Lullingstone Country Park is internationally important for its collection of ancient trees, with over 300 veteran oak, beech, ash, hornbeam and sweet chestnut, some of which are thought to be 800 years old. Find out more in Lullingstone's Veteran Trees leaflet (PDF, 795.8 KB). The park also has areas of chalk grassland that fill with spectacular displays of orchids and other wild flowers in spring and summer.
For those wishing to venture into the wider countryside, you can follow a 6.5 mile circular walk, passing through the nearby village of Shoreham.
Meanwhile just to the north of the site, Lullingstone Roman Villa is an English Heritage site featuring spectacular mosaics and rare Roman wall paintings.
Lullingstone Castle and the World Collection of Plants are nearby too, with its national collection of Eucalyptus.
The Darent Valley Path runs past the park, offering yet more opportunities to explore the local countryside.
Pay and display:
Free parking for season ticket holders.
We have 100 parking spaces on a gravel area and 5 disabled parking spaces on a hard standing surface.
Blue Badge holders may apply for concessionary parking by calling 03000 41 72 72.
Coach and horse box parking is available at the park and must be booked in advance by calling 03000 41 18 11.
It costs £5 a day.
Closes: dusk or 9pm (whichever is earlier)
Closed on Christmas Day.
Lullingstone Country Park has a rich historical past. Bordering the River Darent, communities have settled in this valley from as early as the Stone Age (10,000 years ago).
There is evidence of Iron Age and Romano-British settlements and records of two farmsteads dating back to 20/50AD and 65AD, The name of the park comes from its farming history - Lulling's tun, meaning Lulling's farm. The ploughed terraces from this era are still just visible in the park today.
The area that is now the country park was part of a large estate and a deer park that was thought to date from the Mediaeval period.
The area was protected as valuable deer-hunting territory, which was resulted in the landscape of mature trees and open grassland you can still see today. The oldest tree on the site is around 800 years old.
The Hart Dyke family owned the estate and have a history at Lullingstone dating back 600 hundred years. The land forming the park was sold off to cover debts of the estate in 1933, with only 200 acres of land retained around Lullingstone Castle, which is still owned by the family today.
For a period the future of the park looked bleak and there was a real danger that the whole area would be developed - trees were felled and some of the ancient turf was destroyed. Luckily, in 1938, the London Green Belt Act was born and Kent County Council, assisted by London County Council, purchased the land.
The outbreak of WW2 prevented the area being opened to the public and in 1939, the ministry of defence (Bomber Command), decided to construct a decoy airfield on the land to deflect attention away from nearby Biggin Hill. Dummy air craft were constructed and placed out in the dry valley behind Lullingstone Park Farm - some were even set alight during air raids to simulate direct hits. The airfield underwent particularly sustained German bombing on 13 and 14 February 1944, and you can still see evidence of the bomb craters to this day.
After the war, the park was still in the control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and there was great pressure to use the land to produce food. After much opposition, most of the land was returned to KCC, but 190 acres which included the meadow in front of the centre, was retained by the ministry who paid a lease to use the land for agriculture. Some of this land is still in agricultural production today.
The grassland which escaped the plough is now some of the finest chalk grassland you are likely to see, containing many scarce wildlife species.
Although Kent County Council owned the site, the management was leased to Sevenoaks District Council who managed the park until 2005, when Kent County Council once again took over the management of the park.
This park is managed by the Kent County Council Kent Country Parks team. Contact the Kent Country Parks team.
1 April to 31 October - 10am - 4.30 pm (hot food is served until 3pm).
1 November to 31 March - 11am and 3.30pm (hot food is served until 3pm).
The café sells delicious homemade soups, hot meals, snacks and baguettes.
Our fresh ground bean coffee is very popular, and a range of other hot and cold drinks and ice creams are available all day.
Look out for our lovely handmade cake selection, and our daily specials!
1 April to 31 October - 10am - 5pm
1 November to 31 March - 11am - 4pm
We sell a range of products including:
We sell wood products which are a by-product of the conservation work we do.
|Charcoal||£5 (available between April and October)|
|Net bag of logs||£6 (available between September and March)|
|Kindling||£4 (available between September and March)|
|Larch log candle||£10|
|Net bag of small wooden disks (min. 30)||£20|
|Bulk bag of logs (approx 220kg)||
This must be ordered in advance and will be
loaded onto a trailer with a tractor on site.
|Large stepping stone||£4|
|Bespoke wood orders||
We sell wood to wood-turners, artists, schools, |
email us email@example.com or call
03000 41 47 47 and ask for the ranger team.
The park has a number of waymarked routes that are different lengths, marked on the map of Lullingstone Country Park (PDF, 1.9 MB).
Every Tuesday at 10am during term time there is a healthy guided walk, which anyone can just turn up and join in. It costs £2 per person.
Dogs are welcome at Lullingstone Country Park but must be under close control at all times.
We ask that owners keep dogs on leads around the car park, café and play area, but they can be let off the lead in other parts of the park.
Please clear up after your dog and take waste back to key entrances for disposal in the dog waste bins provided.
There is a tap for dog drinking water at the main entrance to the visitor centre and drinking bowls are provided by the café.
There is a riverside path that runs along the River Darent between Lullingstone Country Park and Lullingstone Castle. This is a 20 minute stroll. The path is mainly unsurfaced but reasonably flat, which means there is good access during the spring/summer/autumn months, but may become muddy during the winter.
The play area at the side of visitor centre in the park is on level ground, with a rubber safety surface. It is surrounded by a fence but can be accessed through a level gateway.
Every Saturday morning, Parkrun takes place. Find out more at Lullingstone Parkrun.
Every Tuesday at 10am during term time there is a healthy guided walk. Anyone can just turn up and join in. It costs £2 per person.
1 April to 31 October - 10am to 5pm.
1 November and 31 March - 11am to 4pm.
Closed on Christmas Day.
Toilets are located near the main entrance of the park.
Toilet facilities are available at all times when the park is open to visitors, even if the café and shop are closed.
There is a unisex accessible toilet. These facilities can be reached via easy access pathways and do not require a Radar key.
A permanent orienteering course is available at the park for everyone to use.
Download an orienteering map from the Dartford Orienteering Klubb website or you can purchase a laminated map from the park shop for £1.
Find out more about geocaching, sign up to create an account and find geocaches at the park.
At Kent Country Parks we offer outdoor learning for all ages and abilities, whether you are visiting one of our outdoor learning centres, or we are bringing our outdoor learning expertise into your setting or environment.More information for schools or group settings