The Darent Valley
Accessible by train this is a wonderful valley to explore with things to do and see for all the family.
The Darent Valley Path
The Darent Valley Path is 19 miles long stretching from Dartford Marshes to Sevenoaks town centre. It hugs the River Darent along much of the route and passes through stunning countryside and a variety of villages including Horton Kirby, Farningham, Eynsford, Shoreham and Otford. The areas rich natural and cultural heritage can be seen and further explored at sites such as Lullingstone Castle and Roman Villa and Eynsford Castle. The Darent Valley is easily accessible by train and the villages provide a perfect place to stop for lunch. If 19 miles in one go seems a bit too much, then you can choose to do parts of the walk or visit some of the sights in the area instead.
Excitingly, the Darent Valley has recently been awarded a grant of £2.1 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to bring together a multitude of organisations, partners, communities and landowners to enhance and conserve the valley's natural and cultural heritage. Visit the Facebook page to keep up to date on progress of the Darent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme - https://www.facebook.com/DVLPS
Lavender at the Hop Shop
Come and see the lavender in all its glory. It is at its best in July.For further information visit www.thehopshop.co.uk
Lullingstone Country Park
Lullingstone Country Park is set in the Darent Valley and is home to some of the oldest Oak and Beech trees in England. For those wishing to venture further, a guide to a 6.5 mile circular walk from the visitor centre passes close to Shoreham Railway Station on the line from Blackfriars to Sevenoaks, so why not plan a car free day? There is a visitor centre with a café, toilets and shop with information about the landscape, wildlife and heritage of the park. For further information click here http://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/parks-and-outdoor-activities/find-a-park/lullingstone-country-park
Lullingstone Castle and World Garden
Lullingstone Castle is one of England’s oldest family estates, dating back to the time of Domesday. The present Manor House and Gate House were built in 1497 and have been home to the same family ever since. Both Henry VIII and Queen Anne are known to have been regular visitors. Tom Hart Dyke’s innovative World Garden, laid out in the shape of a map of the World, pays tribute to the plant hunters of old and brings horticulture right up to date with its daring plan to grow exotic blooms outside in the Garden of England. Visit www.lullingstonecastle.co.uk for further details.
Lullingstone Roman Villa
One of the few excavated villas fully open to visitors, Lullingstone provides a unique opportunity to trace Roman domestic life over three centuries. Begun in about AD 75, the villa was frequently altered to suit the tastes and beliefs of successive wealthy owners. Towards the end of the 1st century, they added a heated bath-suite and pagan 'cult-rooms'. These display a rare and important treasure - a painting of two water-nymphs, by far the oldest wall painting in English Heritage care. After a period of decline and more changes, a big new dining room was added in c. AD 350, this still retains outstanding mosaics, including Europa and the Bull and Bellerophon killing the Chimaera. Soon afterwards the villa-owners became Christians, creating a chapel, the painted symbols found there are among the earliest surviving evidence for Christianity in Britain. The villa was destroyed by fire soon after AD 400. For further details visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/lullingstone-roman-villa/
Shoreham Aircraft Museum
Artefacts that tell the stories of the men who fought in the skies over Europe during World War II.You will find documents, letters, photographs and eye-witness accounts as well as the remains of a wide range of aircraft including Spitfire and Hurricanes. The museum is open at weekends from Easter to October from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Further information is available at www.shoreham-aircraft-museum.co.uk