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houses and stately homes

Stunning country houses in Kent

Here you will find our best recommendations for astounding stately homes and country houses in Kent. As well as the residences of Sir Winston Churchill and Charles Darwin, you'll also find a few lesser-known treasures which have their own surprises in store.

Step into a beautiful depiction of the Tudor era at Penshurst Place. This fortified manor house exudes 650 years of history from its ancient wood panels and heraldic crests. The 11-acre walled garden is laid out as it would have been in Elizabethan times, giving you a true feeling of the days gone by. 

There's an intriguing insight into the mind of one of England's greatest scientists at the Home of Charles Darwin, Down House. See the study where he wrote On the Origin of Species and a replica of his cabin on HMS Beagle. After, take a trip to the hot-house where you can encounter his famous carnivorous plants.

The house at Quex Park has carried its name since the 1500s, after the resident family the 'Quekes'. It remains a family home to this day, with visitors still forever exploring its fascinating rooms.

Lullingstone Roman Villa is the oldest building of them all. One of the best preserved heritage sites of its kind in England, its bright mosaics, maze of ruined rooms and crumbling skeletons vividly bring the times of the Romans to life.

With 365 ornate rooms and a 1000-acre, deer-dotted park, Knole  is one of England's most impressive estates. The state rooms groan with silver, Stuart furniture, and paintings by Gainsborough and Van Dyck.

Sir Winston Churchill's former country retreat, Chartwell, is a much more intimate affair. Reflecting his life there in the 1920s and '30s, the house showcases the politician's own paintings, family photos, books and memorabilia, while the terrace delivers delightful views of the Weald of Kent.

Captivating, water-fringed Ightham Mote is the most complete medieval country house in England. A tour reveals a painted Tudor ceiling, a tranquil lake, tower-views and the only Grade I listed dog kennel in England!

The heritage at Godinton House meanwhile spans the eras, from a medieval hall, to a Jacobean exterior and a Georgian Dining Room. It's a delightfully thrilling insight into how the other half lived. 

Finally, pay a visit to Chiddingstone Castle  and its 35 acres of beautiful grounds. There you'll find a lake, a tranquil rose garden, woodland walkways and an award-winning Grade II listed Orangery.