Monkey says: “Our favourite part of the trip was just walking around the estate and soaking in the stunning views of the old castle surrounded by the glistening water”
Read Ting’s review of Scotney Castle.
Sheffield Park Gardens
Sheffield Park Gardens is a real family friendly property. The majority of paths are buggy friendly.
Kate, from LesBeMums says: ” The majority of the paths are flat (buggy friendly) and there’s a nice variety of grassland that disappears into hidden trails if you’re dog walking. I would also certainly have a picnic here”
Discover National Trust days out across the UK
To explore more great family days out, why not take a look at my guide to 100 Amazing National Trust Days Out with children across the UK.
This post on National Trust days out in Kent, Surrey & Sussex is part of my series on National Trust days out with children.