On 18 March, we celebrate Mothering Sunday – a really joyful tradition and one that aptly occurs when the natural world around us seems to burst into colour.

National Trust properties in Kent offer mums some of the country’s most glorious gardens in which to enjoy stunning displays of spring colour, and a host of relaxing treats to help them while away the day.

Emmetts Garden, Ide Hill, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 6BA 01732 868381Spring colour: spring bulb displays don’t disappoint at Emmetts Garden in March. This charming 19th-century garden reveals thousands of daffodils and egg-yolk yellow narcissi. Soft pink and cream camellia flowers are also on show, together with jewel-coloured crocuses, whilst Emmett’s many trees provide a delightful acid green canopy of fresh spring foliage.

Sissinghurst Castle. Sissinghurst, nr Cranbook, Kent TN17 2AB 01580 710700Spring colour: these romantic gardens, set around the remains of an Elizabethan mansion, are a horticultural jewel in the National Trust’s crown. In March, drifts of daffodils start to appear in the wildflower Orchard, followed by a mass of tulips. As spring progresses, the gardens become awash with cream, pink and lilac colour from magnolias and clematis. Brightly coloured crocuses litter the Orchard and Spring Walk.

Ightham Mote, Mote Road, Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 0NT 01732 810378Activity: once owned by Medieval knights, this moated manor house is a wonderful place to ‘escape from it all’. Mums can enjoy a relaxing day as they browse through vintage goodies from “The Old Rectory Sales”, whilst younger visitors make their mothers a special gift. 11am-3.30pm, free upon normal admission charge.
Spring colour: this picturesque garden is littered with thousands of daffodils in March, concentrated mainly in the walled Orchard. Waymarked trails take in ancient woodland and stunning views.

Chartwell, Mapleton Road, Westerham, Kent TN16 1PS 01732 868381Activity: after a wander through this incredible house – the former home of Sir Winston Churchill – treat mothers to a Mothering Sunday lunch in Chartwell’s restaurant, which prides itself on sourcing fresh local ingredients, often directly from the kitchen garden. Adults £25, children £19, 12-2.30pm, book on 01732 861161.

Spring colour: these hillside gardens with panoramic views over the Weald have some really lovely early spring colour scattered across the grounds. Look out for daffodils, crocuses and purple and yellow scilla, as well as early flowering magnolia.

Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 8JN 01892 893820Activity: this idyllic landscape – a Victorian country house and gardens set against the backdrop of a fairytale-style Medieval castle – is inviting mums in FREE on Mothering Sunday. A local brass band welcomes the special guests, who are also invited to have a refreshing free pot of tea in the tea room. Look out for cat in residence, ‘Puss Puss’! 11am-4pm.

Spring colour: banks of primroses litter the gardens and spectacular displays of daffodils look enchanting along the moat and around the castle ruins.

To help you plan a care-free day out, visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/southeast for loads of ideas on places to visits and treats to enjoy. Whilst online, download a colourful new ‘mini map of inspiration’ – there’s one available free for each county in the Trust’s London and South East region (also available by post).

Share memories of your ‘happy place’ with the National Trust. Whether it’s a country garden, a favourite tree or simply your own sitting room, tweet your #happyplace story to @southeastnt, or post details to Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NationalTrustLondonandSouthEast. Your story will appear on a ‘happy places’ map on the National Trust’s website.

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