Top Picnic Spots to Enjoy With Your Family

14th June 2023

Just Add a Picnic and Explore Kent are coming together to give you some top tips for the week ahead. Just Add a Picnic has picnicked all over Kent and we’ve got a list of some fantastic spots to enjoy with your family.

Lullingstone Country Park, Eynsford, DA4 0JF. If you’re looking for a great walk in the countryside, this a perfect spot. The red route around the park is perfect for families as there are basket swings, a zipwire and a swing set overlooking the hills as you make your way around. The meadow behind the pay and display car park is perfect for picnics; there’s plenty of picnic tables, or you can spread out your own blankets and enjoy the buzz of the field.  There’s a lovely café and visitors centre with toilets, including a “changing places”. The paths here are mainly unmade but passable with a robust pushchair. Horsebox parking is available here by prior request and Tramper mobility scooters are available for hire. Dogs very welcome.

    • Closest train station – Eynsford is a 20 minute walk, but some of the roads are narrow and do not have footpaths.

Dartford Central Park, DA1 1JP. If you’re looking for some pirate themed adventure, head to Buccaneer Bay at Dartford Central Park! The newly opened play area is the perfect place to keep little ones entertained, don’t forget a towel as the splash area is open. Dartford Park has lots to offer beyond the play area; Sunday band stand performances in the summer, a skate park, large green spaces for picnicking and ball games and it’s conveniently close to the town centre. There’s a café and 2 public toilets blocks located in the park. The paths around the park are completely paved and suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs, scooters, and bicycles. Dogs welcome in the park, but they cannot enter the play area.

    • Closest car park – Acacia Car Park, DA1 3EF.
    • Closest train station – Dartford, 10-minute walk.

Riverside Country Park, Rainham, ME7 2XH. This is one of our favourite spots; you truly can just add a picnic to have a lovely day here. Parking is free, there’s a good-sized play area for all ages and a café should you want an ice cream or some extra refreshments. The walks along the River Medway are lovely, at low tide you can explore the shoreline, turning over rocks to look for crabs and sandhoppers. There’s an extensive list of wildlife to be found at the park, it’s always worth checking out the board in the Visitor’s Centre before you set off. If you’re looking for a longer walk, you could explore Horrid Hill, Motney Hill, or walk along to The Strand, about 30 minutes away. Paths around the park are unmade, but passable with robust pushchairs. Dogs very welcome, but are not allowed in the play area.

  • There is no easy access to Riverside Country Park using public transport.

Toddler’s Cove, Canterbury, CT2 8BG. Tucked away near the heart of Canterbury City centre is the children’s haven of Toddler’s Cove. A play area with climbing frames, swings, spinning discs and slides, it’s the perfect escape after being good while out shopping. So throw down your picnic blanket and sit back and watch your children play. There’s some public toilets here and an ice cream van often pulls up to serve tasty treats, or you’re only a 5 -10 minute walk back into the city. Nestled next to the river, you can follow the Great Stour all the way to Chartham should you chose. The paths around the park are paved and there is step free access back into Canterbury city centre.

  • Closest car park – Toddler’s Cove CT2 8BG.
  • Closest train station – Canterbury West 10 minute walk, Canterbury East, 10 minute walk.

Deal Pier to Walmer paddling pool. Deal and Walmer are stony beaches and not really your traditional seaside day out. But they are still a lovely place to enjoy as a family. With long flat cycle paths along the seafront this is a great spot to scoot or cycle as a family. There’s plenty of benches so you can stop at any point, and who doesn’t love throwing stones into the sea? Our children love trying to hide in and climb the wind-swept trees and shrubs that line the paths. Walmer paddling pool is a perfect stop on a hot afternoon to cool off. It’s shin deep water elicits shrieks of delight from the children crashing around with their inflatables. Deck chair hire is available, or you can just throw down your picnic blanket and sit back. Dogs restrictions apply for Deal beach (May – Sept) but are welcome at Walmer beach all year round. Dogs are not allowed in the paddling pool area.

  • Closest car parks, free on street parking, along Marine Road and The Beach.
  • Closest train stations – Deal 5 minute walk to Deal Pier.

Kearnsey Abbey and Russell Gardens, Dover, CT16 3EB. This is a perfect picnic spot! Wide open lawns, 2 play areas, formal gardens, and waterways to paddle in. Kearnsey Abbey and Russell Gardens sit either side of Alkham Road but come as a package. Kearnsey Abbey has a newly built visitors centre and café with fully accessible toilets. The patio area looks over the lawns and the pond where you can watch the waterfowl or practice your cartwheels. There’s a children’s play area here with a sandpit and lots of little waterways, several of which you can paddle in. Please remember to wear water shoes to protect your feet from cuts and scrapes. Over the road Russell Gardens is more formal in its planting, and you’ll find another play area here in the shade of the mature trees. There’s another single accessible toilet on this side too. All the paths around the site are paved, and relatively flat so good accessibility.

  • Closest car parks – There’s a small free car park (at the postcode above), and another at CT16 3EE. Disabled parking at CT16 3EG.
  • Nearest train station – Kearnsey, 5 minute walk away.

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