Water Play

With the weather set to get hotter over the summer, here’s a list of paddling pools and streams you can cool off in. Pack up those towels and water shoes… we’re off!

The stream behind the visitors centre at Lullingstone Country Park, perfect for a paddle

Lullingstone Country Park

Dipping your net in on the banks fo Eynsford stream

Eynsford Stream

Lullingstone Country Park, DA4 0JF

There is a lovely little stream behind the Visitors Centre that is waiting to be enjoyed. Dappled in the shade of the over hanging trees this is a perfect spot to cool off on a hot sunny day. There are toilets and a cafe in the Visitors Centre, a play area and lovely walks around the country park too. Parking is pay and display.

Eynsford ford, DA4 0AE

This tranquil stretch of river rings out with the excited screams of children in the summer as the banks fill up with picnickers and bathers. 4 generations of my family have stalked stickleback in this river and enjoyed playing in the cool water. It does get quite deep in places, so make sure an adult is willing to get in with under 5s. Get here early as it can be a challenge to park, there are no public toilets here, but if you are respectful the Pub can be accommodating.

Danson Park, Bexley, DA6 8HL Opened July 2022

This lovely park has lots to offer with a great range of play equipment including some water jets and splash area! There is a cafe and toilets, the boating lake has facilities for kayaks and boat hire and a water polo ‘pitch’. There are some lovely wide paths, perfect for scooters or bikes too. Pay and display parking (at weekends and bank holidays) on site or free on street parking nearby.

The folkestone fountains close to the harbour arm, great for splashing through on a hot day

Folkestone Fountains

The cool Loose stream

Loose Stream

Sheerness paddling pool, found behind the Sheppey Leisure complex

Sheerness Paddling Pool

Folkstone Water Fountains CT20 1QW Operating from June 2022

The water fountains along the seafront near Folkestone’s marina and harbour arm are great fun in the warm summer months. They provide plenty of excited shrieks as children (and adults) run through the jets. Here you are a short walk from the public toilets between Back St and Fish Market, Sunny Sands beach is only a short stroll away and The Lower Leas Coastal Park is a 10-15 minute walk. Closest car park is Tram Road, CT20 1QR.

Loose Valley Stream, ME15 0BL

This tranquil spot just outside Maidstone is perfect for chasing sticklebacks down the river and enjoying a refreshing dip in a stream. With a wide grassy bank for picnics and the The Chequers Inn next door for cold drinks its a great spot to cool off. Free on street parking, there are no public toilets here, but if you are respectful the Chequers pub is accommodating.

Sheerness Splash Pool, ME12 1HH (closest car park) OPENING soon.

This lovely little paddling pool is perfect for washing off the sand from the sandpit over the road and helping to cool off after a hot afternoon building sand castles and charging around the play equipment. With a beached edge it’s perfect for little walkers. There is pay and display parking in the Beach Road car park and public toilets in the leisure centre or McDonalds (as long as you are dry and wearing shoes). There are some picnic tables here, but they fill up quickly and there is very little shade.

Walmer Paddling Pool, CT14 7DN Opening 15th July 2022

This lovely beach side paddling pool is open from May, 10am - 6pm daily, weather dependent. It has a qualified life guard on duty, kiosk, toilets and changing area. There is free on street parking close by and a children’s play area with bouncy castle adjacent, the new crazy golf course promises to be lots of fun! See the facebook page for more details Walmer Paddling Pool

Swanley Park, BR8 7PW Opened in May 2022

This a busy park with lots to do and pay for. You can enjoy train rides, boating on the lake, bouncy castles, junior high ropes and more, but the paddling pool is FREE! Parking is pay and display and the toilets and cafe are located next to the paddling pool and main play area. The paddling pool was redeveloped in early 2020.

The Strand, Gillingham, ME7 1TT OPENING 25th July 2022

At the Strand you are spoilt for choice with play areas, with 3 different ones found within the park offering a diverse variety of equipment covering all ages and abilities. The paddling pool is a particular favourite in the summer. You will also find the Strand Outdoor Swimming Pool here too, which you have to pay to enter. With tennis courts, crazy golf, Parkour equipment and inflatables there’s plenty to keep everyone busy. There is a cafe, toilets and pay and display parking here.

Coram’s Fields, Central London WC1N 1DN

A few minutes walk from Russell Square tube station you’ll find Coram’s Fields a dedicated children’s play area. There is a lot to enjoy here, on hot sunny days the paddling pool is blissfully cool and exciting. Have a look on the website to find out more about what to expect on your visit Corams Fields

A percfect stream for catching sticklebacks in Horton Kirby

The River Darent

The dappled shade and cool stream at Brockhill Country Park

Brockhill Country Park

Cool stream in the Cuckoo Woods

Cuckoo Woods, Penenden Heath

River Darent Walk, Horton Kirby DA4 9GR

You can paddle in the river and catch fish, or sit on the banks and enjoy a picnic. There are some lovely big fields to enjoy a ball game and some longer walks if you need to stretch your legs. We parked at the Westminster Field car park for free. There are no public toilets here.

Brockhill Country Park, Hythe, CT21 4HL

The Brockhill stream runs throughout the country park and there are many places where you can enter the stream and hunt for beasties and little fish. Remember your water shoes as the bottom of the stream is very stony. The country park itself is stunning and there is a play area, toilets and cafe. Parking is pay and display.

Cuckoo Woods, Penenden Heath, ME14 2EQ

This lovely little stretch of woodland from Woodcut in Penenden Heath to Boarley Lane by the Running Horse has a cool stream meandering through it. This is not an easy walk, with fallen branches and muddy paths making it a bit of an adventure. We’ve found 2 main enterances; one off the Sandling Road, and the other on Woodcut. The stream is relatively shallow throughout, but has some deeper areas that will go right up to your knees! There’s no facilities here and parking is on the road side.

Foots Cray Meadows, Five Arches Bridge, Sidcup, DA14 5AG

We’ve not explored this site ourselves but it has been recommended as a great place to paddle by several of our followers. We look forward to discovering this location soon. Please visit the website for more information.

The River Cray, near Hall Place, DA5 1PQ

Hall Place is a beautiful house and gardens on the outskirts of Bexley, close to the A2. The gardens and hot house are free to visit all year round, and are an excellent place to go for a picnic. There are toilets and a cafe here for all to use, parking is free. The main house, Owl center and Butterfly house are all paid for attractions that you can enjoy if you chose to. The River Cray runs through the site, whilst Hall Place ask that you DO NOT paddle in the river within their grounds, you can access the river from the fields next to Hall Place and Gardens. So park up for free and have a wander across the fields and down to the river to cool off once you’ve enjoyed the beautiful formal gardens of Hall Place.

Hayle Park Nature Reserve, Maidstone ME15 6GL

This reserve sits on the outskirts of Maidstone, near Tovil and Loose. You’ll find a lovely pool and stream that you can paddle in an try and catch some of the water life. See the website or Facebook page for more information on parking etc.

The fresh stream at Keston Fish ponds, perfectly cool for paddling in

Keston Fish Ponds

Water jets and fountains at Dartford Central Park

Dartford Central Park

Paddling in the stream at Kearnsey Abbey, jumping from log to log

Kearnsey Abbey and Russell Gardens

Keston Fish Ponds, Bromley, BR2 6AT

This is a lovely park with a cool natural spring that you can paddle in or just enjoy the sound of the moving water. There are several large ponds here that are teaming with life; glorious lilies and plenty of dragon flies and damsel flies in the summer! There is a small children’s play area hidden in the woods and an ice cream van often parks near the ponds. There are no public toilets at Keston Fish Ponds, I think we used the toilets at The Fox Inn, or there is a Dobbies Garden Centre not too far away.

Dartford Central Park, DA1 1JP Opened June 2022

This is a great park to visit any time of year as it has a fantastic array of play equipment. In the summer months the splash area turns on and it is perfect for cooling off on a hot sunny day! There is a cafe and toilets next to the splash area, along with 2 further toilet blocks dotted around the park. We tend to park in one of the multistorey car parks in Dartford town centre.

Kearnsey Abbey and Russell Gardens, Dover, CT16 3EB

These beautiful parks have some wonderful streams and waterways running through them and there are several spots around the parks where you can get into the water and paddle. The bottom of the streams is quite stony, so water shoes would be recommended. This location offers 2 great play areas, a newly built visitors centre with coffee shop, toilets and a changing places. There is a limited amount of free parking at the postcode given above, but the park is also only 5-10 minute walk from Kearnsey Train station.