Whether you like a calming countryside walk or prefer an exciting family day out, Swanley Park has something to offer for you.
This 60-acre park located just outside of London is like no other. There's a large array of activities available for kids and families, ranging from kayaking on the lake to jumping about on the bouncy castle.
Looking for more fun days out with the family? Our guide has some of the best places to go after lockdown. Or, if you're looking for something more local, take a peek at this list of country parks in Kent, which make for a beautiful day out.
Where Is Swanley Park?
Swanley Park is a large park in the small town of Swanley in Kent. It's easily accessible from London and is only twenty miles away from Central London. Formerly known as New Barn Park, Swanley Park is located on New Barn Road, Swanley, BR8 7PW. It used to be a farm before the local council bought the land on New Barn Road to protect the London Green Belt and transformed it into the popular park it is today. The park is one of the most interesting things to do in Swanley.
Where Can You Park At Swanley Park?
Swanley Park has two large car parks on opposite sides of the park. The north parking area is on New Barn Road, and the south car park is on The Birches road. Parking in Swanley costs £3 per day and the Swanley Park car park closes at 8 pm during the summer, and 4 pm during the winter. For Swanley residents with proof of residency, parking is free.
There are also direct trains from London to Swanley Rail Station. The train ride from Central London takes around half an hour, although there is a fair walk from the station to the park, so it may not be the best option for little feet. Also remember to consider the current government guidelines surrounding the use of public transport before you decide to take a trip on the train (don't forget face masks!).
What Facilities Are There At Swanley Park?
Swanley Park is home to a cafe, which serves hot foods, ice creams, and cold and hot drinks. The cafe is open from 8 am until 7pm during the summer, and is located right next to the water park. There are no set picnic areas in the park, but there's plenty of open grassy space where you can have a family picnic. The park also has toilets which have been reopened, but there are no baby changing facilities available. Swanley Park is also wheelchair and buggy friendly.
What Can You Do In Swanley Park?
There is an impressive variety of activities available in Swanley Park. Most of the activities have reopened after the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions and now have social distancing in place. The park has achieved the 'Good To Go' stamp of approval from the UK government and has been operating with many of its regular activities for almost a month.
One of the most popular attractions at Swanley Park is their water park and swimming pool. Perfect for cooling off on a summer's day and a great place to play in the sun, the water park currently requires pre-booking to ensure social distancing. Bookings cost £10 for up to six people and each session lasts for 50 minutes.
Another great water attraction is the boating lake. There are a number of different types of boats available for rent here, including pedalos and canoes. Prices range from £3 - £7 depending on the number of people in each booking. You can also have a go in the kayaks; there is staff on hand to aid any beginners.
Away from the water, one of the park's best attractions is its mini train. This realistic train has reopened with COVID-19 guidelines in place and offers a non-stop trip around the park. Sure to be a hit with younger kids, the Swanley Park train ride costs £1.50 per person, but kids aged three or younger ride for free.
While there are no more events currently planned, Swanley Park recently played host to a new drive-in cinema, which showed a number of classics and newer favourites throughout the afternoon and evening on three weekend days. It was very popular, so keep an eye out for future events!
Even with all these unique opportunities, Swanley Park doesn't forget about the classics. The play area is open year-round and features swings, slides, climbing walls, and even zip wires. This play area attraction is completely free and has reopened after COVID-19 rules were relaxed. Swanley Park makes for a fantastic family day out with something for everyone!
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Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
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