From parks to naval forts and fire engine museums to crazy golf, we’ve rounded up the best activities in and around Dartford.
Activities in Dartford
With a large play area, paddling pool, boating lake, sandpit, mini-golf, café and bouncy castle, Swanley Park is the perfect family day out. There’s also a small wildlife and nature area and a small in-park train station. Handily, the park is just a few miles south of Dartford.
Beacon Wood Country Park
On the opposite side of the River Thames, Tilbury Fort is a 16th-century naval fort built to protect London from a naval attack. It’s now a fascinating museum and maritime base where you’re free to explore the vast gunpowder spaces, the underground passages and the impressive defences. In addition to this trip back to 1539, visitors can use a free audio guide to learn more about the fort and the other exhibition space, then take a sneaky peak at the gift shop.
Lullingstone Castle & Roman Villa
Lullingstone Castle & Roman Villa is one of the best-preserved sites dating back to AD100 about five miles south of Dartford, across the M20 and M25 junction. The ruins today include impressive floor mosaics, wall paintings and the Roman ‘bathroom,’ all brought to life by a light show and galleries full of Roman artefacts. There’s also a costume room for children, filled with period board games.
Beacon Wood Country Park
Escape the hustle and bustle of the modern world at Beacon Wood Country Park, halfway between Dartford and Gravesend. The scenic park is a vibrant ecosystem full of wildlife and nature, perfect for bird-watchers, dog-walkers, ramblers and nature-lovers. The relaxing park also has a small play area, fitness equipment and a large nearby car park.
Essex Fire Museum
Embrace your inner Fireman Sam at the Essex Fire Museum. Housing fire-fighting equipment through the decades including several vintage fire engines, the museum is open on designated days throughout the year. So look ahead to book in your tour and get those sirens blaring!
Pirate Cove Adventure Park
Part of the huge Bluewater Shopping Mall, Pirate Cove Adventure Park is a 36-hole, two-course crazy golf course, open for children over three years old and all adults. As well as putting your way to glory, you can also take one of the joystick-controlled GoGo boats with up to four passengers out on the nearby lake.
Hall Place & Gardens
With nearly 500 years of history to explore spanning the Tudors, both World Wars and a rich and varied garden, there’s plenty to do and see at Hall Place & Gardens. Open year-round, the Bexley Heath attraction is also very close to the Butterfly Jungle Experience.