Parks of Kent
Kent, fondly known as the ‘Garden of England’ is full of fresh, floral spaces and paths amidst the very best of the British countryside. Whether you’re looking for an exciting day out with the whole family or a simple saunter with your fluffy friend, we’ve got a selection of unmissable parks and reserves for you to explore in Kent's Districts.
From parks with alfresco- amphitheatres, BBQ and picnic places perfect for the Summer to vast expanses of Pine trees, wonderful wildlife walks and cosy cafes fit for crisp winter days, there’s plenty to do all year round! With many of our picks being Green Flag award-winners you’re sure to have a sensational time so, lace up your walking boots and head out into the beautiful Kent Countryside.
Folkestone and Hythe
The perfect mix of adventure and beauty, the Lower Leas Costal Park is fun for all the family. From gorgeously vibrant wildflower beds and serene seaside strolls to an exciting escape for kids complete with climbing frames, slides, sculptures and cycle paths, enjoy a fab day out in the fresh sea air! If you’re looking to experience the lush greenery of the Garden of England, then why not ramble round Brockhill Country Park? Be at one with nature and look out for the resident wildlife, then pause for reflection at the peaceful pond. Both these parks are Green Flag award winners, so you’re spoilt for choice!
Whether you’re looking for a saunter in the countryside with your cuddly canine, want a long walk amongst grazing animals or to enjoy a reserve, rich with exciting sporting activities in the summer, Conningbrook Lakes is the perfect place! Listen out for the abundance of birds and spot the darting dragonflies as you enjoy an adventure in nature. Love the idea of ambling amongst the shaggy company of wild cattle and horses? Walk in awe as you trek round rural terrain and truly embrace the extraordinary atmosphere of Hothfield Heathlands. If you’re a keen wildlife watcher, observe the newest sightings on the visitor’s board and then set off on your own adventure to see what you will discover!
Just outside of the bustling city centre of Canterbury, is Westgate Parks. Wander beside the River Stour, enjoy the bright urban-artwork under the bridges and let the sensory garden and tranquil flow of the river lull you. The chalky river habitat features a range of wild residents such as bats, birds, reptiles and of course amphibians amongst the riverside plants. Fancy a spot of exercise while the kids are expending their boundless energy? Why not make the most of the fresh air and give the outside gym equipment a go! There’s also a Roman-themed play park for the little ones to explore and plenty of space to throw a frisbee.
Oh I do like to be beside the sea side and if you do too, the dashing sights of Dover's Connaught Park will delight you. Dating back to Victorian times the classic hillside park, adorned with delicate flowers, is set adjacent to the eminent Dover Castle. Take some time to enjoy the open grass slopes and ornamental lake, then head down to the aviary to hear some beautiful bird songs. There’s lots for children to test-out too, from a terrific tree house to an exhilarating zip-wire, football goals and tennis courts adore an active escapade in nature.
Feel the sea breeze brush past your face as you take a stroll in the brisk Riverside Country Park in Gillingham. Mix the best of both worlds with an immersive experience on the marshy Saxon walkway, with awe-inspiring views of sweeping seaside scenery. Look out for the native swans, at home in the open expanse and waters, then enjoy a secluded stroll under the trees searching for animal tracks as you go. Want to spend a calm day swanning about in the fresh outdoors? Why not visit Capstone Park, covering 114 hectares of former farmland this pretty park and freshwater lake is a blend of nature and adventure.
Spanning across nearly 300 acres of grand green space and home to a plethora of park wildlife, Shorne Woods Country Park is utterly stunning. Go green with a visit to their eco-friendly visitor centre and restaurant to fuel up for your exciting expedition. Whether you want to recline by the fishing lakes, take on the trim trail or amble through the woodlands, wetlands and meadows get a taste for the great outdoors. The Jeskyns community woodland and green space is also perfect for a picnic with some friends or a gentle dog-walk in the soft glow of the sun.
The much-loved Mote Park in Maidstone is a five-time Green Flag award-winning grassland and is the ultimate blend between serenity and exhilaration. With the contrast if the peaceful surroundings of the countryside this park has breath taking views of the wood and gorgeous grassy areas against the abundance of thrilling activities, you’re sure to have a great adventure. Try your hand at some crazy golf, rock climbing, swimming and skateboarding, then take a relaxing walk along the naturally stunning woodland. Fancy doing something slightly spooky? Why not take the bat walk and search for the creepy creatures around the park!
The Vine is a small historic park which provides a charming place to spend a sunny afternoon. With a licensed café selling delicious home-made goodies, hot, cold and alcoholic drinks there’s sure to be something that will whet your appetite! Quench your thirst for nature as you sip a snifter amongst the award-winning setting filled with the scent of vibrant flowers, calming splashes of the fishpond and delightful sights of the sensory garden. Want to try somewhere more grand? Why not try Knole Park, with it's wild fallow deer, mushrooms and thriving insect habitat there's so much to see!
Discover the marvellous marshland, hidden away on the Isle of Sheppey is the excellent Elmley Nature Reserve. Watch the thousands of beautiful native Lapwing and Redshank birds as they wade through the shallow pools and smell the unmistakably crisp scent of the sea air as you amble alongside the seawall track. Whether you’re frog spotting, bird watching, butterfly searching or just enjoying the fresh air, spare a moment to breathe and take in the phenomenal sight surrounded by the sea. If you want to feel more encompassed in nature, why not head to the Abbey Physic Community Garden? Feel at ease and restored as you explore the wholesome horticulture experience of the more intimate walled half-acre garden.
The Isle of Thanet
Enjoy the endless views at Pegwell Bay. This coastal wildlife park has lots to offer with incredible views of natural wonder. See the panoramic views from the shores and explore the various species of insects and birds as you take a pleasant stroll through this prized site of astonishing beauty. The park also boasts bountiful clusters of wildflowers amongst the site where highland cattle graze. Take in the multi-terrain complexity of the shingle-beach, mudflats, saltmarsh and cliffs, then relax for a breather at the onsite café.
Located in the centre of town, this classy and historic park is a beautiful setting to sit in amongst nature. With a pristine Italianate garden and array of colourful flowerbed displays, surround yourself with the natural beauty of Calverley Grounds. Get the ball rolling with a game of croquet, basketball or tennis on the multi-purpose games area and then settle down to relax in a quiet corner as you let your worries melt away. Why not pack a picnic? If you’re looking for a mix of modern meadows and classic Victorian gardens, then kick back and appreciate the serene yet cheerful floras that provide a flourishing visual feast.
Tonbridge and Malling
Haysden Country Park is a true gem, with 65 hectares of picturesque greenery have a thrilling day out with the whole family. Feeling adventurous? Why not take the kids and try your hand at some unique activities such as hunting for mini beasts, pond dipping, sailing, taking part in craft events and calm walks in the premium views of the countryside. If fishing’s your thing, then fall hook line and sinker for this spectacularly beautiful setting to do a spot of angling. With designated cycle routes and plenty of leisure activities to do, ditch the concrete pavements and trade them in for floral paths of greenery in the heart of the Kent.