Chiddingstone Castle is now open to visitors every Sunday to Wednesday until Wednesday, 30th October. The Tea Room and Gift Shop are open during the same times, and admission to these does not require an entry ticket to the Castle. Our delightful informal 35 acre gardens are open to visitors for a pleasurable stroll on most days of the year - but do check, in case they are closed for private functions. You will find below some of the Special Events that we have planned for the year. We welcome pre-booked groups and school visits at any time throughout the year, be it the open or closed season. Pay us a visit - you'll be surprised how much we have to offer!
SPECIAL EVENTS FOR 2013
The following shows just some of the special events that we have planned for 2013.
Sunday, 10th March
Mothering Sunday Teas
Reserve your table in our Victorian Tea Rooms or Castle Kitchen for a delightful traditional Mothering Sunday Cream Tea - a treat for Mums of all ages! Tables can be booked from 12 noon until the last reservation at 4pm. The Castle itself will be open to stroll through to reach the Tea Rooms, but many of the exhibition rooms will be undergoing preparation for the forthcoming season. So sorry, but we are now fully booked for Mothering Sunday Teas - do please visit us on another occasion.
Saturday, 23rd and Sunday, 24th March
'My Big Kent Weekend' and Daffodil Spectacular
Come along at any time over 'My Big Kent Weekend' and marvel at the amazing display of daffodils on the East Meadow. The Castle and Collections will be open and if you would like to enter to win a pair of free admission tickets, visit www.mykentbigweekend.co.uk and enter your details.
Good Friday, 29th March
First Open Day of the Season
The Castle, Tea Room and Gift Shop will now be open every Sunday to Wednesday from 11am to 5pm until Wednesday, 30th October. The Tea Room and Gift Shop are open to visitors without an admission ticket to the Castle.
Sunday, 14th April - 11am to 5pm
Ancient Egypt Family Day
A fun day for the whole family to visit the Castle and learn of the mysteries of Ancient Egypt. Enjoy Belly Dancing Workshops and Egyptian Inter-Active Performances in the Great Hall; fascinating talks from the Sussex Egyptology Society in the Board Room - "Nebamun's Garden 1350 BC - compared with life in 2013"; craft activities in the Activity Room; wrapping up like a Mummy and lots more! All these activities are FREE with usual admission charges.
Sunday, 5th May to Wednesday, 10th July - open days only
"Visions of Paradise: the Japanese Garden in the UK"
A great opportunity to enjoy an excellent exhibition loaned by the Japanese Garden Society displayed in our Board Room. Sponsored by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation the exhibition covers the history and development of the Japanese gardens in the UK - under four main topics:
- The gardens of Japan - setting the context and covering styles and aspects of design.
- The Japanese garden in the UK - from early interest following the Meiji restoration, through the important Japan-British exhibtion of 1910, to the renewal of interest over the last 20 years.
- Cultural Borrowing - how ideas have been interpreted and 'borrowed' for the different conditions and cultural settings in the UK
- Gardens open to the public today - a selected list of gardens with information and images of the more important ones.
Entrance to the exhibition is FREE with a normal admission ticket to the Castle, and an an accompanying booklet is available for purchase in the Gift Shop, sponsored by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation.
Sunday, 2nd June
Visit us today to learn all about our fairytale weddings at the Castle - our new marquee will be erected on the north side and a selection of our favourite wedding suppliers will be here to give you an idea of how our unique, bespoke service can result in the very best day of your life! Please pre-register your interest by visiting www.inspiredweddingsandevents.co.uk/page_2551017.html
Sunday, 2nd June
25th Anniversary London to Brighton Classic Car Run
We are thrilled that these fabulous vehicles will be dropping in to visit us for coffee on their way from Brooklands to Madeira Drive in Brighton. You're more than welcome to drop in and admire them too!
Sunday, 16th June
Doesn't Dad deserve a treat too? A pint of Chiddingstone's local Larkins ale at the Castle may do the trick! Beat your Dad at a game of croquet or cricket on the lawn, or have a go at building a camp with him in the woods - help will be provided!
Sunday, 7th July
Join us for our ever popular annual celebration of Japanese crafts and culture. This year we again hoping to include demonstrations of Kyudo (Japanese archery); Tameshigiri and Iai (Japanese sword arts) and Shodo (calligraphy). There will also be beautiful Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) to admire and Shakuhachi and Shinobue (Japanese flute playing) to listen to in the Great Hall, played by specialists dressed in Kimono. Taiko drumming will also be demonstrated outdoors. As ever, within the Castle we shall of course have on display our remarkable collection of Samurai armour and swords, and the Japanese lacquer collection that has featured recently on the BBC in episdoes of Flog It!, Bargain Hunt and Inside Out. All this for the cost of normal admission.
Wednesday, 24th July
'Best of West Kent' Veteran Car Run
We are thrilled once more to be able to welcome these beautiful cars to the Castle. Come along and admire them as they stop with us for a coffee break.
Sunday, 15th September
The perfect opportunity to experience the traditions of the countryside in an idyllic rural setting - and join in the Exemption Dog Show too! There will also be displays from the Old Surrey Burstow & West Kent Hunt horses and hounds; fly fishing demonstrations; a gundog training display; falconry; terrier racing (don't forget to bring your terriers!); ferrets; and the llamas will be back for a leisurely trek around the grounds. The beer tent will be selling Chiddingstone's Larkins' Ale and there'll be a BBQ throughout the day. In the marquee, you'll find fantastic shopping for crafts, local produce, antiques, vintage ware etc - not to mention a cookery demonstration! It will be a day that will offer something for everyone and will hopefully end with the immensely popular family giant woolsack race!
Friday, 29th November
Mulled wine, mince pies and the perfect location in which to choose your ideal gifts. Come and join us for a fabulous shopping experience. Last year's fair was quoted as being "the best Christmas Fair I've ever been to" by one seasoned fair goer. Let's see if 2013 can surpass even that!
We have a constantly evolving programme of events throughout the year and this page is regularly updated