Ightham Mote National Trust
near Canterbury, Kent
Average time spent – 3 hours.
Things to do at Ightham Mote review
Ightham Mote, a National Trust property near Sevenoaks in Kent, is one of the oldest surviving medieval manor houses in England, complete with its own moat. There is plenty to keep families occupied both inside the house and in the grounds, and you can easily spend 3 hours here on a dry day.
Inside The House: The house is a wonderful medley of different eras, which is great fun to explore, from the medieval Great Hall to the Tudor chapel, Victorian billiards room and 1950’s style library.
For younger children, there is an ‘I-Spy’ game available, with pictures of items inside the house which they have to spot as they go through the various rooms. This proved very popular with the kids when we visited, and to be perfectly honest, the grown-ups enjoyed helping out with the trickier items to spot as well! The various volunteers dotted throughout the house were very informative and enjoyed interacting with the children as well, meaning they thoroughly enjoyed their visit.
Around the grounds: There’s plenty of space for young children to burn off some energy in the fourteen acres of beautiful gardens around Ightham Mote, although they will need close supervision due to the various areas of open water.
The expansive lawn at the front of the house has room for running, while kids will love exploring the apple orchard and the ‘secret garden’ feel of the Enclosed Garden. Discover ponds, a herb and cut flower garden, ornamental lake and borders full of beautiful flower displays. Most importantly, there is a “natural play area” complete with dens, stepping stones, balance beams and more, which children will love.
In places, the garden is quite steep so although there is access for pushchairs, you might not find it practical to take your buggy everywhere.
There is also a shop and plant centre on-site selling everything from food and drink to books, homeware and souvenirs of the house and grounds. You can even buy a mug with the same design as the wallpaper in the Drawing Room!
Covid 19 – Please check the website or social media of an attraction before visiting. Many places may be open differently and some remain closed. Reviews do not mention all of these changes or possible price changes. Most places now require you to pre-book online in advance.
Important Information Ightham Mote
Eating – The Mote Cafe offers hot and cold food and very tasty scones. Children’s lunch boxes are also available. On a fine day, the grounds are perfect for a picnic, and you’re guaranteed to find a secluded spot somewhere picturesque.
Facilities in brief – Medieval manor house with a moat, family-friendly trails, gardens with a natural play area. There are toilets and a cafe.
Entry price – *FREE or Mid-range.
*Prices are subject to change and/or discounts online. *FREE to members of the National Trust or Mid-range. An adult standard ticket is £8 and £4 for a child. Other pricing options are available. Parking is free.
Opening: The grounds are open almost all year round, although the house currently remains closed. For up to date opening times and dates please follow this link.
Dog friendly? Assistance dogs only in our garden and indoor spaces, including the mansion, shop and indoor catering. All dogs are welcome in their extensive woodland and estate.
Address: Mote Rd, Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks TN15 0NT, Kent, England. Phone: 01732 810378
Guest post with thanks to Mairead Claydon from the Sickly Mama
Category – Historic House – Indoors and outdoors – suitable for all ages.
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