Parks, Country Parks and Unusual Places

Mote Park

This is a great place for a picnic and there are three particularly good spots. 

1. Near the café with all the children’s play area.  This is especially good if you have little ones who need to be active and entertained.  It’s close proximity to the car park is also very useful.  Toilets are close by.

2. Walk past the café along the tarmac track and take the left-hand fork in the path.  This is a much quieter area there are some platforms where you can be right on the lake.  They are all the way around the lake, but this is a nice patch in a peaceful place.

3. Walk down the hill towards the lake and pass the Old Boat House on your right.  Keep walking until you reach Mote Park Water Sports Centre.  There is a lovely grassy bank which slopes gently down to the water.  There is lots of space and nice views of the park and lake.  There are also toilets on the top of the bank.

Cobtree Manor Park

A great picnic can be had in Cobtree Manor Park and there are some rather nice choices here too.

1. A popular choice here is to be able to sit in the shade of an amazing tree.  The good thing is there is approximately one tree for every family.  There is lots of very good adventure play equipment and is suitable for slightly older children and the fort is very good for the younger ones.  There is a café for ice creams and the toilets are close by.

2. The Llama House is a little-known spot in the Park, but it’s quiet and there are picnic benches and a kind of walled garden, which used to be the walls to the Llama House.  From the car park walk up the hill and through the gateway past the Elephant House, to the top of the hill.  Continue along the main pathway, with a slight incline for about 250 metres and keep a look out to the right.  You will see it sheltering in the trees.  This is a peaceful spot backing on to the golf course.

Brenchley Gardens

These can be found behind Maidstone Museum.  It is a nice municipal park with neatly mown lawns and flower beds.  It is close to the shops and main services, so is very convenient.  Sometimes there is music on the bandstand, which add to the nice atmosphere.

Maidstone River Park

This is in central Maidstone and whilst it follows the river in town there is only a small spot, but it is quite a nice place to settle for a short while.  Head towards Fairmeadow and under the underpass to River.  Turn right and there is a short stretch of grassy bank.  This is a nice spot to sit outside and watch the River comings and goings, whilst the town rushes past without being noticed.

Rural Parks

White Horse Wood Country Park

This is a park with a phenomenal view, which stretches right across the county to the south and into the Weald of Kent.  From the car park take the main track to the south, cross the wide gravel track and keep walking straight in front of you until you see the view.  This is open access land and you can choose where to sit to take in a breath-taking view.  Fantastic place to fly a kite or if the wind is in the right direction then watch the paragliders rise and fall on the thermals.  They are amazing.

Teston Country Park

This is a lovely rural park right next to the River Medway and the Lock at Teston.  It also has a picturesque Medieval bridge.  There is a café and toilets but sadly since 2018 you can’t have a barbecue any longer, as there was a problem with littering and people not taking enough care.  However, it remains a great place for a picnic and has a superb place to fly a kite.

Yalding Lees

Parking can be a bit difficult here but from the Medieval Bridge, with traffic lights, head along the river and there is a wide grassy area called Yalding Lees.  It is filled with wild flowers during the early summer and you can sit next to the River in a peaceful spot along here. Please do not swim in the river here as it’s not safe.

Hucking Estate

There is plenty of room here to have a picnic.  It is a great place for a walk and either carry your picnic with you leave it in the car until you return.

Unusual Places

Sutton Valence Castle

This site is owned by English Heritage and it’s a place to explore.  Just in front of the main ruin is a large flat area, which is great for a picnic in a dramatic location and you can explore the ruined castle at the same time.

Headcorn Aerodrome

Parking at the airfield is free.  You just pull in and there is a wide grassy field next to the runway which is used for events.  Provided there are no events on visitors are welcome to come along and watch the coming and goings on the airfield.  Here you can have your picnic, watch the light aircraft take off and land, watch the parachutists glide down and if you are very lucky there might even be a Spitfire take-off or landing.  There is a café for teas and coffees, toilets and a rather interesting museum called Lashenden Air Warfare Museum.  Sometimes they also do hangar tours of the fabulous aircraft inside.

Self-Drive Private Hire Cruisers

This is a lovely choice for a picnic.  You can put your picnic aboard and go and explore the River Medway.  You can stop wherever you choose, in a sunny spot, near lock, with other boaters.  It’s a great day out and offers a good choice of picnic spots along the way.

Events with Picnics

Leeds Castle if famous for its picnics on its classical concert evenings and Proms in the Park is immensley popular with picnickers as you just pitch-up, set your blanket and picnic and enjoy the music.  Keep and eye on other events throughout the season which also have picnics, such as the outdoor theatre and some events in Mote Park.

As with all picnicking please take all your litter home with you along with your memories and photographs and leave nothing behind except for your footprints.

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