Chartwell, a stunning house surrounded by hillside gardens, lakes, a miniature playhouse and wooded trails, is the former family home of Sir Winston Churchill. You can take the daily guided tour through the gardens or explore them at your own pace discovering its delights as you go. The house remains much as it was when Churchill lived there with wonderful exhibits throughout.
MUMMY’S GIN FUND SAYS:
Chartwell is a wonderful place for families to explore. Start with a cream tea in the child friendly cafe complete with high chairs and children’s lunch boxes and then wander into the stunning grounds of Churchill’s former residence. You walk into a magical place with babbling brooks, waterfalls, ponds (yes, you will have to watch the little ones!) and plenty of spaces to make dens or play hide and seek. The paths take you naturally through the grounds towards the small children’s house, which is set up with wooden toys including; cooker, play food, tables and chairs and a children’s lawn mower to do the gardening! Walk through the hillside garden towards the large lake complete with its own frog statue and arrive at the magical swings dotted about the grounds, hanging from the enormous trees. Head into the woods to do some den building and climb the ropes in the bomb crater! There are regular fun things to do for the children, for instance we visited for Halloween and were taken on the ‘spooky trail’, which the children loved. In the summer, there is an ice cream van in the grounds to lure the children away from their adventures and help them on their way home.
Address: Mapleton Road, Westerham TN16 1PS.
Playground: Although there is no dedicated children’s playground there are masses of places for the children to explore. There is a children’s play house with cookers, play food, table, etc., along with garden toys. There are also numerous swings hanging from enormous trees, den making and a bomb crater equipped with ropes for climbing – plus a brilliant tree house!
Café: The cafe is spacious and offers the classic ‘lunch box’ type lunch with a choice of sandwich, fruit, biscuit, yogurt and crisps. The scones and cakes are delicious to go with coffee or tea for Mum and Dad!
Toilets: Do make sure you go to the loo before entering the property and grounds as there are no loos through the gates (it is quite easy to get back to them though). Loos are clean and plentiful, so no queues!
Pram / wheelchair / mobility friendly: The paths are smooth and accessible but there is a point, just after the house, when the only way down is steps so you will need to carry or bump the pushchair down.
Parking: Parking is on site and plentiful. There are car parking charges for non-National Trust members but if you are a member it is free (remember to display your sticker!).
Nearest station: Oxsted (6 miles) and Sevenoaks (6 miles) have taxi ranks outside.
Bus: 246 London Bus route from Bromley North (passing close to Bromley South train station) to Chartwell – See the 246 Timetable for more details.
Phone: 01732 868381.
Email: [email protected].
Review by Gemma Crabtree.