Haysden Country Park, Tonbridge, Kent
Address: Lower Haysden Ln, Tonbridge TN11 9BB
Situated on the outskirts of Tonbridge, Kent is this beautiful Country Park and Nature reserve. Stretching across 64-hectares of land you will discover two lakes and a stretch of the River Medway as well as other streams, forests and open fields. We visited at the beginning of autumn and it was absolutely stunning as many of the walkways are covered over by trees.
We started our dog walk from the main car park which has charges that you can pay via the machine or via card on the phone line provided on site. It cost us only £1.20 for four hours which is really cheap compared to most parking nowadays!
We were pleasantly surprised by the onsite café serving yummy food and drinks - best way to start your walk especially if you have forgotten to eat beforehand and you need a hot drink to warm you up in the chilly weather!
The first sight we discovered was the Barden Lake which is home to several swans, geese, and ducks which looked like they were waiting for food from their visitors. The park asks that you keep your dog on their lead if likely to disturb the wildlife. Yoko was desperate to go and say hello to them so she remained on the lead around this part of our dog walk.
The lake has several fishing docks plotted around the lake all of which were pretty much all occupied which was not a surprise due to the beauty of the area!
Off from the lake, we discovered a short woodland area that leads to a bridge which crossed over a calm following stream of River Medway. As we were about to cross the bridge we encountered a beautiful, bouncy Sighthound puppy who looked extremely familiar to us and Yianni and Yoko seemed to play with her as if they knew her - funny how you can see when your dog knows another dog!
When the owner called her name “Rosie” we had to ask if she was a rescue puppy from The Last chance rescue and she said yes! She was one of the beautiful puppies that we meet on our visit and we could not believe that we were seeing her again but with her new owner! This made our walk even more special and I won’t lie a tear was in my eye to see Rosie so happy and with her loving family.
After this amazing reunion and when we could finally split Yianni and Yoko from playing with Rosie, we crossed the bridge we were taken aback by the beautiful walkway which follows the waterside and is covered by trees over by the golden autumn leaves.
As we walked the golden leaves fell from the trees making us feel as if we were in a movie set! Yianni and Yoko enjoyed running and chasing each other through the fallen leaved pathways and Yoko nearly went for an accidental swim in the stream a few times while she was investigating the path's edge!
When we started the walk we completely forgot to check the map of the area to get a feel for the layout - distracted by our yummy burgers of course! This meant we were unsure at the routes to take to get the most out of our visit, but we walked we found that the walkways were easy enough to follow as there were signs which lead you to the other lake and trail signs which lead you around the walkways.
On our way to the Haysden Water Lake, we did think that we were a little lost as on the route has a grassed hill and a flyover which you walk under. As soon as you get to the top of the grassed hill you will spot the lake in the distance. Yianni and Yoko love running up and down hills so this part of the walk was perfect for them and we as watching your dog’s run play and roll down the hill is just one of the perks of owning dogs!
Haysden Lake is another beautiful spot to walk around and had fewer fishermen, so we were able to walk out on the fishing docks and sit taking in the view with Yianni and Yoko investigating the area. As we walked around the lake we discovered that the route does not go around the full length of the lake so we had to turn and walk back the way had come.
After walking the second lake we made our way back to our starting point along the trail walkways, discovering further streams and little areas of interest. Yianni and Yoko loved every minute of it and were able to experience different terrains and smells throughout.
It took us around three and a half hours from start to finish. The park opens and closes at different times depending on the time of year but is open 7 days a week.
This is a dog walk that we will definitely walk again and the area is completely dog-friendly, they ask only that you take responsibility for your dog and keep them on their lead around the wildlife if they are likely to disturb them.
We love to hear from our readers, so if you have ever been to Haysden Country Park or have any recommendations for other dog walks, please let us know in the comments below.
Love from the Aurora Pets Team x