Visiting Kent with a Baby

Author: Carrie Milnes and Celine Brewer

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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.

Visiting Bodiam Castle in Kent Uk with a baby in carrier

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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.

Swimming with baby at Tudor Park Marriott Hotel in Kent

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

The Boathouse

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.

The Boathouse Kent UK

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!

Man holding baby eating at Bowleys Restaurant Kent UK

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

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.

Visiting Bodiam Castle in Kent Uk with a baby in carrier

Leeds Castle

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.

Leeds Castle in Kent UK

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!

Scotney Castle

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.

Visiting Scotney Castle with baby in carrier

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.

visiting Hever Castle in Kent with a baby

Bateman’s

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.

Bateman's in Kent UK

Wimpole Hall

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.

Visiting Wimpole Hall in Kent with a baby in carrier

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.

baby in baby carrier for travel

Travel Stroller

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.

More Baby Travel Tips

Visiting Kent with a Baby

This post was written & edited by:

Swimming with baby at Tudor Park Marriott Hotel in Kent
Carrie Milnes

We are the Milnes family, Peter, Carrie and Amber. Before getting married we had been to a combined total of 39 countries. I’m a travel agent so am often able to book our travels at a discounted rate, helping us be able to explore more places.

Celine Brewer is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's helped millions of new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade. In addition to writing on her baby travel blog, she has shared her expertise on traveling with a baby or toddler by contributing to articles about traveling with a baby with the Washington Post, USA Today, the Lonely Planet magazine and Pregnancy & Newborn magazine.

Celine also writes about family travel on the site FamilyCanTravel.com, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site TravelBanffCanada.com.

Read more about Celine Brewer.

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