Today I want to share my guide to the best things to do in Sevenoaks, England with you. This town in Kent has everything from busy markets to pretty streets and a former archbishop’s palace to discover. There are restaurants, shops, and other places to visit in Sevenoaks, and plenty of green space for getting outdoors and into nature.

Things to Do in Sevenoaks

Sevenoaks, England

Sevenoaks has a long history. A market was recorded here as early as the 13th century, and Sevenoaks School was founded in 1432.

The Archbishop of Canterbury purchased the Knole estate in 1456 and built the famous Knole House here as well (more on that later).

Today Sevenoaks is best known as a commuter town near London. There are a lot of things to do in Sevenoaks, though, and it’s worth a visit for its wealth of historic treasures, maze of streets hiding secret passageways, and stunning palace.

Sevenoaks Buildings

How to Get to Sevenoaks

Located just 25 minutes from London by rail, Sevenoaks makes an easy day trip from London by train.

You can also drive to Sevenoaks. It’s around an hour’s drive from the UK capital, depending where you leave from and what traffic is like en route.

The Shambles, Sevenoaks

Things to Do in Sevenoaks

Once you’ve arrived in town, you’ll find lots of things to do in Sevenoaks. Whether your goal is to eat, shop, tour a stately home, or take a country walk near London, there’s something you’ll love.

I came here once on a Sevenoaks walk, and I spotted so many things I wanted to come back for that I returned to discover what this town has to offer.

Sevenoaks Shop

1. Explore the Town

I’ll start in the heart of the place. One of the best things to do in Sevenoaks is explore the town.

The triangle of streets formed by Pembroke Road, London Road, and the High Street bounds a pedestrianized area called Bligh’s Meadow. It’s packed with shops, restaurants, cafes, and markets.

Shops in Sevenoaks, Kent, England

From Brewery Lane to Blacks Yard, there are high street shops and independent establishments alike. I picked up a sweet treat from Dulce’s Patisserie and wandered through the narrow lanes to soak up the atmosphere.

Still within the triangle of streets, I discovered a sunny area full of outdoor tables in Blacks Yard. It led me to Bank Street, where I came across a historic pub called The Restoration. A sign outside said it dated back to 1592.

Sevenoaks Pub

Heading south, I walked under an arch and wandered down a tiny passageway leading to The Shambles. It opened up onto another square filled with tables and lined with intriguing art. From murals to sculpture, it all tied into the town’s past.

Sevenoaks Art

On London Road I discovered The Stag Sevenoaks, an arts center with a cinema and stage playing host to touring theater and musical performances.

2. Go to the Markets in Sevenoaks

Another of the best things to do in Sevenoaks is go to the markets. I wandered around the Saturday markets in Sevenoaks to see what was for sale.

Sevenoaks Market

Everything from fresh bread to produce and cheese temped me at the Sevenoaks High Street Saturday Market and Bligh’s Saturday Market on Bligh’s Court.

I also learned there’s a Wednesday market in Buckhurst Lane that sells goods ranging from clothes to gifts, food, and flowers.

Sevenoaks Market Bread

3. Discover the Streets of Sevenoaks

Next on my list of things to do in Sevenoaks is discover the streets. In addition to the area around Bligh’s Meadow and The Shambles, I found a wealth of streets to love in town.

The Shambles, Sevenoaks

The first was the part of the High Street that runs south from where it meets London Road. This stretch is packed with historic houses, beautiful brickwork, and pretty walled parks like Upper High Street Gardens.

Sevenoaks Church

The second was Six Bells Lane. This skinny passageway is one of the prettiest streets I’ve seen in Britain. Lined with cottages and colorful doors, it’s a photographer’s dream.

Six Bells Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

I walked down as it curved around to meet Rectory Lane, taking in the charming facades and gardens as I went.

Sevenoaks Cottage

4. Visit Knole

Another of the best things to do in Sevenoaks is visit Knole. One of the largest houses in England, it spans 4 acres (1.6 hectares) and sits in a 1,000-acre (405-hectare) medieval deer park.

It’s one of the most impressive stately homes near London and one of the top Sevenoaks attractions.

Knole House

Knole started life as a manor house before being transformed into an archbishop’s palace in the 15th century. Later it was owned by Tudor monarchs like Henry VIII before being taken over by the Sackville family in the early 17th century.

The Sackvilles were prominent in court circles. They made Knole into a house designed to impress visitors and show off their family’s wealth.

Knole House Interior

In the late 17th century, one of the family members was Lord Chamberlain of the Household to William III. Through this role, he acquired furniture and textiles from royal residences like Hampton Court Palace and Whitehall Palace.

Knole Hall

As a result, visitors to Knole can tour the showrooms and see everything from chairs to beds from the royal household. There’s also an impressive collection of paintings by prominent artists like Van Dyck, Gainsborough, and Reynolds.

Knole Staircase

I enjoyed free entry to Knole House thanks to my National Trust membership (you can get a membership here). The collection thoroughly impressed me, and I was fascinated by the house’s immensity and heritage.

Knole Bedroom

After touring the showrooms, I climbed the Gatehouse Tower for views over the Knole estate, toured the Conservation Studio to see art restoration in action, had tea at the Brewhouse Cafe, and did one of the self-guided Knole Park walks.

Knole Park

5. Go on a Sevenoaks Walk

Speaking of walks, one of the best things to do in Sevenoaks is get out into nature. From the rambles in Knole Park to longer country walks in the area, there’s no shortage of places to get outdoors in this part of Kent.

Knole Deer

Knole Park itself is a great place for a Sevenoaks walk. There are lots of paths and waymarked trails crisscrossing the rolling hills, and you can see the legendary Knole deer as you go. You can even bring a picnic to enjoy if you want to.

There are guided walks in Knole Park several times a week, too. They leave from the Knole visitor center.

If you want to go further afield, long-distance walking paths like the Greensand Way will take you through places like Sevenoaks Weald and the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Country Walk Footpath Sign near Sevenoaks, England

6. Eat and Drink in Sevenoaks

If you need a snack or meal to replenish the calories, one of the best things to do in Sevenoaks is eat and drink. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and pubs in town.

If you’re looking for something with a bit of history, pubs like The Restoration and The Chequers have you covered.

Pub in Sevenoaks

If you want a cool cafe, Basil on Bank Street is a good choice. If you’re looking for a restaurant, Hive is a local favorite (don’t miss the enchanted garden with the 70-year-old maple tree). For sweet things, the aforementioned Dulce’s Patisserie is just the ticket.

Sevenoaks Restaurant

7. Explore the Surrounding Area

Another fun thing do to in Sevenoaks is explore the surrounding area. This part of Kent is packed with gardens, houses, and other places to discover.

If you like green spaces, Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Emmetts Garden, Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, and Reuthe’s The Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks are great places to visit near Sevenoaks.

Emmetts Garden

If you can’t get enough of England’s stately homes, Chartwell is a great choice. The country home of Winston Churchill for 40 years, it showcases the former prime minister’s desk, photos, cigars, spectacles, and paintings.

Other houses of note in the area include Ightham Mote, which is a medieval moated manor house, and Penshurst Place, a 14th-century country retreat that featured in The Princess Bride, The Other Boleyn Girl, and Wolf Hall.

Old Soar Manor is a 13th-century stone manor house in the area, too.

There are castles near Sevenoaks as well. From Hever Castle to Chiddingstone Castle and Scotney Castle, there’s a lot of medieval beauty around.

Hever Castle Gardens

Things to Do in Sevenoaks

I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide to things to do in Sevenoaks. This part of Kent is worth a special trip, and the area around it will make you want to go back again and again to discover more. It certainly did for me. Happy travels!

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Things to Do in Sevenoaks

4 Comments on Lady’s 7 Things to Do in Sevenoaks, Kent

  1. This is a brilliant post – I have made all the notes and things and hope I can visit there next week. 🙂 Flying to London for a couple of days, so if the weather behaves well this would be such a lovely trip. Also – I realized I went to that lecture about the witchmarks of Knole so that would give me a chance to actually visit this stately home. Win! 🙂 Thank you!

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