White Horse Wood Country Park

Natural space open to all

Set in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, White Horse Wood Country Park offers beautiful countryside, local history and panoramic views. Perfect for a picnic or walking the dog, you’ll also be able to explore the medieval ruins of Thurnham Castle.

Park summary

White Horse Wood is set within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and offers beautiful countryside, local history and panoramic views.

The site hosts the medieval ruins of Thurnham Castle, which are easily explored. Within the park boundaries there are also traces of an Iron Age settlement, providing even more historical interest.

A Site of Nature Conservation Interest, over 20,000 trees have recently been planted here including oak, ash, silver birch, wild cherry and crab apple. 5 hectares of land has also been seeded to create an area of open grassland. The improvements will in time create an important habitat for a variety of unusual flora and fauna, further boosting Kent's natural heritage.

White Horse Wood country park (PDF, 1.2 MB)

White Horse Wood
Detling Hill
ME14 3JE

If you are using satellite navigation to visit White Horse Wood Country Park, please only use the park name and not the postcode above. Access to the country park is via the southbound carriageway of the A249 at Detling Hill, there is no access through the villages of Detling or Thurnham.

Telephone: 03000 420 993

Email: kentcountryparks@kent.gov.uk

Plan your journey using public transport on Traveline

Pay and display:

  • Monday to Friday: £1 per day
  • Weekends and bank holidays: £1.50 per day

Parking can be paid for in cash.

The parking height restriction for White Horse Wood Country Park is 2m (6ft 5).

Free parking for season ticket holders.

The car park is flat and has a hard standing surface. There are height restrictions at this site.

Blue Badge holders may apply for concessionary parking online, or by calling 03000 41 72 72.

All users, including Blue Badge holders, must pay and display or have a valid season ticket.

Visitors on motorbikes do not need to pay for parking.

Opens: 9am

Closes: dusk or 9pm (whichever is earlier)

Closed on Christmas Day.

The park is home to the ruins of Thurnham Castle. A Motte and Bailey castle built in the reign of Henry II in the 12th Century, it is listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM).

Documents from 1215 refer to the lands within the walls of the castle, which may indicate that the site was already in ruins by this time.

Detling Airfield

The site formed part of the Detling Air Field, which was active during World War One and World War Two. After this, part of the airfield was still used for training and later became the Kent County Showground.

Creating the park

Kent County Council bought the site in 2000 and the public woodland was created as part of the Millennium Projects Scheme to celebrate the turn of the century.

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.


There are no facilities to purchase food and drink at White Horse Wood, however, it is a beautiful site for a picnic.

The picnic site at the park includes benches and waste bins.


Barbecues are unfortunately not permitted at this park.


From White Horse Woods, you have stunning views across the weald, and this is an ideal place to link to the North Downs Way.

White Horse Wood country park (PDF, 1.2 MB)

Find local walks on the Explore Kent website

Dog walking

Dogs are welcome.

Please clear up after your dog and put waste in the dog bins provided.

Easy access paths

There is an easy access route around the park, which is perfect for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

There are a number of kissing gates that link one side of the park to the other. A wheelchair will not be able to use these.


There are no toilet facilities at White Horse Wood.


Find out more about geocaching, sign up to create an account and find geocaches at the park.


Read our accessibility information for White Horse Wood Country Park (PDF, 19.6 KB).

Flying drones

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.