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Sunday, 14 May 2017

Eight FREE and really cheap places to take young kids near Tonbridge, Kent - Part 2

Eight FREE and really cheap places to take babies, toddlers and young children/kids in and around Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, West Kent - Coolings Nature Trail, Sevenoaks Nature Reserve, Tonbridge Park and Castle Grounds, Polhill Garden Centre, Broadview Gardens and tea room, Haysden Country Park and lake, Knole Park, Dunorlan Park

Parts one to four of this list can be found by clicking here.


Parts nine to 12 can be found here!

Getting out and about with your kids is excellent for your sanity as a parent, not to mention a great way to keep the house tidy, but it can end up costing quite a bit. A soft play visit round these parts can be in excess of £20 (plus a portion of your very soul) for entry for two kids including lunch, a trip to the nearest zoo is even more expensive with an hour of driving thrown into the mix. I certainly can't afford that every day.

However there are so many places that you can go with your toddlers or preschoolers which will keep them amused without costing you a penny. This post continues my list of free (and really cheap) places to go in the West Kent (Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks) area.

5) Polhill Garden Centre, Sevenoaks

Polhill Garden Centre, Sevenoaks
We love a good troll round a garden centre, and of them all, Polhill is our favourite. It's huge, it has two separate cafes, you can grab your food shopping there and there is an outdoor play area for the kids. In the run up to Christmas, it's as magical as a garden centre should be. 
Polhill Garden Centre, Sevenoaks
There is a big toy section with some rides which are always broken, or that's what my kids think.
Maidenhead aquatics, Polhill Garden Centre, Sevenoaks
There is a Maidenhead Aquatics at Polhill which is always worth a visit - we do love a free aquarium (and I happen to have a big fish tank, so every now and then I do buy a new pet...). You can feed the huge koi for 50p - a bit steep maybe but the kids love it. There are toilets and baby changing areas inside the garden centre.
Polhill Garden Centre, Sevenoaks
Find out more here.

6) Knole Park, Sevenoaks


Knole is a National Trust property and they charge entry to the house and formal gardens, but if you just fancy a nice walk around a Medieval deer park you can enter for free; although they do charge for parking, there are various entrances including from the rear of the Sevenoaks Leisure Centre car park and St Julian Road (where you can park on the road, if you can find space) if you don't mind a walk.
Knole is especially good in the autumn as you can go hunting for chestnuts, although take some gloves with you cos man those buggers are spikey.
You can also take dogs on leads although bear in mind there will be deer wandering around.
Find out more here.

7) Nature Trail, Coolings Green and Pleasant, Knockholt

Nature Trail, Coolings Green and Pleasant, Knockholt
This one isn't free but as I purchased membership (for me only - under 5s are free) which cost £19.99 for the year (it's £9.99 for kids over 5) then each subsequent visit doesn't actually cost anything, so I thought I'd include it in my roundup.
Nature Trail, Coolings Green and Pleasant, Knockholt
The Nature Trail is a wooded walk with added wallabies, chickens, pigs and a handsome goat called Barry.
Nature Trail, Coolings Green and Pleasant, Knockholt
It's buggy friendly, as woodland walks go, but little legs can happily get around the whole walk. There are a few little villages of play houses which are fab for little ones to play in, and recently it's also become home to various birds of prey and they put on displays and 'meet the owl' experiences during the day.
Nature Trail, Coolings Green and Pleasant, Knockholt
You can feed the ducks, the fish and the pigs if you remember to take 20p coins with you.
Nature Trail, Coolings Green and Pleasant, Knockholt
How long you can spend there really depends on the weather and your imagination. If you take a picnic and enough snacks you can easily while away a good few hours. If you're not the prepared sort or you fancy rewarding yourself with tea and cake, there's a cafe inside the garden centre complete with kid's corner with Brio trains and battered books and an aquatics shop if your little ones like fishies.
Cafe, Coolings Green and Pleasant, Knockholt
The toilets and baby changing are, obviously, inside the garden centre so make sure you go before setting off on the trail!

Find out more here.


8) Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells

Dunorlan is a great place for a dog walk, a stroll, a good old feed of the ducks, or a play.
Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells
There is a cafe with toilets, and a boating lake where you can hire a boat if you're exceptionally brave and/or stupid.
The best thing is the big wooden dragon. At least, according to my two.
You can park in the Halls Hole Road and Pembury Road car parks for free.

Find out more here.

What's your favourite low-cost local activity? Have something you think I should add? Get in touch!

Parts one to four of this list can be found by clicking here.

Parts nine to twelve of this list can be found by clicking here.


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Eight FREE and really cheap places to take babies, toddlers and young children/kids in and around Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, West Kent - Coolings Nature Trail, Sevenoaks Nature Reserve, Tonbridge Park and Castle Grounds, Polhill Garden Centre, Broadview Gardens and tea room, Haysden Country Park and lake, Knole Park, Dunorlan Park

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2 comments:

  1. Have you tried Pepenbury in Pembury? That's a good free (small donation) place to visit, my son is the same age as yours and loved it. Nice woodland walk, park and animals, and all for a good cause.

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    Replies
    1. Oh I have! I will have to put that on the next list. It started out as five things, then grew to eight and two posts, and I had to stop myself there but I'll definitely add that in! We've only been once so another visit is now on the cards. Thanks!

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