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Best wildlife areas in Kent?

(22 Posts)
Freshairatlast Fri 14-Jul-17 14:07:23

Hello, I would love to get the kids out and about this summer so can I ask for your favourite places? In addition, any which might welcome dogs too?

LocalEditorKent Fri 14-Jul-17 14:42:03

For East Kent - I can recommend Wingham Wildlife Park and Wildwood - both great!

Wingham has an indoor play area if the weather looks ropey, and Wildwood has a pretty amazing outdoor play a rope bridge over the bear enclosure grin.

Don't think either of those are dog friendly though - sorry!

1cansee4miles Fri 14-Jul-17 15:34:43

Thank you! I'll look them up. I know a lot of places won't allow dogs so will sometimes have to leave him behind. I should say the kids are teens so it's more about photography than play areas these days grin

DownstairsMixUp Fri 14-Jul-17 21:28:02

Howletts is good to

knockedover Sat 15-Jul-17 00:00:50

Stone bay is great for rockpooling. Howletts and Port Lympe are wonderful and Betteshanger country park is 250 acres with great play bits for 2+. Hth

Freshairatlast Sat 15-Jul-17 08:59:43

Thanks all - Betteshanger is one of my favourites. I've never been to Stone Bay so will take a look as we do enjoy rockpooling. Howletts and Port Lympne are brilliant but I am looking more for your recommendations of wildlife sanctuaries such as Pegwell Bay. We will travel to anywhere in Kent.

GlitterRollerSkate Sat 15-Jul-17 15:23:47

Seasalter is nice for a walk. Lots of sea birds about. Dogs are allowed down there. We park near the sportsman and walk along the coast.

FierceShushing Sun 16-Jul-17 08:19:37

I would recommend Hucking Estate, near Maidstone, a large Woodland Trust estate which is beautiful; Blean Woods near Canterbury, very famous ancient woodland; Oare Gunpowder Works nature reserve and the Oare Marshes, both near Faversham.

Freshairatlast Sun 16-Jul-17 09:08:49

Thanks Glitter and Fierce - I don't know any of these so now have several to try out. I can't wait!

puddock Sun 16-Jul-17 14:45:51

This has lots of information:
There are lots of walking paths (Saxon Shore Way, Elham Valley Way, North Downs Way) which you can do short child-friendly circular walks on. I've done nice ones recently in Folkestone Warren and from St Margaret's:

missmapp Sun 16-Jul-17 20:34:46

Hothfield has fantastic woods and Heathlands. Shorne woods and Brockhill are great country parks. All dog friendly

bellabelly Mon 17-Jul-17 09:32:30

Rye Nature reserve is great for seabirds. It's not in Rye itself but close by at a place called Rye Harbour.

JigglyTuff Mon 17-Jul-17 11:56:27

The Wildart Trail in Blean is great for kids and dogs: Dogs can go off lead there but need to be kept on lead in East Blean which is managed by the RSPB.

If you go on the website, it tells you about all the flora and fauna you might see.

I think Pegwell is pretty unique in terms of its wildlife. Walking up from Reculver up the bluff is a really nice dog/kid walk too and the views are great.

You can also do seal watching trips from Ramsgate harbour

Reastie Mon 17-Jul-17 20:04:36

Great thread. I'm more west Kent and trying to think of things to put in the mix. There's a nice little park at lullingstone which has a visitor centre with cafe and is very dog friendly for the walking. It also has a little playground too. If I think of anything else (I don't have a dog so it's not something we usually consider when going out) I'll let you know.

Goingtobeawesome Mon 17-Jul-17 20:09:57

I can't think of the name but there is a small wildlife centre near/on the A229.

goingmadinthecountry Mon 17-Jul-17 21:11:43

Brockwell Park near Folkestone is great. Not a wildlife park but free - Folkestone Lower Lees is fantastic. Good rock pooling down there too.

DeathStarCantina Mon 17-Jul-17 22:13:44

Eagle Heights at Eynsford is worth a visit. Birds of Prey, Falconry and a cafe. Nice to sit by the river afterwards too.

user1497268390 Wed 19-Jul-17 19:32:13

Not sure where abouts in Kent you are looking for but you can't beat Bedgebury or Bewl water, you can hire bikes and follow seasonal trails. Bedgebury currently has the summer trail and I believe the Gruffalo trail is still on there. Be prepared to have to pay £12 to park the car at Bedgebury if a non-member though which is a real shame but you would get an entire day out for it. Parking at Bewl water is £2 and again you can hire bikes, it really is beautiful and if you are feeling energetic you can follow the 'Bewl Water' trail which takes you around the entire reservoir but does take.....6 hours on foot (according to the signs!)

Hope this helps.

lulabelleread Wed 19-Jul-17 20:44:59

There's Hemsley Conservation Centre - it's very small but great, tucked away at the far end of Meopham, website says Sevenoaks. It was about £6.50 entrance for us each, it is tucked away. DP and I went on a weekday and as it was quiet one of the keepers got the armadillo out and we could stroke it, real one on one exp. you can also go into the monkey enclosure (it's more like a large shed/summer house) and the monkeys swing about above your head. It's not a full day out mind you think more wander round half the day if that. They also do interactive feeds etc and said if we wanted to go for lunch elsewhere then come back we could for the talks and feeds

Or for DC and dog there's Jeskyns off the A2. They have the interactive gruffalo trail there at mo and can also take the dog as they have a dog activity trail, we take DDog and all the dogs congregate at the pond which is good fun and there's a big treehouse for DCs. We don't have any yet but dog walking friends DCs seem to enjoy!!

BertrandRussell Thu 20-Jul-17 12:10:55

I second Wildwood- we were there last week and my children are now 16 and 21!

There's an amazing little ecology park thing near Canterbury- I'll look up the name next time I've got broadband. And Perry Woods is brilliant for dogs- with a nice dog friendly pub as well.

noenemee Thu 20-Jul-17 12:17:34

Not dog or wildlife specific as such, but so many beautiful places to connect with the outdoors makes the National Trust great value, especially for families.

OJZJ Fri 28-Jul-17 04:40:16

Brockhill country park just outside of Folkestone/Hythe is fantastic lovely walks for the dog with fields or woodland, fantastic woods and lake/big pond with a carved wooden throne for the children to climb on plus stream for the dogs. It goes off into areas such as a learning field and there is a playpark and picnic area plus amazing cafe they have a learning Zone and events days too. It's only 1.50 or 2.50 weekends to park all day as well or five min walk from sandling train station. The warren is good near folkestone and you can let the dogs off all year round on the beach as you go fossil hunting and people build campfires there as well. Sapphire hoe further down the coast is a lovely wildlife area with dog walking. You can take the dogs into Dover castle grounds if your an English heritage member and plenty to do there (dogs not allowed in tunnels or castle)
Wye past ashford has an amazing woods with play areas for various aged children and picnic areas too... and Battle outside of Hastings has fantastic dog walking nature walks for kids.
If you do English heritage it's 54 a year for an adult and about 90 for a couple and you get 6 children under the age of 16 in per adult for free, it pays for itself with one trip to Dover castle if there are more than a couple of you tbh and there are a fair few EH sites in Kent also i love wingham and the passes there paid for itself in 3 trips my son loves the indoor and outdoor play areas more than the Zoo but at that age. Leeds castle is pay once visit for free the rest of the year and really reasonable price wise. I love Kent life near Maidstone too it's got fantastic activities plus the farmyard and my favourite....the old houses, shops etc set out as they would have been 70 odd years ago. I love Kent and think there is loads to do round here with young kids...

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