Kemsing Down Nature Reserve lies right on the top of the North Downs, above the village of Kemsing. It is quite a steep climb up the Downs but if you can reach the top you will be rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view across Kent – on a clear day you will be able to see as far as Detling in the East and Leith Hill in Surrey in the West, a distance of over 40 miles. A wonderful place for children to play and for having a picnic.
The Reserve is in two parts, divided by an ancient cart track (now a public footpath). The eastern side is a chalk grassland area rich in wild flowers including nine species of orchid. Others you could see are squinancywort, fairy flax, burnet saxifrage and common rock rose. Take your wild flower book with you to see how many you can spot. Early summer is the best time to see this profusion of flowers and insects. Butterflies to watch out for include the brown argus, common blue and dingy and grizzled skipper The western side of the reserve is a mixture of ancient woodland and chalk downland. Here you may see a kestrel or a green woodpecker.
The North Downs Way crosses the reserve. To find details of the circular walk from Kemsing along the North Downs Way see the National Trail website at www.nationaltrail.co.uk/Northdowns
The reserve is owned by Kemsing Parish Council and managed by Kent Wildlife Trust and Sevenoaks District Council.
Open all year
Public toilets in Kemsing Village
Park in Kemsing Village and walk up to the Downs or travel by train to Otford and walk the 1.5 miles to the reserve along the Pilgrims Way.