We’ve been members of the National Trust for just over a year but never visited Ightham Mote before
Despite the fact that it is about a fifteen minute drive away. I know, ridiculous!
My mum bought us membership for Christmas 2017 and we visited Knole, Chartwell, Emmetts and Scotney Castle. As we hadn’t been to Ightham Mote before we thought we’d try it. I’m so glad we did, it is actually now my favourite. We were very lucky with the weather too, it was a beautiful, sunny day.
Ightham Mote is a 14th Century moated manor house, with vast gardens
It is quite steep in places but there is a little shuttle bus for less able visitors.
Our first stop was the Cafe, it
usually always is. This way the kids can fill up on cake and wear it off afterwards. Plus it stops them pestering to go all day.
The cafe is a really nice, relaxing setting. There are tables and chairs inside and out. The outdoor area has plenty of shade under umbrellas. The amount of seating was more than adequate but I can imagine it’s very busy in the summer months.
National Trust cake is the stuff of legend in my humble opinion and, trust me, I know cake!
I usually opt for a cream tea but always end up sharing. At Ightham Mote we were gifted refreshments for this review so I took the chance to partake in 4 different cakes! We had a cream tea, Victoria sponge, carrot cake and coffee and walnut. All absolutely fabulous and they were large slices!
After our refreshments we went to explore what Ightham Mote has to offer
As we went in the beginning of spring the daffodils and crocus were starting to flower.
There is as much of a walk as you want to do. The main entrance and cafe is nearest the house (although it is a bit of a steep walk). You only have a long walk if you want to do the full round of the grounds.
The gardens at Ightham Mote, as all National Trust properties we have visited, are very well maintained. I love the fact that most have vegetable patches. They are great to educate children about where their food comes from and how it looks as it grows.
It’s worth mentioning that there is a lot of water at Ightham Mote so you need to keep an eye on little ones.
There is a vast area by the stream that can be used for picnics. I am sure we will be heading over with a picnic in the summer. You could easily spend a whole day there.
The play area at Ightham Mote is set around the river
If the children (or adults) like a paddle make sure they take wellies so they can make the most of it. At the play area there is a bridge to cross and dams to build.
What I really like about the National Trust play areas is that they are all natural. They have musical instruments, forts, toadstools to sit on and much more. Some have dressing up boxes and tents too. Everything to keep children entertained and encourage imaginative play.
Something that really stuck out about Ightham Mote was how lovely all the staff and volunteers were
Other properties we have visited have been less cheerful and forthcoming, whereas everyone here was lovely. Big shout out to John in the cafe who was cheerful despite having a huge queue!
Ightham Mote is now my favourite National Trust property
There is something truly magical about the space. It feels very calming. We will certainly be going back soon!
For other reviews of days out in and around Sevenoaks check here
*We were given refreshments free of charge but we have National Trust family membership (courtesy of my mum!). All opinions are my own
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