For New Years 2021 we took a walk to the Riverside Country Park, near Gillingham. The car park was full but we didn’t have to wait long for someone to leave. While walking about we noticed another car park before you come to the park (driving from Gravesend) but you would have to turn off before the official entrance to get to it.
OK after wet weather – in most areas
Parking fee – no
Toilets – yes
Café – yes
Lovely marshy area with lots of bird life. Very popular but then it was New Years and nothing else is open. Lots of people with dogs.
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We’re in Tier 4 lockdown so shouldn’t leave Kent. It has been a lovely day, cold and sunny. As tomorrow there is a weather warning for wind we decided to head out today instead. We went to Haysden Country Park. Last visited about 6 years ago.
The parking fee is fine but I’m not sure how you pay without coins. Who has coins in these pandemic days! We both tried paying via the phone or via the app and we both failed. Matthew first tried the app a couple of times then when he tried the phone number was told his account had been suspended. So I tried the phone first but it didn’t like the way I said the car reg so the voice told me to text the details in response to a text I then received. Of course my text wouldn’t go through! I then got a text of the website details of my new account. I logged in and yes my personal details were there but whe I tried to add my car details I got an error message:
So we tried! I used to get all KCC parks for free as a Shorne Wood volunteer but I don’t know if that still applies. If we get a fine I will appeal.
We just went round Barden Lake this time. Couscous is 11 now so a lot slower and we don’t explore as much as we used to. No chasing of trains this time. There were a few people about. All the phone calls I overheard were about what people were having for Christmas dinner.
We haven’t been this way for at least a year or so and now a new housing block has sprung up. We looked at the display homes about 3 years ago – which inspired us to move to our current home. Those houses where nice enough but had too many stairs for a dachshund and too many bathrooms for me (I hate wasted space on extra bathrooms, people can share, you don’t need one for every bedroom.) I like St Mary’s Island but there are no corner shops and it feels too suburban so we didn’t look to buy there. I like to be near a train station. It’s great for a walk though. We must have got the right time as lots of people were out walking their dogs. We met a Cyprus rescue dog who’d eaten all the owners Celebration chocolates out of the wrappers and was taking a daily dose of charcoal for his sins.
We park on the street along Island Way East, near where the walking avenue heads to the shore line. Marked with a cross on the image above. We walk down the avenue to the river then go left or right. Go left: you’ll walk past Upnor Castle and come to the docks, keep walking round and you get to the shopping centre, you can do a full circle and come back along the main road. Go right: you’ll eventually go through some streets but you’ll come to grassy hills and you’ll find walking tracks through the centre of the Island, in amongst the trees.
We were on the way to Knole and passed a sign for Riverhill and decided to go there instead. Glad we did. Dogs welcome. Nice cafe. There is so much to the garden to explore. The top of the hill has a great view. Couscous seemed to love it so we got a season pass. We need to go back 2 more times by end Oct 2019 to make it worthwhile so we should be ok. Unfortunately they are closed over the winter.
Haven’t been here for a while but with Gravesend being in the top 20s, temperature wise, for the past weeks (how long is it now…) we thought Couscous could do with a dip in the sea. We were introduced to another wire-haired on the walk.
(I thought this area was Swalescliffe but it’s more Hampton.)
We went back to Tunbridge Wells, Dunorlan Park this morning. It’s quite different on a hot summers day. We got in early and there weren’t many people about. Couscous got to paddle in the lake so that was a plus. Met another dachshund running around with endless energy – Couscous quite the opposite, although she did a better job at running up the hill than I did!