Published: 06:00, 29 January 2020
We all love walking our dogs and Kent is full of beautiful green and tranquil spaces just perfect for exploring with your four-legged friend.
We've picked out six suggestions for places to take your pooch in the county:
DOG PASSPORT, NATIONAL TRUST
Six dog-friendly National Trust sites in Kent are running a special passport to encourage pet owners to visit with their dogs. The sites across the county, stretching from Sevenoaks to Dover, have launched the Pooch Passport where dog owners can get it stamped once they and their dogs have completed a walk. If you visit all six by the end of February, your furry friend will get a special treat. It can be stamped at Chartwell in Westerham; Emmetts Garden near Sevenoaks; Scotney Castle in Lamberhurst; Ightham Mote near Borough Green; Sissinghurst Castle Garden and the White Cliffs of Dover. To find out more details go to nationaltrust.org.uk/kent-pooch-passport.
The National Trust's Knole is the perfect park to explore with your pooch. Just a short walk away from Sevenoaks town centre, there’s more than 1,000 acres of parkland you can both enjoy. If you’re new to the park, try one of the outdoor walks -the all-ability walk is perfect for dog-walkers with buggies, scooters or wheelchairs. Because of the nature of Knole’s parkland, there are just a few things to bear in mind when you’re heading out for a scamper. Dog owners are reminded to keep their dogs on the lead at all times - one of the attractions of Knole is the wild deer that roam in the park, but dogs and deer don't mix! Visitors also need to pick up after their dog and use the dedicated dog bins. There is car parking on site. For more details on visiting go to nationaltrust.org.uk/knole
SPA VALLEY RAILWAY, TUNBRIDGE WELLS
Tunbridge Wells is full to the brim with picturesque parks and spaces to let your dog roam free. Dunorlan Park, Calverley Park and Grosvenor Park are a few of the scenic parks with plenty of amenities. Tunbridge Wells Common is an extensive open space by the town centre while Wellington Rocks has spectacular panoramic views over the Weald, and is a haven for curious, energetic dogs and their owners. You could even take a stroll in the Pantiles. The Pantiles Cafe and Framptons allow dogs inside so perfect if you are visiting on a cold or wet day. On days when trains are running you can take your dog on the Spa Valley Railway which offers travel between Tunbridge Wells West and Groombridge. Dogs even travel for free. More at spavalleyrailway.co.uk
Full of local produce and award winning wines, ciders and apple juice, there’s so much on offer at the vineyard - even for dogs. They are welcome on leads and if you take a self-guided tour you can enjoy it at your own pace while enjoying the scenery and surroundings. Finish your walk with a visit to the vineyard shop, stocked full of local food and drink. The coffee shop offers light refreshments and locally produced home-made cake. The vineyard is part of the Seven Wonders of the Weald Tourist Pass, which for £30, gives you one free entry to each of the 7 Wonders of the Weald, to explore. To find out more about the Seven Wonders of the Weald visit sevenwonders.org.uk
HOLE PARK, ROLVENDEN
With its striking blooms through the year - the bluebells are not far off now - the gardens at Hole Park are perfect for garden lovers to visit with their dogs. Last year was the first time dogs have been allowed into the gardens as long as they are kept on a short lead. Hole Park Gardens are closed for the winter but open again in March. While in Rolvenden head to the Coach House Tearoom for a slice of homemade cake or a cream tea. Details here.
Dogs are welcome at Chiddingstone Castle in the village of Chiddingstone, just a few miles from Edenbridge. With its far-reaching views, the grounds feature a lake and a Victorian orangery. The Tea Rooms are the perfect place to enjoy a light lunch, homemade cakes or why not book in for a full afternoon tea. Dogs may not be allowed in to the castle they are welcome in the tea room courtyard and of course in the surrounding footpaths but why not head off, and then return for a cream tea? Dogs do need to be kept on leads in the castle grounds. Details at chiddingstonecastle.org.uk