What's On

Subject to COVID-19 guidelines we plan outdoor entertainment including music, theatre, cafe, fairs and festivals, including a special focus on Year of Japan and of course our Literary Festival Fringe.  Within the castle we hope to arrange music, food and learning events to reflect our history and collections.  Please follow us on Facebook for updates.

Jazz live June Kent

Monday 7 June / Sunday 13 June

An Introduction to Japanese art and culture - Curator Talk

Drop in at the Japanese Room from 2-2.30pm on Monday 7 June and at 11-11.30am on Sunday 13 June for an introduction to Japanese art, culture, and the eccentric collections of Denys Eyre Bower in the Castle’s Japanese Room.

Naomi Collick, our Curator will be running short drop-in tours of the Japanese Room for visitors (included in Castle visit ticket). (approx. 20 – 30 mins). 

Japanese music kent july

Sunday 13 June

Traditional Japanese Music at the Orangery

Experience Japanese traditional music with two performances at the Victorian Orangery. Along with flutes and clarinet, the performances will include the instruments shakuhachi and shinobue. They are types of flute made from bamboo which have played an important part in Japanese history and culture. The performers will be wearing Japanese kimono. Donations to the Castle welcome. Performance times: 1.30pm to 2pm, 3.30pm to 4pm

No tickets required

Jazz live June Kent

Sunday 20 June

Jazz Live

Gypsy jazz, swing and blues comes to The Orangery with Mike Piggott and his Hot Club Trio featuring Mike on violin, Nils Solberg on guitar and Jerome Davies on double bass. Together they bring their own entertaining combination inspired by the Hot Club de France. Bring a picnic. Paul Malsom, guitar, will play an opening set. In association with the Listening Room Music Agency.

Outdoor theatre June Kent

Sunday 27 June

Theatre Live

Set sail for Treasure Island with open air theatre at The Orangery from This is My Theatre company. A swashbuckling tale is lifted from the pages of Robert Louis Stevenson’s much-loved novel and brought to life with sea shanties and sword fights galore! Bring a picnic.

Tickets available direct from This is My Theatre Box Office

Shakespeare Live Kent

Sunday 27 June

Shakespeare Live

Shakespeare at The Orangery - The Tempest.  Sure to delight audiences of all ages, William Shakespeare’s classical language combines with live music and choral sea shanties to bring what is thought to be the bard’s final play to life. This tale of revenge, love and forgiveness is brought to you by This Is My Theatre and adapted for the stage by Sarah Slator with music by Simon Stallard.

Tickets available direct from This is My Theatre Box Office.

Shakespeare Live Kent

Sunday 4 July

Opera Favourites at the Orangery

Kentish Opera presents the favourites at 2pm and 6pm on the glorious lawns.
- The Toreador’s Song (Bizet – Carmen) - Va, pensiero, Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves (Verdi – Nabucco) –   - The Pearl Fishers Duet (Bizet - Pearl Fishers) - One Fine Day (Puccini - Madame Butterfly)
- The Easter Hymn (Mascagni - Cavalleria Rusticana)
No formal seating arrangement but ample space is provided so bring your own chairs and blankets and choose your space on the lawns for a firstcome, first served basis.

Art Classes Kent

Thursday 8th July 5-6pm

Literary Festival Fringe: Anne Sebba - Ethel Rosenberg; A Cold War Tragedy

On 19th June 1953, Ethel Rosenberg became the first woman in the US to be executed for a
crime other than murder. In an illustrated talk, Anne Sebba lays bare the catastrophic failure
of humanity and justice which resulted in the ‘trial of the century’.

Art Classes Kent

Thursday 8th July 7-8pm

Literary Festival Fringe: Hugo Vickers and Simon Heffer - The Diaries of Henry ‘Chips’ Channon & Cecil
Beaton, chaired by James Lee with readings by actor Geoffrey Streatfeild

Hugo Vickers’ new book Malice in Wonderland reveals how he entered society photographer Cecil Beaton’s world of royalty, aristocrats and film stars, whilst Simon Heffer exposes a host of society icons under the gaze of Henry ‘Chips’ Channon in the 1920s and 30s. Each provides a vivid insiders’ view of the hidden world of these society legends, with revelations galore.

Live entertainment kent

Sunday 11 July

Small Island Trio

The Small Island Trio is an exciting group fronted by the multi-talented singer, Shireen Francis who fuses jazz seamlessly with Caribbean musical forms like Reggae & Calypso music. Joining with Shireen’s vocals are guitarist Dominic Grant and steel pan player Mark Cherrie.

There will be an opening set from Shane Hill showcasing his album ‘Great Toubadours’, including favourite songs made famous by James Taylor, Joni Mitchel, Carol King, Bread, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and many more.

Jazz live June Kent

Sunday 18 July

Japanese Storytelling at the Orangery

A Thousand Cranes theatre company presents ‘Milkyway’

Three family-friendly performances of traditional kamishibai storytelling performed by Harua Kuroda and directed by Vicky Ireland. The story is based on the Tanabata Festival of Stars, which takes place in Japan every year on the 7th of July. This beautiful tale of friendship set amongst the stars is retold using traditional Japanese paper theatre. A unique theatrical experience designed for children of 3+ and their families.

Performance times 11.30, 1.30pm, 3pm

Art Classes Kent

Thursday 22 July 5-6pm

Literary Festival Fringe: Amanda Owen with Fidelity Weston - Tales from the Farm

Amanda Owen rose to fame in Channel 5’s Our Yorkshire Farm, but her roots were in urban
Huddersfield. Discover what lured her into living the country life in Swaledale, and hear how
she combines life on the farm with raising nine children, filming and writing. Fidelity Weston is Chair of the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association and farms at Underriver near Sevenoaks.

Art Classes Kent

Thursday 22 July 7-8pm

Literary Festival Fringe: Ben MacIntyre - Agent Sonya; Lover, Mother, Soldier, Spy

Hear bestselling author Ben MacIntyre on the remarkable true story of WW2’s most
extraordinary spy; how Ursula Kuczynski Burton combined rural motherhood with being a
spymaster, saboteur, bomb-maker and secret agent.

Vintage fair August Kent

Sunday 8 August

Summer Vintage Fair

All things vintage in the grounds - homewares, furnishings, fashion, jewellery and gardenalia. Refreshments available. Stay all day. Get 10% discount on tickets online here or buy on the day (subject to capacity).

Jazz live June Kent

Sunday 15 August

Stevie Wonder Celebration Live

Celebrating the life-time genius of Stevie Wonder, the mesmeric vocalist, Noel McCalla, and award-winning saxophonist, Derek Nash, with a band on top of musicians, play a wide-ranging catalogue of Stevie Wonder’s classic hits. From Signed, Sealed, Delivered through to hits from albums Innervisions, Songs in the Key of Life and Hotter than July.

Art Classes Kent

Thursday 19 August 5-6pm

Literary Festival Fringe: Natalie Haynes - Pandora’s Jar; Women in the Greek Myths

A brilliant classicist as well as a stand-up comedian, Natalie Haynes takes the women of
Greek myths - who are sidelined, vilified, misunderstood or ignored - and puts them centre
stage, in a witty and entertaining talk.

Art Classes Kent

Thursday 19 August 7-8pm

Literary Festival Fringe: Martin Gayford - Spring Cannot be Cancelled; David Hockney in

Art critic Martin Gayford presents an illustrated talk based on Hockney’s latest paintings
(currently exhibiting at the Royal Academy) and a wealth of new conversations and
correspondence with Hockney, his long-time friend and collaborator.

Jazz live June Kent

Sunday 22 August

Family Theatre at the Orangery - Alice's Adventures In Wonderland 2.30pm

 How mad are the Mad Hatter and the Hare? Is the Dormouse crackers? What does the Dodo do? Where is the White Rabbit going? Ideally suited to aged 4 and above group (though adults have fallen under its spell, despite their best efforts to look grownup!).  Audiences are introduced to (or re-acquainted with) many of the extraordinary characters that our eponymous heroine encounters during her wanderings in Wonderland.

Jazz live June Kent

Sunday 22 August

Family Theatre at the Orangery - Into The Breach 6pm

A wonderful comedy written and performed by Mark Carey. It’s “Dad’s Army meets The Vicar of Dibley!”                                   George Crocker is keen to liven up his dull life so he decides to join the village Drama Club hoping to play the panto dame. What happens next turns his world upside down and instead he finds himself taking on the role of Henry 5th!

Jazz live June Kent

Sunday 29 August

Japan Festival 11am - 5pm

A celebration of Japanese culture and the fascinating art collection at Chiddingstone Castle. The day will be packed with activities, demonstrations, and performances including traditional music, dance, martial arts, calligraphy, stalls, talks, and displays. A great day out for all the family and a chance to experience Japanese arts and traditions. Refreshments available. The festival opens at 11am and closes at 5pm.  All day tickets: Adults £10. Child £5.

Art Classes Kent

Thursday 2 September 2-3pm

Literary Festival Fringe: Sebastian Faulks with Cathy Rentzenbrink - Snow Country

 Sebastian Faulks joins us on the very day his new novel is published. Sweeping across Europe as it recovers from one war and hides its face from the next, Snow Country is a landmark novel of exquisite yearnings, dreams of youth and the sanctity of hope. Cathy Rentzenbrink is a much loved interviewer at Chiddingstone and the author of Dear Reader. Her first novel Everyone is Still Alive is published in July.

Art Classes Kent

Thursday 2 September 4-5pm

Literary Festival Fringe: Deborah Moggach with Rowan Pelling – The Black Dress

Bestselling author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Deborah Moggach unveils her new,
beautifully observed, darkly funny, tender and surprising novel. The Black Dress is about life
changes and the unexpected twists and pleasures of being alone. Rowan Pelling is a Daily Telegraph columnist and editor of Perspective Magazine.

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Don’t miss out on our podcast series

Virtual Literary Festival 2020

Chiddingstone Castle is thrilled to announce a series of live, in-person events taking place in the Castle gardens during July, August and September 2021 at the Literary Festival Fringe.

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Opening Hours


Open daily 7am - 6.30pm



The Castle and Tea Room are open 

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays

11.00 - 17.00


Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm