This post is a bit late, as I was hoping we would be able to go back to Eynsford before I published it. Nopes, it didn’t work.
We went to Eynsford (Dartford, Kent) when my mum was still here. The idea was to visit Eagle Heights, a wildlife park that we thought Laura would love. But we got there before it opened, so we decided to visit the little centre.
The place is cute as most of England’s small medieval towns, with very well preserved cottages and historic buildings, narrow roads with little or no sidewalks and a stream cutting the town, where locals and tourists come to cool down and “fish” in summer. Laura simply loved it, she made friends there and didn’t want to leave to go to Eagle Heights. We ended up spending the whole day by the river, had a coffee a small coffee shop nearby and had lunch in a gastro pub across the road. The food in both places was good, but a bit expensive. We had Sunday roast at the pub, which was as good as a roast lunch can be (I’m not particularly fan of roasts) and the portions were huge.
So, we will try to go back before winter strikes back, to visit Eagle Heights and the ruins of Eynsford Castle, built in 1088, Lullingstone Castle, which is in fact a Manor House, originally built in the 15th century, and Lullingstone Roman Villa, which is essentially a roman villa as the name says. So plenty to see and do there. 🙂
Note to self: ALWAYS take bathing suite for Laura in ANY day out in summer.
On the right, the stream, on the left the gastro pub, in the middle “the grass beach”. Empty because it was still 10am. It was completely packed by lunch time.
The water was cold, but Laura (and all kids and dogs) couldn’t care less.
Detail of the window of the coffee shop
Cottage next door to the coffee shop we were – I couldn’t take a decent picture because there were people in the house
The Plough – the pub we had lunch
Good to know:
How to get there: there are trains to Eynsford from Blackfriars station (via Elephant and Castle and Bromley South). Everything seems to be quite close to each other, but I don’t think it is easy/safe to walk around to the places, especially if you have small children. If going by train, check buses and mini cabs companies that can take you to the places.
Map of the area, with the attractions highlighted in blue
Opening times: 29th March to 30th September, from 10am to 6pm / 1st October to 28th March, from 10am to 4pm. It closes in certain bank holidays
Ruins of Eynsford Castle. Source: English Heritage website
Entrance: adults – £9 / child 3 to 14 – £5.50 / Students and Senior Citizen – £7.50
Opening times: summer from 10:30 am to 5pm and winter from 11am to 4pm. Check the website for animal encounters and shows times.
Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden:
Opening times: from 29th March to 30th September
World Garden Open: Fridays (except Good Friday), Saturdays and Sundays plus Bank Holiday Mondays: 12 noon – 5pm.
House Open: Either every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm only, for a 45-minute guided tour (included in the ticket price). Or every Bank Holiday Weekend (except Good Friday) from 12 noon to 5pm (last entry at 4pm; no guided tour).
Prices: Adult £7.00 / Child £4.00 (5-15 yrs old) / Senior citizen £6.50 / Family £18.00 (2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult & 3 children)
Lullingstone Roman Villa:
Opening times: 29th March to 30th September, 10am to 6pm. 1st October to 3rd November, 10am to 5pm. 4th November to 16th March, only opened Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 4pm. Other special opening days apply, always check the website before going.
Prices: adult £6.50 / child (5-15): £3.70 / Students and Senior citizen: £5.60
This post is part of the Kent, the garden of England series. To read more, click here.