When we were planning our first family vacation with a baby, we wanted to stay in the UK. Since our baby was only six months old at the time, we were looking to stay near where we live and somewhere that we could drive.
Kent with a baby seemed like the perfect choice for baby’s first holiday. We also teamed up our Kent holiday with a stop in London with a baby. We felt this was a great choice as were able to do a road trip with our baby and have our car to go on our own timeline.
We were able to visit both Kent and London with a baby during our UK road trip with a baby. Here’s our recommendations on where to stay and best things to do in Kent with a baby.
What You’ll Find in This Article on Kent with a Baby:
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Where to Stay in Kent with a Baby
With a baby that’s only 6 months old, self-catering didn’t feel necessary. Because of this we chose to stay at the four-star Tudor Park Marriott Hotel in Kent. We enjoyed having our breakfast included and a swimming pool. Our daughter is definitely a water baby and loved going in the pool.
Amber was a favourite of all the staff and other guests. She absolutely loved the attention! The staff were great as they provided the cot in our room so we didn’t have to bring our own baby travel crib. There were highchairs available too (although we did take our own portable high chair).
Where to Eat in Kent with a Baby
It was only a short drive from our hotel and I’m glad we went there. I highly recommend the firecracker chicken, it’s one of the best meals I’ve had on my travels.
Bowleys at the Plough
We went here for brunch, we’re the first to arrive as it opened and basically had the place to ourselves. I had the unlimited pancakes, literally you can keep asking for more and you can have ALL of the toppings!
Things to do in Kent with a Baby
We stayed in Kent for a week and here are 6 of our favourite places we visited with our baby in Kent.
I should mention before we took this trip we purchased a National Trust Membership, which gives you access to various castles, stately homes and more for the year. We pay £10.60 a month for 2 Adults (under 3 are free). The amount of places we visited and have since visited on other trips definitely makes this great value for money.
Traveling with a 6 month old baby allowed us to still be able to do things and go places we would have gone before having a baby. We used our National Trust Membership to explore these Castle ruins.
When going to any National Trust site you know there will always be baby changing facilities that are clean and there is always a cafe or somewhere to eat. Most of their properties are pram friendly but for ease we took our baby carrier.
Bodiam Castle is a 14th-century castle with a moat located in East Sussex, near the Kent border in England. In addition to the moat, the Bodiam Castle features four towers, a great hall, and a drawbridge, making it a well-preserved example of medieval architecture.
We spent the entire day at Leeds Castle and there was still more we could have done. We took the pram and baby carrier and used both during our visit. There were 2 playgrounds, a maze, a bird of prey show, as well as the castle and beautiful gardens. It would be a fun visit at Leeds Castle with a toddler.
The highlight of our visit to Leeds Castle was watching the birds of prey show. Amber was fascinated and took it all in. She loved looking at the birds. Afterwards you could get up close to some of the birds. I loved seeing the smile on her face.
If you only visit one place from my list, Leeds Castle is the one I would recommend the most, no matter what age your little one is they will love it!
This is another National Trust property, and it’s also two in one. There is the old castle which is in ruins down by a lake and very picturesque. Then there is the newer house you can also walk around. I also enjoyed looking around the gardens.
There were quite a few steps at Scotney Castle, especially to get to the ruins, so I recommend using a baby carrier. The ruins are also quite a walk from the toilets and cafe however when we went we did see some families having picnics on the grass.
Hever Castle and Gardens
This was another place we could have stayed longer at, it was a large estate. The day we went there was a race on so there was a discount to get in. We enjoyed the castle and gardens which were relatively quiet. A few times it felt like we were the only ones there. We were even able to enjoy the audio guide as we toured around the castle and gardens.
I did find their signage to be a bit of a challenge when I tried to find the toilets and baby change facilities.
Another National Trust, this time the home of Rudyard Kipling (Author of The Jungle Book) this was probably the smallest property we visited. We only spent a couple of hours at Bateman’s but it was certainly interesting learning more about the author’s life.
Wimpole Hall, a National Trust (see what I mean – we definitely got our money’s worth on this trip alone!), includes the house, the gardens and a farm with various animals including, cows, pigs and horses. The farm section was such a lovely opportunity for the kids to interact with the animals.
We arrived at Wimpole Hall at lunchtime and it’s obviously a popular lunchtime spot as people were queuing out the doors. Most of the food they served was also grown on the grounds.
What to Pack for Kent with a Baby
Portable Travel Highchair
While I was still breastfeeding our daughter, we had started her on solids so had to manage baby food while traveling. The portable high chair was useful for any places that didn’t have a highchair (like when we stayed in an Airbnb on the London with a Baby portion of our trip).
Baby Carrier for Travel
A baby carrier for travel was invaluable on our trip. There were several instances where we chose to just use the baby carrier and leave the stroller behind.
While we used our baby carrier most, we still managed to use our travel stroller. I recommend a lightweight travel stroller in case of needing to lift it up and down stairs.
Baby Travel Crib
Thankfully our hotel was able to provide a crib for our baby, otherwise we would have packed our own baby travel crib.
Overall we really enjoyed our time in Kent. Traveling with a baby allowed us to see and do the things we were most interested in doing. It was a relaxing holiday and has inspired us to travel even more with our baby.