Castles and stately homes with Christmas events in Kent 2021

Festive decoration in the Library at Scotney Castle, Kent

Festive decoration in the Library at Scotney Castle, Kent - Credit: © National Trust Images/John Mill

This festive season in Kent, explore the Christmas of yesteryear in decadently decorated stately homes and castles or enjoy a brisk winter walk while taking part in a Christmas themed adventure trail.

Scotney Castle

Be enchanted by the magical Scotney Castle this Christmas. The mansion's ground floor will be decorated as if you have stepped back in time to Christmas Eve in the Edwardian Era. The scene is set after an annual Christmas ball where the tree glistens, and unwrapped presents lay patiently waiting. These rooms will be open from 27th November to 3rd January with regular admissions applying.

Also, be sure to treat yourself to a 3-course festive lunch at the Coach House Tea Room on weekdays between 29th November and 22nd December for £25.95. Booking in advance is essential.

Where: Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells TN3 8JN

When: From Saturday 27th November 2021 to Monday 3rd January 2022

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Christmas Tree with wrapped Christmas gifts underneath

Traditional decorations adorn the Christmas tree and wrapped Christmas gifts wait beneath - Credit: National Trust

Dover Castle 

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Embark on a festive adventure trail with the family at Dover Castle this Christmas. You'll uncover clues hidden around the grounds that will help you uncover fun facts and Christmas folklore and traditions.

Where: Castle Hill Rd, Dover CT16 1HU

When: Wednesday 27th November 2021 to Sunday 2nd January 2022

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Emmetts Garden

Get the whole family to join Percy the Park Keeper and his cute and cuddly animal friends on the winter trail at Emmetts Garden. Throughout December, this fun-packed self-guided tour will get you playing games, looking out for nature and completing activities.

Where: Ide Hill, Sevenoaks TN14 6BA

When: From Saturday 4th December to Sunday 2nd January 

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The house at Chartwell closes over the winter, but on selected dates, you can step inside and discover rooms decorated how they would have been in 1946 when the Churchill's returned to their beloved estate for the first time since the end of WWII. The rooms will be open on weekends on the following dates: 4th and 5th, 11th and 12th, 18th and 19th of December.

Meanwhile, throughout the whole of December, you can gather the family for a winter trail inspired by Bottlescape, a famous painting by Sir Winston Churchill. The aim is to hunt down all the bottles holding special ingredients that will reveal a traditional Christmas recipe!

Where: Mapleton Rd, Westerham TN16 1PS

When: Trail runs between Saturday 27th November 2021 and Thursday 2nd January 2022, and the property will be open at weekends only between Saturday 4th December and Sunday 19th December 2021.

More information including pricing:

Ightham Mote

Stock up on artisanal goods from local craftspeople at the mini-market taking place over the weekend of 4th and 5th December. Take the opportunity to step inside the medieval era property to discover a Victorian Christmas in the Great Hall and the library decorated to reflect a New England style Christmas. 

There will also be a Percy the Park Keeper trail at Ightham Mote like many other National Trust sites this winter.

Where: Mote Rd, Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks TN15 0NT

When: Saturday 4th December 2021 to Monday 3rd January 2022

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Christmas at Ightham Mote, Kent. Ightham Mote is a medieval, moated manor house.

Christmas at Ightham Mote, Kent. Ightham Mote is a medieval, moated manor house. - Credit: ©National Trust Images/John Mill

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Step inside the cosy library and south cottage at Sissinghurst Castle Garden to experience how novelist and gardener Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold would have spent Christmas. You will also discover the couples festive gift-giving process and then have the chance to hang a note on the Sissinghurst Christmas giving tree saying what you're gifting this Christmas. 

Don't miss the annual festive market taking place over the weekend of the 27th and 28th November, where you can sample delicious food and drink, browse crafts and produce and enjoy live performances.

Where: Biddenden Rd, Cranbrook TN17 2AB

When: Various dates From 1st November

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This Christmas, nature-inspired decorations will adorn the property at Knole. Also, the Ballroom, Reynolds Room and Cartoon Gallery will be open and ready to explore during the festive period for the first time this year. 

There will also be a Christmas deer trail in the historic parklands; explorers need to find clues, the Christmas Deer and then have the opportunity to claim a cuddly prize at the end! And if that isn't enough Deer fun for you, there is a winter Deer feeding session on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th December.

Where: Knole House, Sevenoaks TN15 0RP

When: Various dates from Saturday 27th November 2021

More information including pricing:

Leeds Castle 

There is so much going on at Leeds Castle this Christmas, from festive murder mystery tours to the annual late-night Christmas shopping soiree and scrumptious Christmas dining experiences. 

Where: Broomfield, Maidstone ME17 1PL

When: Various dates from Friday 18th November to Saturday 18th December 2021

More information including pricing:

Celebrate the Christmas season with a festive dining experience in the beautiful 17th Century oak-beamed Fairfax Hall

Celebrate the Christmas season with a festive dining experience in the beautiful 17th Century oak-beamed Fairfax Hall - Credit: Leeds Castle

Read more of the best Kent Christmas Content here:

Magical Christmas markets in Kent 2021

3 magical winter wonderland light trails to enjoy in Kent

Where to go for Christmas Dinner in Kent 2021

Where to get a real Christmas tree in Kent in 2021