Muddy says: A romantic moated manor house, steeped in history, offering tonnes of fun for the younger ones in its natural play area as well as breathtaking walks across the Kent countryside
For a place steeped in history, and described by David Starkey as ‘one of the most beautiful and interesting of English country houses’, Ightam Mote should be on your radar as the place to go if you want to lose yourself in a romantic moated manor house, or take the family for a fun day out.
Built nearly 700 years ago, Ightam Mote has seen many changes and has been owned by Medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and high society Victorians. Highlights include the picturesque courtyard, Great Hall, crypt, Tudor painted ceiling, Grade I listed dog kennel and the private apartments of Charles Henry Robinson, who gave Ightham Mote to the National Trust in 1985.
And do not fret if you are ever stuck on how to best entertain the younger lot during the holidays as Ightam Mote frequently hosts fun events throughout the year that will be guaranteed to ignite their imagination, plus there are quizzes, trails, a natural play area that will keep them begging to come back time and time again. And when we say natural play area, even the big kid in you may come out to play as you can expect to find chestnut wigwams, dens, balance beams, chimes alongside a stream coming from natural springs, which just entices children to have a ‘splashing’ time so wellies are highly recommended.
For the more discerning amongst you, you can enjoy travelling through 700 years of history as Ightham Mote is not a ‘show home’ for one period in time, but a living ‘blog’ highlighting the changing fashion and needs of its owners.The house is surrounded by peaceful gardens with an orchard, water features, lakes and woodland walks. Without a famous plant collection, garden design or design style associated with them, the gardens have developed (like the house) with the ideas of each successive owner.
This is also the place to go if you want to go on a nice big stomp – dog included -whatever the time of year, as there are plenty of walks (mainly circular) which offer unique views across the Kent countryside and stunning displays of flora and fauna. In Spring, it’s all about the renowned ancient bluebell woodland in at Scathes Wood, wildflowers in the summer followed by autumn colours and the crisp days of winter later on in the year. Our particular favourite is the circular walk from Ightham Mote, along the Greensand Way, passing through areas of outstanding natural beauty to reach another iconic National Trust property, Knole Park, before returning to Ightham Mote via the Duchess Walk, Godden Green and Broadhoath Wood.
And when it all gets too much, enjoy a tasty homebaked treat from the Mote Cafe – the outdoor patio is a winner come the Summer – deckchairs and all – for you to take well-deserved five minutes out in the sunshine.