Manor Park Country Park
Once part of an 18th century country estate, Manor Park offers a wide range of natural habitats for you to enjoy, from beautiful wildflower meadows, to woodland copses and a serene lake. With a café offering delicious local food, children’s play area and historical points of interest, Manor Park is a wonderful place to spend a family day out.
- the lake is a haven for wildlife such as swans, moorhens and dabchicks
- the Abbey Field and Chestnut Paddocks are grazed fields with plenty of wildflowers in summer
- the Ice House field, on the far side of the lake, takes its name from the structure used to store ice taken from the lake over winter for use in the manor house's kitchen
- Douce's meadow is an area of open grassland where the excellent play area is situated, along with picnic tables and plenty of space for ball games.
The land that now forms the park once belonged to the 18th Century Douce's Manor (formerly St Leonard's), which still overlooks the park from St Leonard's Street.
The lake is thought to have been made in the early to mid-1800s by damming the Ewell stream. It may have been stocked as a fishing lake for the manor or nearby abbey.
The ice house
You'll find the remains of an ice house (listed Grade II by English Heritage) near the water in Ice House Field, next to St Leonard's Street.
The ice house chamber is believed to have been built between 1776 and 1789 for keeping ice from the lake for use in the manor kitchens.
During World War Two the field where the ice house is was used as a prison camp for interned Germans.
Creating the park
Kent County Council bought the 52 acres that now form Manor Park Country Park in 1973 and opened it to the public in 1976.
This park is managed by the Kent County Council Kent Country Parks team.
Read the Kent County Parks strategy 2017 - 2021 (PDF, 1.6 MB) which sets out the aspirations for our Kent Country Parks service over the next 4 years.
For more information on how we sustainably manage the park, read our Manor Park Country Park Management Plan (PDF, 3.4 MB).
Café opening hours
The Green Café has recently re-opened under new management.
The café serves traditional breakfast and lunch snacks, including those old time favourites such as smoked bacon, bubble and squeak and liver and onions, along with current tastes like fajita chicken, succulent beef burgers and fish finger sandwiches. Our bread range is delivered to us daily, straight from Ireland's Bakery of East Peckham. They brew Douwe Egberts coffee, and Birchalls Speciality Teas and Kentish Farm Ice Cream tubs made by Solleys in Deal.
- From 10am in nice weather
- 7 days a week from 1 April - 31 August
- School holidays (excluding christmas)
- Open Saturday and Sunday at all other times
The café stays open later in school holidays but may close early in persistent wet weather.
Contact 07930 89 82 05
Barbeques are unfortunately not permitted at this park.
A variety of walks of different lengths can be enjoyed. You can wander along the lake and back via Douce's Meadow, Abbey Field or Chestnut Paddock, or take a short stroll through the park to West Malling town centre, where there is a variety of shops and historic buildings.
You can also use the park as a base to explore the wider area. Two public rights of way run through the site, and this path network can be used to create your own circular walks outside the park. Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 148 will help with your route planning
Dogs are free to roam at Manor Park but must be under close control at all times.
They are not allowed in the play area and must be on leads around the car park, play area and café.
Dogs are not allowed to swim in the lake.
At certain times of the year, Chestnut Paddock and Abbey Field are grazed by cattle. Signs will be put on gates to forewarn you to put dogs on leads at these times.
Dog bins can be found alongside all surfaced paths on the site.
Easy access paths
There are 284 metres of surfaced path that form a circular route between the café, play area and lake, these have a loose stone fill surface but do involve some steep gradients.
There are also 2 public footpaths that cross the park as well as unsurfaced routes throughout the park which have gates to access the different areas.
Our play area is in Douce's Meadow, a short stroll from the café and toilets, and adjacent to a number of picnic tables. It provides a good range of equipment, most suited to younger children.
Toilet facilities are available at all times when the park is open to visitors, even if the café is closed.
There is a unisex accessible toilet within the main building which can be accessed via surfaced pathways and does not require a Radar key to access.
Find out more about geocaching, sign up to create an account and find geocaches at the park.
Cycling is not permitted at Manor Park all routes are footpaths only.
Flying drones is not permitted at country park sites. This is to keep the public safe (walkers, cyclists, horse riders) and to avoid significant disturbance to wildlife and ground nesting birds.
Please do not fly drones under any circumstance.