Shorne Country Park Kent


shorne country park kent

It’s half term and we’re only way half way through the week. I have an earache, sore throat and a throbbing headache that even a powerful cocktail of pain killers isn’t able to nudge. Plus breakfast really is too early for a gin and tonic.

My half term days have been starting at 6.30am – no lie in for me since Baxter arrived; it’s easier and quicker for me to walk him whilst dad is getting washed and dressed for work. I arrive back just in time to say goodbye to him (7.10) and take over the childcare from him.

shorne country park woods light

Baxter is fine but turning his nose up at his breakfast with those sad, sad eyes, the girls are buzzing after a good night’s sleep giggling, talking in high voices and the calm I found on my dog walk is slowly, slowly dissolving.

Today we need to make a start on the homework; reading, spelling, Mathletics – the most annoying website in history that keeps crashing half way through a test – and we need to make bird feeders. TWO bird feeders as they need one each.

I am pretty close to swearing and it’s not 8am yet.

Shorne Country Park kent

My head is starting to throb, there’s a massive pile of ironing that needs to be done at some point this week, I need to run the vacuum around the house and keep the girls amused. Oh and then there’s work that needs fitting in too, welcome to Mari’s World everyone.

shorne country park

What to do?

I packed kids and dog in the car and carted them off to Shorne Country Park my brilliant idea being to exhaust them all and have an easy afternoon.

Shorne Country Park is a few minutes drive from our house, it’s 300 acres spread out across ancient woodlands, fields and open spaces. There are a lot of different trails to follow, short ones, Trim ones, Horse riding ones and ones which allow your dog off the lead too, about 18 km in all and they interestingly include the Heritage Trail which passes a ruined medieval manor house and RAF air raid shelters from the WWII.

woodpile shorne country park

There’s the Explorer Trail, a route taking in wild flowers, fungi and wetland areas of the park. The 10 km circular Darnley Trail through Shorne Wood Country Park and out into the local area through Cobham Park and Ashenbank, skirting the edges of Ranscombe Farm and Jeskyns.

shorne country park fairie ring

But what my girls like most is the path leading to the Fairie ring.

The paths are muddy right now, Baxter was a bit of a wuss to be honest and I almost had to pick him up at one point as he refused to go through the mud. *raises eyes*

The foliage is brown, the sky is grey, the air is cold but cheeks are flushed red in comparison.

shorne country park cardiac hill

Cardiac Hill stands in front of us so we go up

shorne country park cardiac hill

and up

shorne country park cardiac hill

Hold on a sec, Alice wants to take a photo.

shorne country park kent action cam

Back on upwards until we reach the top with views extending over north Kent and fallen trees to climb.

shorne country park kent

It’s not my best decision to date but I decide to let Baxter off his lead a bit … to practise his recall …

shorne country park

this ended up being an exercise of me shouting after him, trying to resemble a responsible dog owner to the busy park and in the end resulted in me running after him, the girls calling and running after me alarmed at what was happening and me pouncing on him whilst he happily sniffed lots of doggy bottoms, clipping on his lead with a ‘Never again’ being muttered through gritted teeth.

Syndol has devised a new formulation for headache and migraine. Taking Syndol means you don’t lose a day when headache or migraine strikes and you can get on with your life.

Oh Syndol if only I’d known this morning before I set off.

shorne country park Kent

As I returned home with a small dog properly covered in mud but wagging his tail furiously at all the fun he’d had. My two small people also returned muddy. Muddy trousers, muddy boots, muddy coats BUT happy, healthy little faces and lots of photos on their Action Cams.

shorne country park kent

I now have to add, washing the floors, washing clothes and grooming the dog to my To Do list so was it such a good idea?

YES. Always yes.

Shorne Country Park

Park open daily from 9am to dusk or 9pm (whichever is earliest).

Visitors Centre open daily from 10.00am to 5 pm
Cafe open daily from 10 – 5 in summer and 11 – 4 in winter
Free Entry

Car Park fee £2 all day, Monday to Friday and £2.50 weekends and bank holidays.
• Cafe
• Visitors Centre
• Toilet Facilities
• Trim Trail
• Childrens Play Area

Brewers Road, Shorne, Kent, DA12 3HX

Signposted from the A2 at the Shorne/Cobham junction, just south of Gravesend


  1. February 19, 2015 / 7:58 PM

    As you know, I’m not far from you, and I can’t believe I’ve never been! It looks similar to Berengrave Nature Reserve which is near me … but a whole lot bigger!

    • February 20, 2015 / 10:55 PM

      I’ll meet you there one time Kate – you can look after Baxter …. :D
      Love the sound of Berengrave Must check it out

  2. February 20, 2015 / 3:25 PM

    What a lovely happy place, it looks right up my street. xxx

    • February 20, 2015 / 10:56 PM

      I hope your washing machine can stand up to the experience Emma. xx

  3. February 20, 2015 / 3:28 PM

    Wow what a great place to visit. I was hoping you were going to say that the fresh air helped your headache ….. if that didn’t I hope the Syndol did!

    • February 20, 2015 / 10:58 PM

      Not tried the Syndol yet but I will be looking out for it. The fresh air did clear my head plus I love to see the girls playing well, they LOVE it and that for me is good.
      Then I returned home and started clearing up again…

  4. February 20, 2015 / 3:31 PM

    Gorgeous post – sometimes we all need to get OUT and away from it all – even with the kids and the dog. :)
    Hope you’re feeling okay now xxx

    • February 20, 2015 / 10:58 PM

      I am feeling better thank you Sarah, shame it happened over half term as it’s the time I love to spend with the girls.
      Anyway – bring on Easter vacation now I say!

  5. February 20, 2015 / 4:17 PM

    Wow what an awesome place to visit. It looks and sounds amazing

    • February 20, 2015 / 10:59 PM

      Everyone needs an escape place like this, go find one, it’s good for the soul x

  6. February 20, 2015 / 5:59 PM

    It looks like a beautiful place to visit, definitely somewhere to go to clear your head x

  7. Michelle
    February 20, 2015 / 7:09 PM

    What a lovely place, perfect for a day out with the kiddies :) xxx

    • February 20, 2015 / 11:01 PM

      Morning – only a morning a whole day would have killed me having the dog too :D

      It is gorgeous and we have many more parks to discover around us. One at a time I say.

  8. February 20, 2015 / 8:37 PM

    This looks like a lovely place. I hope you’re feeling better now. My dog doesn’t like getting wet or dirty either, she even walks around puddles.

    • February 20, 2015 / 11:02 PM

      There was another dog there who thoroughly enjoyed jumping in the muddiest puddles, he was covered in it but not our Baxter, no no no.
      How funny, I’m really liking this little guy and he is constantly surprising me, especially he’s preference of doggie biscuits over the food in his bowl …

  9. February 20, 2015 / 8:52 PM

    what a fab place. Sorry to hear Baxter starts your day early. This is why I would struggle with a dog! Even Erin doesn’t wake until 8.45 in the holidays!

    • February 20, 2015 / 11:04 PM

      Only on half term Emma, as of Monday he’ll do the school run with me leaving the house at 8.35 and after dropping the girls off we’ll go on for another 45 minutes. My problem on school holidays is the girls get bored on such long walks and start with the ‘my legs hurt mummy’ which just ruins the experience for us all.
      Hence the early wake up!

  10. February 21, 2015 / 12:45 AM

    I love just locking the door on the mess and heading out with my four year old. Life is definitely too short to worry about the washing ;) x

  11. February 21, 2015 / 8:35 AM

    Gorgeous photos Mari, the girls look like they’re having a brilliant time at the park, all wrapped up to keep cosy and stretching their wee legs! What a lot of fun. xx

    • February 25, 2015 / 4:05 PM

      They love it and I love to hear them laughing and playing whilst I walk along clearing my head of all sorts of nonsense

  12. February 21, 2015 / 11:33 AM

    I’ve just googled this place and its about 40 mins from us by car – THANK YOU!
    I’m trying to find more places outdoors for us to go as a family, this is brilliant.
    Charlotte x

    • February 25, 2015 / 4:06 PM

      Good for you, I am sure you’ll love it and there’s a coffee shop too if you get hungry ;)

    • February 25, 2015 / 4:07 PM

      Yes it is and there are plenty of trails to follow to find a spot which isn’t too busy too

  13. February 21, 2015 / 8:02 PM

    Oh no you poor love,hope your feeling better now.

    It looks like you all had do much fun even with the dog running off.

    • February 25, 2015 / 4:07 PM

      Dog is still learning recall – I think it might take us some time …

  14. February 21, 2015 / 8:24 PM

    wow Mari what an epic place! there is so much to do there too .. that fairy ring looks like such super fun! x

    • February 25, 2015 / 4:28 PM

      They LOVE that ring and luckily for me it’s a good trek to reach it so it does make for a great workout for all of us

  15. February 23, 2015 / 9:55 PM

    oh it looks (and sounds) AMAZING!

  16. February 24, 2015 / 10:50 AM

    I do love getting out and about in the great outdoors as I find it wears the kids out and makes for an easier to run home. Looks like a wonderful place

    • February 25, 2015 / 4:30 PM

      I agree there’s nothing like fresh air for working up a healthy appetite and of course all of the exercise too means worn out kids and I put my thumbs up to that!

  17. February 24, 2015 / 12:52 PM

    I really should make more of the outdoor space we have here in London on our doorstep!

    • February 25, 2015 / 4:30 PM

      Yes, a good walk in the fresh air replenishes the spirit

  18. February 24, 2015 / 6:57 PM

    That looks a fantastic park, especially where a dog is allowed off the lead and it’s safe. With a greyhound we have to be extra aware of where we are as she can run!

    • February 25, 2015 / 4:32 PM

      Oh my goodness – the thought of running after a greyhound is exhausting me! I’m hoping she is better at recall than Baxter is?

  19. February 24, 2015 / 9:12 PM

    oh this looks like the perfect place to clear the cobwebs away! x

    • February 25, 2015 / 4:33 PM

      It’s so important having a ‘go to’ place when you need to clear your head isn’t it?

  20. February 25, 2015 / 12:24 AM

    I love clearing out the cobwebs in our local forest -there’s no better place!

    • February 25, 2015 / 4:33 PM

      I find it rejuvenating every time I go. Glad you do too.

  21. February 25, 2015 / 9:23 PM

    looks like you had loads of fun & Baxter is just too cute!

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