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Things you might not know you can do now across Kent from crazy golf and paddle boarding with your dog to geocaching, fishing and seeing art

With venues beginning to tentatively reopen their doors again, what else can you do now that lockdown's been eased?

Here are some suggestions which might even surprise you...

Did you know you can go paddle boarding with your dog?
Did you know you can go paddle boarding with your dog?

1 Paddle Boarding with your dog

Did you even know this was a thing before lockdown? Stand up paddle boarding with your dog could be the best tail-wagging experience you've ever tried. Enjoy a new activity in the great outdoors with Action Watersports in Lydd, which can supply a wetsuit and buoyancy aid, while you'll need to bring swimwear and a towel, or two. Instructors will be on hand to offer you guidance and assistance and once you're happy on the board your doggo can join you.

To book and find out more visit actionwatersports.co.uk

Paddle boarding with a pup Picture: Action Watersports, Lydd
Paddle boarding with a pup Picture: Action Watersports, Lydd

2 Play crazy golf

Some mini and crazy golf sites are now open, with social distancing and other necessary measures, while others remain closed while managers work out how to reopen.

Mr Mulligan's Dino Golf in Tonbridge is open for groups from the same household when booking online. A game of 18 holes costs £25 for a family or £8.95 for over 12s and £6.50 for under. You'll need to read up on the new rules in place at the site before attending to ensure safety for all. Book at mrmulligan.com/tonbridge

Play some crazy golf with some prehistoric onlookers in Tonbridge
Play some crazy golf with some prehistoric onlookers in Tonbridge

If you fancy something a little more grown-up, golf courses across the county reopened last month for outdoor exercise. At Hever Castle Golf Club, which is set in more than 250 acres, there is the chance to play 27 holes of golf including a Championship 18 hole course. Club captains recently handed over almost £6,000 to the homeless charity Porchlight, which was the club captains’ charity for 2019/2020. Book at hevercastle.co.uk

Hever Castle Golf Club
Hever Castle Golf Club

3 Go fishing

Angling sites across England were able to open their gates again last month and if you're new to the sport, there are plenty of fisheries across the county that can help you get started.

They include the 126-acre Monk Lakes fishery on Staplehurst Road, Marden which has seven mature lakes, plus 2,000 meters of river bank along the River Beult. In total, there are more than 45 acres of prime water for all levels of anglers. You'll need to read up on the new rules on the website before visiting, so you are aware of the social distancing and other measures. The cafe is open, but only for takeaways. Find out more at monklakes.co.uk

Fishing is permitted now
Fishing is permitted now

4 Learn to Geocache

Can you follow a map and like to be outside? It's a little more high tech with geocaching, in which participants use a GPS receiver or mobile device to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", at specific locations marked by coordinates. There's a chance to try this at Betteshanger Country Park in Deal, which opened to visitors again at the beginning of this month. You can embark on your special self-led orienteering adventure around the 121 hectare site from 9.30am on Saturday, June 27, after picking up the special map from Bike Hire on site. Find out more at betteshanger-park.co.uk

Can you find your way?
Can you find your way?

5 Sampire Hoe, Dover

The nature reserve, near Dover, created by Eurotunnel during the construction of the Channel Tunnel and managed by the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership, is now open to visitors from 7am to dusk. Home to more than 200 species of plants, 120 species of birds and 30 species of butterflies, plus other wildlife such as slowworms, it’s a nature lovers' paradise. Dogs must be on leads and visitors are urged to stay on the footpaths. Find out more at samphirehoe.com

Samphire Hoe has reopened
Samphire Hoe has reopened

6 Take a charming cherry walk

The home of the National Fruit Collection, Brogdale, reopened its orchards last week, though many of its events are still cancelled. But the cherry orchards are still busy blooming, and visitors can head off on a self-guided walk through the trees that are bursting with life at the moment.

Wander through the cherry orchards at Brogdale at Faversham
Wander through the cherry orchards at Brogdale at Faversham

The site hosts the largest collection of temperate fruit in the world. You can take the self-guided walk with a map or mobile app and enjoy the wildlife while you're out. You'll need an orchard pass to pop in, and guides will be on hand from a safe distance to help if you need it. Orchard passes cost £13.50 for an adult or £28 for a family and are for a year’s free entry to the fruit-filled orchards. The orchards will be open seven days a week between 10am and 4pm. Book a timeslot and buy a pass at brogdalecollections.org.

Brogdale at Faversham is now open for self guided cherry walks
Brogdale at Faversham is now open for self guided cherry walks

7 Watch boats on the river

The ferry may not be running and popular riverside pub may not be open, but don't let that stop you watching the boats go by at the Grove Ferry Picnic site, which is open, as are the public toilets. Set along the picturesque banks of the Great Stour River, it is the ideal place to have a picnic, watch the boats drift by and enjoy the wildlife. It takes its name from the hand-drawn ferry that once crossed the water. The park is also close to the Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve.

Watch the boats go by
Watch the boats go by

8 See world class art

This year would have been the Folkestone Triennial, but it has been postponed until the latter part of 2021. But don't let that ruin your chances to see world class art this year, as many of the works from previous triennials are still in and around the town. The Folkestone Artworks became the UK's largest urban contemporary outdoor art exhibition last year when The Ledge by Bill Woodrow at 7m, joined the artworks dotted around the area, standing tall in its position at Folkestone's Lower Leas Coastal Promenade. You can also see Tracey Emin's works and a piece by Yoko Ono. While you're in Folkestone head to the Harbour Arm, which has now reopened for promenading daily between

8.30am to 5.30pm. Find out more here.

The Ledge by Bill Woodrow is part of the Folkestone Artworks
The Ledge by Bill Woodrow is part of the Folkestone Artworks

9 Get fit

Gyms may still be closed for a bit longer, and if your gentle walk around the park isn't really keeping the pounds off, you may (or may not) be pleased to hear that some outdoor exercise clubs have started again, including British Military Fitness. BMF has booked spaces and is able to provide socially distanced workouts in the open air. Sign up for one at the parks in Kent here.

Get that gym feeling outside
Get that gym feeling outside

For more ideas for days out across Kent click here.


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