Address: Brewers Road, Shorne, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 3HX.
Known to be one of the most popular country parks in Kent, Shorne Woods Country Park offers you and your family dog a great day of walking. This dog friendly area offers many different walking trails set on 292 acres of rolling woodland, wetlands and meadows.
As well as the lovely walking area’s there is a Eco-friendly cafe, sensory garden, fishing lakes and play area’s if you are visiting with your children too.
We arrived at around 10:30 am on a Saturday for our walk and the car park seemed to be relatively quite, but when we left at around 2 pm the car park was nearly full, so we would suggest getting their earlier to avoid disappointment in parking if it is a nice day. Parking for a full day is £3 on a weekend and £2 on a weekday, which is relatively cheap compared to most popular places we have walked.
Once we had parked we made our way into the park. The first part of the park is a dog lead zone as this is where the picnic, play areas and fishing ponds are located. Something we were glad to be aware of as Yianni and Yoko are always on the lookout for fisherman and their bait! The on lead areas are clearly marked on sign posts and the maps of the park, so we knew when it was safe to let Yianni and Yoko run free.
During our walk we didn’t really follow any exact trails but if you prefer to follow a trail I have listed all 8 below:
- The Easy Access Trail (signposted by block orange arrow) which is a 1km circular route through woodland, lakes and grassy glades.
- The Easy Access Extension (signposted by orange and white polka dot arrow) is an extension of the Easy access trail which will take you directly to the Knoll view point and Randall Manor.
- Horse/Cycle/Pedestrian Route (signposted by Blue Block arrow) – It is a 3km circular route and as you can tell from the name this route may have horses and bikes, so if your dog is not so keen this is not the best route for you.
- The Purple Route (signposted by Purple block arrow) – 1.4km easy – medium route that will take around 45 minutes to complete.
- The Red Route (signposted by Red block arrow) – 3.1km long and described as a medium to difficult route which takes around 1hr and 15mins to walk.
- The Heritage Trail (signposted by Brown block arrow) – 3.5km medium to difficult route that will take around 1hr and 30mins to complete. On this route you can explore the archaeology and history of the park.
- The Explorer Trail (signposted by Light Green block arrow) this route is 6km long which will take you through to the sites best wild flowers, fungi and wet land areas. This is known to be a difficult route as there is some challenging terrain to walk through.
- The Darnley Trail (signposted by White block arrow) – 10km circular trail which can also be used by cyclist and horses. This trail links Shorne Country Park with other key sites south of the A2.
During our walk we found there were a lot of maps dotted around showing where we were and where to go, so if you didn’t have a map or wanted to change your walking route, it was easy to do so without getting lost or result in walking further than you wanted to walk.
So on to our walking experience at Shorne Woods. As I said we didn’t follow any set routes as we were planning to spend most of the day there and wanted to take in as much as we could on such a beautiful day. Plus we tend to follow Yianni and Yoko as most of the time they find the best routes. I say most of the time as sometimes they manage to find the biggest hill or set of stairs and we will be at the bottom of instead of the top! May be its payback for not providing enough treats in the day!
We walked through the different woodland areas, where Yianni ran from tree to tree taking in all the new scents, with Yoko following each one of his paw prints closely behind.
Our walk was peaceful and quiet through the larger trail areas and was not until we got onto the Easy Access Trail that we came across more people enjoying the area. We stopped to have our picnic and rest on The Knoll, which is a view point enjoyed by many.
When we started the walk and I was looking through the trails I did notice the part of the trail which showed the landmark Cardiac Hill (it’s on the Red Trail) – something I thought did not sound as inviting, so I was happy when we found ourselves walking down instead of up!
At the bottom of Cardiac Hill, we found the Faerie Ring which is a circle of 12 wood carved seats, each with a different beautifully design carved into them. A perfect way to end our walk.
Would we return here for another dog walk? Yes, definitely! The woodland is great for shade on those warmer days and also great cover for rainy days. With so many trails to walk and explore, we feel it is somewhere you can visit more than once to get a different experience.
Have you and your dog been to explore the great Shorne Wood Country Park or have another dog-friendly woodland walk you can recommend? We would love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave us a comment below.
Love from the Aurora Pets Team x