Sevenoaks is a lively market town with plenty of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants to explore. A fascinating town trail is available as part of the Rail Trails pack. This station opened a few years after the original Bat & Ball station. Then – and now – it connects with fast services to London and south to Tonbridge and Hastings.
The Sevenoaks community originally grew up around the major stately home in the area, Knole (constructed in the 1400s) and this is where beautiful historic buildings can be found. Stunning Knole Park surrounds Knole House and is a 1000 acre site of special scientific interest (SSSI), with several thousand often dramatic and mature trees, sweeping walkways, hundreds of deer, a cricket pitch and a golf course. The house at the centre of the park is owned and maintained by the National Trust. It has a splendidly restored café, with extensive views and a new conservation wing which allows visitors for free.
Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, to the south of the town, has gardens open to the public, with tea rooms, activities and dramatic sculptures dotted around the grounds. If you climb to the top of the gardens, there is a stunning view across the whole of the Kentish Weald. The 402 bus stops a short, downhill 15 minute walk away from the entrance.
The name of Sevenoaks in thought to have derived from the Old English word ‘Seouenaca’, the name given to a small chapel near seven oak trees on the Vine (a very old cricket ground near the centre). The number of oaks planted in this area has waxed and waned over the years, with six of the seven blown down in the hurricane of 1987. However, cricket matches are still very much alive and COVID-19 permitting, a newly refurbished, picturesque cafe to the side of the pitch can be enjoyed in the summer months. Cafe on the Vine .
The high street has a wide range of mainly independent shops, offering a variety of choices between several cafes, cars and restaurants. Together, with a few large retailers, there are also, indie record shops, health care providers, shoe shops and many well-established charity shops.
The park is open for local visitors to enjoy a walk and some fresh air. Those arriving in cars may need to reserve a place in advance. We hope you will enjoy your visit and make the most of the season.