What is in the area?
CAMP - FISH - PLAY - RELAX
What's in the area?
We truly are nestled amongst some of the most amazing tourist attractions and destinations. There is so much to do on our doorstep that you can take advantage of during your stay. Take a look below at some of our top picks. We have included some destinations that are a bit more of a distance as we feel they are worth the drive.
Check out our Gallery to see photos of some of the attractions and scenery listed in the area.
For the family
Over 80 years old, one of the smallest railways in the world with 10 of its original locomotives still in service, it's no wonder this is one of our favourite famous attractions in the area! This spectacular railway was once the dream of two millionaire racing drivers that came to a reality and since has been used in the Second World War to transport fuel, transport children back and forth to school for nearly 40 years, for public transport and now as registered charity is the iconic image of the Romney Marsh.
Suitable for all ages and abilities. We would recommend boarding at Dungeness station (just a 13 minute drive) and taking the full return route to Hythe, either stopping at New Romney on the way or the way back to check out the model railway exhibition, perfect for learning the history of this famous railway. Pop across the road to enjoy a drink in the Captain Howey which was named after the co-founder of the railway.
Who doesn't love a traditional seaside amusement park?! Dymchurch is great for all ages. There are plenty of rides (mainly for the younger ones), arcade games - including the traditional 2p machines and not forgetting the doughnuts and candy floss stalls! There is plenty to do in Dymchurch so you could easily spend a whole day there! Just make sure to get there early in the peak of summer as it can get pretty busy for parking! Just a short 15 minute drive from us too! https://www.dymchurch-amusements.co.uk/
A 20 minute drive from Herons Park Camping you will find The Marsh Maze in Dymchurch. Here your children can enjoy a play park, bouncy castle/course, sand pit, pedal go karts, tractor ride and an awesome maize maze for all the family to enjoy. Make sure you catch it when it's open, as it's generally closed till MAY/JUNE time. https://www.marshmaze.co.uk/
Ok, so the website is a little tired looking but if you’re up for a bit of entertainment check out the fixture dates and get down to Ivychurch Raceway (TN29 0AL) it's only a 13 minute drive and entry is free for under 10s. http://www.invictakentautograss.co.uk/
The trains here give me Harry Potter vibes, The family carriages are old fashioned, 1920’s/30s style, as an adult it's difficult not to get excited while boarding. The children will love the scenery and waving to people at the crossings. There is plenty to explore in Tenterden and you can link this train ride with a trip to Bodiam Castle then you will have a day filled with fun. Fancy trying something different and unique? They offer fine dining on selected Saturday nights for tables from 2 - 4, this really will take you back in time. You will need to book your table well in advance as they are very popular. https://kesr.org.uk/
Rainy day fun
Fun for all the family and will be sure to wear you out! A whole room full of trampolines, foam pits, stunt areas, slam ball, ninja obstacle courses and even a small soft play area for the small ones. Kids will be sure to burn off that excess energy. If you're not a bouncer then you can keep your feet firmly on the ground in the cafe that overlooks the arena! 30 minute drive from us.
There is plenty to do at The Stour Centre in Ashford. Recently refurbished, they have an excellent swimming pool which features a water flume and kids wet play area. They have a clip to climb area which has many challenging walls to master. Adults can also join in the fun! Lastly a soft play area where under 2’s goes free. You could spend a whole day here doing various activities.
Clip and Climb are the original creators of the fun climbing concept worldwide Suitable for ages 4 and up, there are many climbing challenges which suit any level of climber. It’s bright colours and quirky designed challenges get both kids and adults excited. One which is situated in Dover Leisure centre is the one closest to Herons Park (Just over an hour) but a larger Clip and Climb is based in Thanet which is a 1hr 20 minute drive. You’ll be sure to have a great time at either!
I know some people choose to go camping to get away from screens but we are creatures of habit, and on a rainy day who doesn't love watching a good movie!? We are lucky to have a massive revamped Cineworld in Ashford! It has 12 screens with the following screens 2D, 3D, IMAX, Screen X and a personal favourite 4DX. 4DX gives a whole new experience to watching a film, an extreme sensory screen with stimulating effects like water, wind and scent all while your seat is moving in sync with the movie! It’s fun, different and with there only being 21 screens in the UK, it's unique!
If you want the kids to burn some energy and it's too rainy to do outdoor activities then Imagine is the perfect place. There are hours of fun to be had at this large soft play. They also have a great under 2’s area. Their food is really good from their cafe too. Based in Ashford, a 25 minute drive.
Wildlife & Animals
Just a 30 minute drive from us, this beautiful reserve is a breeding ground for endangered and rare animals to which many are relocated to protected areas of their natural habitat where they can go on to live freely. With over 900 animals across 600 acres there is plenty to keep all the family entertained, with a fantastic safari, beautiful walks, animal talks and even Europe’s largest life sized dinosaur collection. Come face to face with big cats, small cats, giraffes, gorillas and even bears!
25 minutes from us is The Rare Breeds Centre in Woodchurch. Over 100 acres of different areas to enjoy. It's no wonder it's a family favourite for anyone that lives in the area too! Meet the animals in the farm which includes a petting area to get up close to some of the animals, burn some energy in the parks, get all the family involved taking on challenging obstacles in the adventure playground and explore the woodlands. There is a falconry display, tractor ride and even pig racing! The kids will absolutely love it here! There is a great restaurant on site for a spot of lunch. As the centre is a registered charity for adults with learning difficulties you will know your money is going to a great cause and helping so many people. What's not to love?!
A great place right on our doorstep to learn more about wildlife that's found locally and in the UK. You will be able to bring your knowledge back to the campsite and spot some of the birds and insects that you learnt about while visiting the RSPB. Children can enjoy the reserve too with plenty of interactive activities, to ensure your children get the best from RSPB you may find joining one of the Wild Families events would be better suited where they do pond dipping, mini beast hunting, arts and crafts, bushcraft and den building. You would need to ensure they are doing this on a day you visit so it's best to plan ahead and book the correct day/event.
Just 25 minutes from us is Rye Harbour where you can go on a unique boat trip. From as little as £10 per person you can explore the harbour in hope to catch sites of seals and various wildlife. They also offer other experiences such as sea fishing and private/charter hire. This is suitable for all the family and they take extra care in making sure the kids have a great time too. You only need to take a look at their facebook page which is filled with 5 star reviews to know you'll have a great time! Definitely worth a visit but make sure you book up in advance to secure your place.
https://m.facebook.com/100077595957687/ (Facebook Page only or call on 07929244996)
Wingham Wildlife Park is family owned and the fastest growing wildlife park in Kent. Home to the largest amount of animals and species out of all of the Zoos and and Wildlife parks in Kent also. You’ll be greeted with Tigers, Bats, Flamingos and even a red panda. An hour's drive from us just on the outskirts of Canterbury.
Just short of a 20 minute drive from us is Enchanted Animal Sanctuary in Newchurch. Here you can get up close to animals such as Alpacas, Sheep, Ponies and Hens with the chance to even feed them. This family run Sanctuary is far from any commercialised activity but you are sure to have a lovely few hours getting to see the animals and asking questions about them. If you're lucky you'll even get to see an Alpaca have a wash! There is a painting/drawing tent as an added activity and its the perfect place to take a picnic. They do serve light snacks and drinks during peak times so make sure you enquire first if you are setting off with no food. You can book via their Facebook page which is listed below.
History and Heritage
Also known as Acoustic Mirrors, Concrete Dishes or Listening ears are nestled amongst the Marshes in Greatstone. A 10 minute drive and then approximately a 10 minute walk will bring you to 3 very bizarre shaped concrete structures.
These were built between 1928 - 1930 as Britain's national defence strategy. They were designed to pick up the sounds from approaching enemy aircrafts, they were detected by operators listening at the base of the structure via microphones and stethoscopes. They gave a 15 minute warning of an impending impact. As aircrafts became quicker it meant the reliability of the mirrors became limited and eventually were discontinued being used when radar was invented.
There are two lakes that connect which means it separates you and the mirrors however you still get a great view and will certainly capture a bit of history. If you are a walker, you will enjoy the walks around the stony marshes in this area too.
So much to mention about Dungeness, one of the most unique places that attract people from all over the world. One of the largest expanses of shingle in the whole world!
Maybe first impressions you’d think Dungeness is a little bit sparse with nothing to do or see, look a little closer and you will discover its beauty and uniqueness. From train coaches from the 1920’s that have been converted into houses which are now home to local fishermen, oddly shaped homes that have featured on Grand Designs, 2 lighthouses, 1 which is used today, and 1 which you can visit that’s over 100 years old, over 600 types of plants (a third of all those found in Britain), one of the best places to find some of the rarest invertebrates, see if you can find the once extinct short haired bumblebee that has been reinstated every year since 2012, R.S.P.B which is popular amongst those who take a little more interest in wildlife! Buy freshly caught fish and molluscs, don't fancy cooking it? Visit The Snack Shack for some amazing fishy food and snacks (do NOT miss this). There really is so much to see.
Many music videos, movies and tv programs have had scenes filmed in Dungeness. The former home of Derek Jarman stands out with its bright yellow window frames.
An 8 minute drive, Dungeness is certainly worth a look in!
This mediaeval stunning town is just 20 minutes from Herons Park. Stepping out of Kent and into East Sussex you'll be taken back in time when you reach Rye. Its cobbled streets, smuggling history, secret tunnels and bursting history is waiting for you to explore. A perfect destination for having a wander round, bite to eat and take in its beauty. Not that you would know now, but it was actually once an island!
The Mermaid Inn serves amazing food and its cellars date back to the 11th century, the main building is the 14th century when it had to be rebuilt after French Raiders burnt Rye to the ground in 1377. The Mermaid Inn is based on Mermaid Street which is one of the most photographed streets in Rye, once you see it you will know why. It's stunning.
Rye is not only filled with history but it has great restaurants, shops and galleries, many of which are independent. You can certainly lose a day here looking around and exploring.
Small but interesting if you are into history. This small museum is based in the Old Fire Station in Lydd, it focuses on Lydd town and its uniqueness and gives a vast amount of history of the local area. It’s quirky and although you wouldn’t make a special trip to go, it's worth a stop in if you’re passing. Mainly open in the summer months 2.30pm - 5pm.
Just short of an hour's drive which is not so close to us, but if you enjoy history and fancy a family day then you will enjoy Leeds Castle. An 8th century castle, once a residence of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon in the 16th century. Set within 50 acres of picturesque grounds consisting of The Castle surrounded by a sunning moat, 2 play parks, minigolf, an exciting maze with an underground grotto, birds of prey displays, Train and ferry rides across the estate (small charge). You can easily spend a whole day here with the family.
A 40 minute drive from us you'll find the Beautiful Bodiam Castle. This is part of the national trust so great if you're a member! A 14th Century castle with mostly ruins for the interior you can really feel the history around you. Pair this trip with a picnic and travelling by the steam train you are sure to have a great day out.
Just short of an hour's drive from us and part of the English Heritage. The origin settlement where Dover Castle today stands is believed to date back as far as the pre Roman-iron age. The castle we see today was rebuilt by Henry II in the 11th Century. Being the closest castle to the shortest distance between England and Continental Europe, it has played an important part in defence over the centuries only equalled by the Tower of London and Windsor Castle. You can learn all about how the tunnels and underground areas were used during the later wars which includes immersive exhibitions that really take you back in time.
1040 metres of fast action fun! Release your competitive side racing with family and friends. Who will win the fastest lap time? Literally a stone's throw away from the campsite it would be a shame to miss out on the fun! Be sure to check their online calendar to coincide your stay with the days they offer hire karts. Best booking in advance. Fun fact - Younger Lewis Hamilton raced on this track back in his karting days!
Right on our doorstep! Action Watersports in a 10 minute walk or a 2 minute drive from your pitch! Grab your towel and swimsuit and head to the lake for an adrenaline day filled with fun! Beat the obstacles on the aqua park, try not to slip off a giant banana whilst being pulled along by a boat, test your balance and core strength with flyboarding or try a calmer approach doing some paddleboarding. You won't know what activities to choose from!
A bit of a different experience to the other Rye Harbour boat trip. This is a faster, smaller boat where you are mainly seated. This boat travels at speed and gets the adrenaline pumping. You will still have many photo opportunities and should get to see the seals. They offer a couple of different options depending on what you are interested in. Children must be over 6 years old to go on this experience but if you hire the whole boat (9 people) then children can be as young as 3.
So a little further afield (Just under an hour's drive) but so much fun when you get there! There are 3 courses, one for younger ones above 1m, one a little more challenging for above 1.2m and the big one for over 1.4m and over 10 years of age. The last one includes a 250m zip line! For anyone who would like to keep their feet firmly on the ground, Go Ape is located in the grounds of Leeds Castle, you’ll need to purchase a ticket but there is so much to do once you are in the main grounds of Leeds castle. Find more info on Leeds Castle under ‘History and Heritage’.
Just a 14 minute drive you will come across Camber Sands, a beautiful beach with golden sand and great water clarity compared to Greatstone. On a hot summer's day, you have to remind yourself you’re not actually abroad. This beach can get extremely busy in the peak of summer and parking can get full quickly so best to leave earlier to grab a space if you intend to visit. Camber can have some dangerous riptides so be mindful of this when swimming. This beach has the added benefit of lifeguards. The sun sets over Camber’s beach so you'll be able to capture some family photos in that wonderful golden hour. You can find tide times and other information via this link
Another popular sandy beach is just a 13 minute drive from us. This isn't generally as busy as Camber Sands and you can usually find parking in the area, however in the peak of summer still expect crowds. Anywhere from Spar in Greatstone to just past the Jolly fisherman pub is a great spot. The Jolly Fishermen end is generally busier as this is where the main carpark is and also where the best sand is. There is a large area that remains dry sand where the sea will never meet. The further along you go you’ll end up needing to move to the stone bank as the tide comes in, the advantage of this is its quieter. There are some great spots amongst the dues where you will find a sheltered private spot too. When the tide is low it's very far out, about a mile. It’s best to avoid trying to reach the water when its that far out as there can be pockets of quicksand that can not only be dangerous if you get stuck in it can also be incredibly messy. There can be pools of water that are left behind which is great for children to play in and build dams. There are shops and places to grab a spot of lunch close by, The Jolly Fishermen as mentioned is great for drinks and your traditional pub grub. There is also Demetrios a two minute walk from The Jolly Fisherman, this is a family run Greek restaurant, the food is absolutely delicious, they have children's options and an English menu available too. You can find tide times here
A great beach with lots to do in the town including the amusements mentioned above. A mainly sandy beach with some shingle and a large sea wall that's perfect for walks. Parking can be difficult to find during the peak of summer so make sure you arrive early if you fancy a day at the beach here. There are several kiosks for drinks and ice creams along the sea wall. You can find tide times via this link
These are the closest beaches to us. Both are capable of being walked to (Dengemarsh is closer) but probably better off biking. They are mainly stone beaches and mostly used by fishermen. This means that they do not get crowded even on a hot summer's day. As the beach is mostly stones the water is pretty clear too. It also gets deeper quicker than the other beaches listed above, so if it's swimming you are after then this may be more suited. Both beaches are in close proximity to the MOD’s firing ranges so take note of any signs and do not cross any fenced areas or areas displaying red flags or beacons. Dengemarsh beach is always available to get to but Galloways can sometimes be closed due to firing. Ask us at reception if you need directions to these two beaches.
Ok so this is a bit of a drive to go to a beach (50 minutes) when we have so many beautiful beaches surrounding us but Warren beach is worth a mention! Here you and the family can search for fossils! It's a mixture of sand and stones/rocks. Behind the beach is known as The Warren Country Park which has been formed by centuries of land slippage. Its home to rare animal and plant life and around 150 bird species can be seen around the cliffs.
Food & Drink
Local pub that serves good pub food and drink. On the main high street, church end.
Kerry and her team cook an amazing fry up. All their food is delicious. This is a cafe so generally only serves breakfast and lunch, open till 2pm
Love an Indian? You’ll love Guljar! This is definitely one of the best Indians in the area. They offer dine in, collection or you can even have it delivered to you. They are on the high street in Lydd, opposite Spar.
The name gives it away. Kebab shop based in Lydd. Will deliver to the campsite.#
Take away only, Just on the coroner of Ness Road, just past the church on the right if you're heading out of Lydd. It’s a great Chinese.
Us Brits love a good cup of tea. Check out this great tea room along Lydd High Street, a couple of doors down from Spar. They serve beautiful handmade cakes, light lunches and of course tea! Take a look at their facebook page and see all the lovely cakes they serve. They also offer takeaway options.
Looking for some of the BEST fish and chips in the UK? Just a short 9 minute drive from us, make sure you visit The Pilot in Dungeness. Their food is stunning every time. See if you can see which part of the restaurant is part of the Spanish ship, Alfresia, which was looted for spirits and taken by smugglers in the later 1700's. A great outside play area for the children and they can even wave to the passengers riding on the famous mini train (RHDR) which track goes right past. Bursting with history and serving excellent food, this is definitely one of our favorites.
In the heart of Dungeness estate you'll find The Britannia. Surrounded by the beautiful Sites of Scientific Interest and rare wildlife this great pub offers tasty food and quality pints from Britain's oldest brewery. A perfect spot of you're travelling on the RHDR with its station being only a couple of minutes walk. Just a 14 minute drive from Herons Park.
If visiting Dungeness this place is not to missed, its even worth the trip to visit here specially. You can not only buy freshly caught fish and mollusks to take back to cook on the BBQ, you can also eat their amazing prepared food that they serve from their snack shack. This is straight from water to plate, you cannot get fresher than that! The menu is often changing throughout the season depending on what fish have been caught. If you do get chance to eat from here you will certainly be going back for more! Check out some foodie pics in our gallery.
This restaurant is close to our hearts and an absolute favourite. Authentic Greek cuisine and a favourite with the locals. 3 if not 4 generations of this family are often seen here and you immediately feel at home with the kindness that pours off them. A loved family and restaurant within the community who have owned the restaurant in what feels like forever! The food is absolutely amazing and on a warm summer's day it will be difficult to not feel you are abroad. There is a kids menu and also an English menu if you’d rather stick to what you know (if you really have to!).
Don’t confuse this one with Diamond Kebab, although Diamond Kebab is lovely the restaurant is amazing!! The BBQ restaurant is either dine in, collection or delivery. If you want restaurant quality food delivered to you then this is the place! This is Turkish cuisine and you'll find something on the menu for even the pickiest of eaters.
Dine in and Collection only. A very nice family Italian restaurant on New Romney’s high street. The food is amazing and will not disappoint!
Great pub with great food. Has a large beer garden at the back too. This is located just as you enter New Romney on the main high street.
Fancy a few cocktails and dance? Balance bar is the place to go. It’s super trendy style is perfect for those instagrammable photos. They offer breakfast and lunch during the day and the food is very photogenic too! Check them out on Facebook or Instagram for up to date events and drink offers.
The Woolpack is a locals favourite for great pub food and drink good portions sizes too, it's typical pub charm and atmosphere is so welcoming. Its low bearing ceilings and large beams really do express its age. This is a 15 minute drive from us.
As you walk into this 16th century pub it's like taking a step back in time. It’s not been decorated since 1890 and has been in the same family since 1911. You almost feel like you’re in a museum, there is so much memorabilia to look at. They do not sell larger but ales straight from the barrel. Spirits are also available but no food is served here, only bar snacks. A 14 minute drive from Herons Park, Head out of Lydd onto the A279, when you get to the Shell garage in Brenzett head straight over the roundabout onto the B2080, straight over the next roundabout for a mile and then it will be on the left.
Rather than list all the local shops here I figured a short paragraph explaining what's around would be better. So in Lydd town you will find a Spar and McColl’s should you need any last minute food items but don't want to travel to a bigger shop. They do have a selection of meats etc for the BBQ too.
Saisburys is our closest supermarket which is in New Romney (12 minute drive). A more budget friendly option would be Aldi which is in Hythe (just under 30 minute drive), it's a large one and it's surprising what you can get on a budget. Their meats are always lovely too.
If you’re looking for clothes shopping then you may wish to visit McArthur Glen Outlet in Ashford. You’re probably wondering, who goes camping to go clothes shopping?... But people travel from all locations to snap up a bargain, so if you're into your designer wear it could be worth a visit! They have a great play area for the children too and various restaurants.
If you are looking for something in particular then pop into the reception and speak with us.