Magical Knole Park, Sevenoaks
After several people have recommended Knole Park to me as a great family outing with the kids, it was not until my dentist, who incidentally does not have children, elaborated on how much kids would enjoy the deer, trees, hills and gorgeous countryside that I took the time to investigate it.
On a mild, grey Saturday morning we were relishing the prospects of having a whole day completely free to go out and enjoy, we decided to head off to Sevenoaks and check out the deer and the grounds.
Sevenoaks is an easy train journey from Victoria, Charing Cross and Cannon Street, taking around 30 minutes. Knole Park is a 20-30 minute walk from the station to the grounds and it is free to enter on foot, there is a fee for parking.
Knole Park is so quintessentially British; its a grand estate that started as an archiepiscopal palace; became a royal possession of the Tudors, hosting both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I; it was eventually acquired by the Sackville family who still live in the house in the private apartments leased back to them after it was acquired by the National Trust in 1946. It is old, grand and slightly fatigued, but absolutely inspiring.
From the moment we entered the park, we were all filled with delight. It is just the kind of place that is so magical, so beautiful and so curious you are just overcome with the desire to run and explore. My 8 year old boy was, typically, like a dog off the lead, running down the hills, hopping from rabbit mount to rabbit mound. My daughter quickly spotted the medieval deer herd and calmly set about charming the beautiful creatures.
The children found trees to climb, an enormous shelter to play in, steep hills to summit. We were eagerly photographing the deer and the landscape, laughing and happily answering the calls of “Come and look!”. It is not often that the four of us are all equally zealous about an outing, but this one was enjoyed by each and every one of us.
At one point we went off into the bush when we spotted a golden pheasant, spending a good 20 minutes trying to track it down for a photograph and only ending up with very poor quality one. We could have happily walked the grounds all day, but only managed to see a small portion of them with all the interesting diversions.
The house looked amazing, but we only stopped in long enough to use the facilities and have a bit of a look for next time. Entry to the park is free, you need to pay for parking and you do not need to pay an entry fee to use the facilities in the house.
We walked back down the high street and found the Black Boy, a 1616 Shepherd Neame’s Pub located in the heart of Sevenoaks. While we finished our Whitstable Pale Ale’s the kids could safely run around the this part of town.Tweet