Darenth Country Park
Darenth Country Park was developed from the grounds of the former Darenth Asylum, as one of "Changing Places" National Millennium Projects and opened to visitors for the millennium.
The Park is located on the edge of the North Downs above the Darent Valley and it is home to the Arrow Riding Centre for the disabled.
The site resembles a river valley with the main Chestnut Driveway marking the bottom. It includes a scheduled ancient monument. Although little remains today, this was once the site of ancient Saxon burials.
Over the years a total of 12 graves have been discovered complete with Saxon objects including a spearhead, brooches and a completely intact glass bowl dating back to AD450.
The Darenth bowl as it is now known can be seen at Dartford Borough Museum.
There are also SSSI, two cemeteries and newly created "traditional" orchards.
Chapel Orchard boasts over 150 varieties of apple, pear, plum, cherry and cob nut tree.
The larger traditional apple varieties such as "Kentish Filbasket" and "Golden Pippin" are at the top end of the orchard.
Towards the other end of the orchard you are brought right up to date with the modern dwarf and semi dwarf varieties, such as "Discovery" and "Red Devil".
In addition there are horse grazing paddocks and this is one of the only three sites within Kent that Watling Street Thistle, Ergrigium Campestre can be found.
The site offers a variety of surfaced and unsurfaced paths including cycle routes.
Artist Andy McKeown worked with local schools and community groups to design the sculpture you can see here.
The sculpture represents new life and growth arising from the decline of old industries or past land use.
There is a picnic area available adjacent to the Car Park.
Grid Ref: TQ565 726
OS Explorer 162 covers the site.
Seasonal Variations, although, as a rule, the Park is closed between dusk and dawn.
- By car: Gore Road Dartford. (Between the B260 and the A255)
- By bus: 423 (Check Arriva bus for timetables)