Getting to Groombridge
Groombridge Place is a beautiful 17th-century country estate nestled between East Sussex and Kent with 200 acres of parkland. As well as a moated manor house it features themed play areas, a boardwalk, forest trails and an impressive 350m treetop walk, perfect for family days out.
We visited Groombridge on a beautiful, warm and sunny day in May. From Surrey, it took us around 40 minutes to get there and was relatively straight forward to find following sat-nav directions. The estate has a good-sized car park and it was all very easy to get into the grounds from there.
The estate is beautiful but sizeable to walk through. Groombridge’s website advises wearing comfortable shoes which is something I would recommend as there is lots of ground to cover.
However, there is a canal which runs alongside the park with a boat which can take you from one end to the other. We decided to take the boat into the park but walked back which was lovely and not too tiring for little legs.
Once in the park, we were spoilt for choice as there was lots to see and do. We could have easily spent the whole day in the grounds if we wanted to see everything, but instead decided to check out the play areas, treetop walk and forest trails which were more than enough for our five-year-old and two years old.
Because of our timing, we didn’t catch any of the bird shows, and even though it was included in our ticket price we decided to forego the Peter Pan panto.
The treetop walk is open to all ages, but children have to be able to independently walk through it. It’s 20m up in the trees canopies and there is no turning back once you’ve started.
Whilst we had all planned to do it together, we quickly realised that Louis was a little too young. So instead Chris and Ella did the walk, and Louis and I followed them in the forest trails underneath which was just as lovely (and less sweaty).
Whilst we were there we also tried out the giant swings and played camp in the tepees. We also saw a few of the resident animals which included a Zedonk (a cross between a Zebra and a Donkey) and a rather feisty peacock. We also had a bite to eat which was rather pricey, but delicious, and finished with an obligatory stop in the gift shop.
Family Days Out Verdict
All in all, we had a lovely day, and though it ended up being a tad more expensive than we expected, it’s worth a visit if you’re looking for family days out in Kent and East Sussex.
Top tip: pre-book online to get cheaper tickets (if you’re not fussed about not seeing the pantomime). Make sure you take comfortable shoes and consider taking a picnic to make use of the many beautiful picnic areas (and save spending more on food!).