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What’s on outdoors (yes, really!)

The time has finally come to put on some real clothes (joggers don't count, sorry) and have some fun in the fresh air - at a social distance, of course.

Going out is the new staying in! Yep, it’s finally time to emerge from your cocoon, put on some actual shoes and head out into the world. Stay safe of course but we think it’s time to get out there and support your local events, stores and experiences.

Bore Place

Bore Place is many amazing things rolled into one. Set in 500 acres of countryside with an organic dairy farm, explore for the day and take one of the many circular walks that are way marked by colour-coded directional discs and tall oak posts. It also hosts a whole variety of the kind of original and interesting workshops we know you’ll absolutely love – from Artisan Bread Making to an Introduction to Bee Keeping…Oh and there’s Holiday Clubs too which are STILL going ahead this summer, yay! The Summer Holiday Clubs run 9am – 4pm from Mon 10 Aug and the days are themed, filled with crafts or baking to den building and campfire fun. Book your kids place now.

Wingham Wildlife Park

Wingham Wildlife Park is now open. Not discovered Wingham Wildlife Park yet? It’s Kent’s bijou zoo where you can get up-close to the animals.

You’ll find this outdoor attraction in a picturesque region of the county just off the road (A257) that links Canterbury and Sandwich. Not only does it boast more species than any other park in Kent (fact fans) there’s a Dinosaur Zoo for any Jurassic-mad mudlets too.

For entry to the park you must pre-buy tickets for specific time slots on specific dates. You can purchase your PRE-BOOKED TIME SLOT HERE.

Stede Court Private Fitness Retreat

Stede Court is the luxury, countryside fitness & wellbeing retreat run by celebrity trainer Kathryn Freeland which will now open Sat 11 & Sat 18 July for a morning of solace and the perfect chance to get a change of scenery, in the seven acres of beautiful gardens and woodland. Limited to 6 guests, £50 each. Arrive at 10am for a circuit class, a cup of tea, mindfulness talk, yoga, meditation and then being free to enjoy the grounds and eat some lunch. Book your place at the Morning Retreat now!

Bodiam Boating Station

Bodiam Boating Station is now open. With a new jetty to make it easier to board the boat safely and contact-free. New opening hours 10am-7pm for boat hire and 12pm-8pm for the takeaway service – should you want to order from the menu so it’s ready for when you step off your boat (and we highly recommend that you do!) Get out there with the family for some safe-distanced, outdoor fun. Updates on menu, opening hours and bookings here.

Bewl Water

Bewl is now open for walking, cycling, fishing and member’s water sports. Did you know Bewl Water is the largest stretch of open water in the South East? An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in the heart of the High Weald. A visit to this stunning reservoir is fantastic family fun and great value. Bewl Water Aqua Park is opening 19th June!

Parking and admission is £5 and entry closes at 6pm. The reservoir route is 13 miles so if you want to walk allow 6 hours and cycling allow 3 hours. Please abide by the one way routes and maintain social distancing.

Bedgebury Pinetum

Recently listed as of one of the UK’s most beautiful sites, Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest is now open. The National Pinetum is home to a world-leading collection of conifers and provides a beautiful setting for peaceful walks and picnics. Bedgebury Forest has miles of family cycling and mountain-biking, walking, and running trails.

Their car park is open for a limited capacity between 8am – 6pm daily. Many of their visitor facilities are still closed but Bedgebury Cafe is open for takeaways!

Hever Castle

Hever Castle‘s Grounds, Gardens and Play Areas are now open!

All visitors will need to book a date and time slot online (including Annual Members), this is to limit numbers to protect everyone’s safety. You can book your date and time slot here

You can upgrade to a Castle ticket at the Castle Entrance, this is because they are limiting the numbers so cannot guarantee Castle entry for everyone. But you can explore the 125 acres of grounds, gardens and boating which are already open.

Mount Ephraim Gardens

The Mount Ephraim Gardens is open. Set in 10 glorious acres of stunning Edwardian terraced gardens against the backdrop of the Kent countryside – it’s a sight to see! Explore the Japanese rock garden, water garden and lake plus there’s a grass maze for the little ones. The gardens will be open on Weds-Sun until the end of October from 11am until 5pm (last entry 4pm).

The West wing Kitchen and Tea Room won’t be opening YET but they will be open for takeaways soon! But you can always bring a picnic of your own.

Scotney Castle

Scotney Castle is now open. This beautiful wooded estate has over 770 acres to explore making it the perfect family outing. Especially with its romantic gardens and the 14th century moated castle to ignite the kids’ imagination.

Relax in its picturesque garden with the glorious backdrop of the fairytale castle behind you, and why not bring lunch along to eat in its newly created woodland picnic area to complete your day?

To enter this outdoor attraction, you’ll need to pay for your tickets before you go, they release tickets every Friday and we recommend to book them quick! Book your tickets here. They’re reducing the number of people in the parks and there’s a one way route around the gardens with access to the full estate to ensure everyone’s safety.

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

One of the most famous gardens in England IN the Garden of England – Sissinghurst Castle Garden is open. It’s a must-do! The garden at Sissinghurst Castle is among the most famous gardens in England and should be on your to-do list. Stroll around the gardens and gaze up at the 4-storey red-brick Elizabethan tower as you go.

Don’t forget to book your ticket before you go! There’s a limited capacity of tickets available each day so get in quick. Book your timed entry slot here.

Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve and Howletts Wild Animal Park

Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve and Howletts Wild Animal Park are NOW OPEN! Both Port Lympne and Howletts are set in vast open spaces in the stunning Kent countryside, ample space for guests to visit and socially distance themselves from others whilst viewing the wonderful animals on site and helping the charity recover.

The outdoor attraction are implementing measures to make sure everyone is as safe as possible, a few of them are: limited number of visitors allowed in each park per day, a one-way system around the park, hand sanitiser points and more. Pre-book your tickets now!

Wildwood

Wildwood has reopened! The perfect family day out with 200 native animals set in 40 acres of beautiful ancient woodland. There’s a few added new measures to ensure everyone’s safety like a one way system around the park, the encouragement of social distancing, contactless payments and more. For their full reopening plans click here. Don’t forget the book your ticket for this outdoor attraction and your time slot before you arrive at the park.

Elmley Nature Reserve

Another fab outdoor attraction is Elmley Nature Reserve is now open. If you’ve not yet been, Elmley is a National Nature Reserve and is an internationally recognised site for the the conservation of rare birds, plants, animals and insects. With 3,200 acres, Elmley provides the perfect place for your little ones to explore and get closer to nature. It’s a family-run farm with approximately 700 cattle grazing the pasture each year plus chickens, ducks and tractors to admire! 

Good news is you’ll still be able to continue staying at Elmley this summer! Buy your voucher today and visit when you can! Vouchers are available for 18 months and 10% will be donated to the Kent Community Foundation (a charity which supports local causes and is particularly supporting the most vulnerable at the moment).

Stay in the gorgeous Kingshill 18th Century Farmhouse or Elmley Cottage or how about one of their Shepherd’s Huts with wonderful water views which make them the prime viewing point for neighbouring owls and hares during the summer months. They have lots of special measures in place to keep us all safe when visiting. For the full details: click here.


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4 comments on “What’s on outdoors (yes, really!)”

  • Sue May 31, 2020

    I tried to book for National Trust properties on Friday but by noon all tickets were sold out. Unable to get an answer from NT as to what time booking opens

    Reply
  • Bella June 2, 2020

    We visited Taywell Farm Shop in goudhurst yesterday ,and were very impressed with their fresh produce all displayed outside , they have really taken social distancing seriously and we felt quite safe remaining behind the hay bales whilst being served by a cheerful helpful Lady . We bought a fabulous charcuterie platter and a Cold bottle of chapel down wine to picnic on one of the socially distance picnic benches enjoying the fabulous view , well done Taywell Farm Shop

    Reply
  • Lindsay Ann June 2, 2020

    Thanks for this update its my sons birthday next week and i really wanted to get out with him so this has given me some options rather than trawling the Internet

    Reply
  • Mandy June 10, 2020

    I visited Hever with my son the day before he started back at school and we had a great time exploring the grounds and choosing the perfect picnic spots. They’ve done so well at maintaining the beautiful gardens and I understand that takeaway food and drink will be available very soon. Members need to be mindful to give suitable warning if they no longer want their booked time slot, as many potentially paying guests have been turned away, only for the member booking not to show up, meaning lost revenue. We need to ensure these wonderful historic treasures survive for us to enjoy in the future! 🙂

    Reply

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