Bewl Water, Lamberhurst, Kent
Address: Bewl Water, Bewlbridge Ln, Tunbridge Wells TN3 8JH
When we searched for a walk in the Kent area this was not very high on the search results and after our visit, we are wondering why! There is so much to do and this 800-acre site is full of beauty and fun for you and all of the family members to enjoy.
It is the largest stretch of open water in the South East of England where you can enjoy a day of water sports including fishing, boating, pedalos, dinghies and windsurfing. If being out on the water with you in control is something you do not want to risk (so many times we have been let loose in a rowing boat going in circles!) Alternatively you can board the dog-friendly Bewl Belle which is approx. 45-minute boat ride around the lake.
Not only do you have all of these water attractions, you have the land attractions too! There is an adventure play area for children and an opening to shallow water to dip your toes in on a warm day. If you’re looking to test your skill and agility in an action-filled activity you can take part in their laser tag contest (only on weekends outside school holidays). Or if you’re looking for a more relaxed activity you can hire a bike from their shop which is located at the entrance to the car park.
If you remember to pack a picnic there are plenty of lovely places to sit and enjoy it, but if you forget do not worry they have a relaxed café where you can buy drinks, sandwiches and a variation of hot meals. They do have a waterfront Boat House Bistro for a more formal setting on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday which is dog-friendly on the outside terrace.
If these various activities don’t take your fancy, do not worry as the walk alone is enough to make a visit! The full circular walk which guides you around the lake is 12 ½ miles - which Bewl water themselves state will take approx. 6 hours to complete, but others have reported walking it in 4 ½ hours. To some this will be like a walk in the park but if this is too long, you can choose to walk and turn back part way through or you can board the dog friendly Bewl water taxi which stops at each Jetty throughout the day (there is a charge for the use of the water taxi).
When you begin your walk from the car park you can either start your walk by going left or right. Turning right you will have access to the lake for your dog to go out in which is why we think we found more dog walkers this way. Turning left does follow the lake's edge but it is cut off by the tree line and the reservoir wall for roughly an hour into the walk, so it depends on your preference if you are not completing the full 12 ½ mile walk.
We have been on both routes and we found going right was best for us if we couldn't make the full circular walk. The walking trail takes you through woodland covered paths, offering you shade from the sun and then out to open spaces covered in long grass and wildflowers growing at the lake's edge. If your dog enjoys a swim they will not be disappointed! We could see so many happy dogs jumping in and out to cool off or just go for a swim.
We experienced a very proud dog owner moment with Yianni on our walk here - he actually went into the water! As we have said before in our previous out and about blogs, Yianni will normally avoid the water but this time, he went to the water’s edge and just walked in! We were so shocked we wanted to make sure we had been walking with the right dog! He did not attempt to swim out; he just stayed in one spot enjoying the cool water and lapping up the excited “well done, good boy Yianni” comments from us.
We continued our walk taking in the beautiful tranquil surroundings and watched as Yianni meet other dogs which 9/10 times resulted in running and playing amongst the long grass.
We would like to point out that you will have people on bikes riding on the same trail, so if your dog has an aversion to bikes this may not be the best place to visit, unfortunately.
Bewl water is open 7 days a week and all year round, with parking only costing £3 for a full day. If you make the trip out there please let us know your thoughts or if you have any questions, please write them in the comments below.
Love from the Aurora Pets family x