As I’ve mentioned before, we love driving to the countryside and get away from the hustle and bustle of London.
And because we are National Trust’s members, we’ve been discovering a lot of lovely places like Ightham Mote.
Ightham Mote is a 14th-century preserved moated manor house hidden away in a secluded Kent valley in Southeast England, near Sevenoaks and about 35 miles from central London.
The house is nestled within peaceful gardens, and with an orchard, water features, lakes and woodland walks.
Ightham Mote has been owned by Medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII, high society Victorians, sheriffs and MPs.
It has most of its original features since the successive owners affected relatively few modifications to the main structure.
The house is surrounded by a square moat, crossed by three bridges.
A moat is a deep, broad ditch, either dry or filled with water that surrounds a castle, building or town, historically to provide a preliminary line of defence.
Unfortunately, the day we went, the inside was closed, and we could only walk around the gardens, which are so pretty.
The garden has around 14 acres with lakes, natural springs, secret meadows, herbaceous borders, cutting gardens, orchard and plenty more to see.
But I intend to go back there to have a look inside and explore the 70 rooms such as the courtyard, the great hall, the Tudor chapel, library and many more areas.
Do not miss:
– the cobbled courtyard where you can see the different phases of the house. It also contains the only Grade I dog kennel in England.
– New Chapel ceiling is a 16th-century painting to celebrate the marriage of Henry III and Catherine of Aragon.
– Late 18th-century Chinese wallpaper with images of birds and flowers and decorates the drawing-room.
– Sweet pea walk in early summer the sweet pea fills the air in the cuttings garden.
– Bluebells are in full bloom in April/May, and it produces a “blue carpet” in the woodland.
The house has a cafe/restaurant, a small shop and baby facilities. Most parts of it have access for disabled people.
Adult £8 and child over 5 years old £4 and under 5 is free (prices verified on June 2020).
The entry is free for National Trust members.
How to get there?
The easiest way is to drive since there is no public transport passing by.
Or you will have to go to a train/bus station and walk from there.
Address: Mote Road, Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 0NT
Free parking for those with pre-booked tickets only.
There is no train station near the house, so you will have to walk from the stations of Hildenborough (4 miles) and Sevenoaks (7 miles) that are on the London Bridge/London Charing Cross to Hastings mainline.
Sevenoaks is also on the Thameslink line from Bedford.
Or from Borough Green and Wrotham (3½ miles) which are on the London Victoria to Ashford line.
TIP: Show your train ticket in the Mote Cafe to receive a free cup of tea or filter coffee.
Go Travel 404: from Sevenoaks train station, Monday to Friday and if you ask the driver, he/she will drop off at Ightham Mote.
Autocar 222: Tunbridge Wells to Borough Green, alight at Ightham village George & Dragon, Monday – Saturday, but you will have to walk 2 miles.
Arriva 308 Sevenoaks train station to Gravesend, hourly service Monday to Saturday alight Ightham village and then 2 miles walk.
– Knole (7 miles): one of the largest house in England – read more here;
– Chiddingstone: I’ve written about it here;
– Emmets Garden (10 Miles): hillside garden (I plan to go there this summer);
– Hever Castle (11 miles)
– Chartwell (13 miles): Winston Churchill house (I’ve written about it here)
As you can see, the Garden of England, as Kent is well known, is a fascinating place and there is plenty to see and visit it.
Have a lovely day!