Sunday 28 March 2021

Visiting Bewl Water, East Sussex/ Kent - Fun for all the Family

Bewl Water is a vast estate on the Kent/ East Sussex border. It is £5 to park a car for the day and you can enjoy watersports, fishing, cycling etc

I'm so optimistic about this summer with better weather and a greater ability to be able to see friends and family in the coming months. Of course, not all is lost at the moment though as there are places we can safely go and visit and as of tomorrow, we'll even be back to the rule of 6 or able to meet with another household outdoors.

Bewl Water is a perfect place to be able to visit now or later in the year as it is all open air and there is so much space to explore. The reservoir itself is a huge 308 hectares and if you take the walking path around the reservoir will keep going for just over 12 miles. With this kind of space, it is perfect for exploring on bikes, foot, sailing or even horseriding.

We visited last year for the first time and had an enjoyable couple of hours there in the early summer sun, there were plenty of families with children paddling in the shallow waters by the adventure playground, but I'm not sure they are supposed to! lol

Before you travel check the current opening hours but right now in March, they are 8am - 4pm for the car park and adventure playground. The toilets are open from 9am to 4pm and the cafe (for take-away only) is just Wednesday to Sunday 11am - 3pm currently. 


There is a 12.5 mile walk around the whole reservoir and it is a collection of forest paths, country lanes and all-weather surfaces. If you wish to walk the whole route it is recommended that you take water and food, as well as a mobile phone. You should also have appropriate footwear and clothes for the weather. It will take around 6 hours to walk this whole route, so it is quite an undertaking. 

We just did a couple of miles and then turned back and walked the same route as a 6 hour walk was too much for us on the day we visited. There are mile markers around the route letting you know how far you have walked, and more importantly how far is left, and these feel quite encouraging. 

It can get quite part muddy in parts of the route depending on what the weather has been like, so be aware. It's good to note that there are plenty of benches and places around where you can sit. My husband and I enjoyed chatting on a bench as we watched those on the lake enjoying themselves.


You can cycle the 12.5 mile trail and they estimate this will take about 2.5 hours. You are advised to cycle on the left and when on the country lanes you must follow the highway code. Please note that part of the route is hilly and you need to have a bike that can handle this, or perhaps walk that section. It is recommended that you print or download a map, so you can keep track of where you are going.

You can bring your own cycles or you can hire them at Bewl Water. The bike hire shop is by the Waterfront Cafe and they have a good range of mountain bikes for adults and children, as well as trailers for children aged 12 months plus and you can get helmets too. It is advised to prebook your bikes, or if they have some available you can get them on the day too. You can pre-book on 01892 893935.

The prices to hire a bike vary from winter to summer and at the moment, they are disinfecting and leaving each bike returned for 24 hours to meet with their covid-secure guidelines, so there are less available each day. 


You can ride the 12.5 mile pathway from 1st April to 30th October and it is advised to ride midweek or first thing in the morning when it is quieter.  There is a shorter part of the trail open to horseriders in the winter months when the paths are wetter.

You can park your horsebox for £10 a day and there are designated spaces.

Aqua Park

In the warmer months, there is an amazing inflatable water course on the reservoir; this year it reopens on 12th April in line with the Government easing of Covid restrictions. You used to be able to pay per session for an individual but since covid, they changed it to an hour session for a family of 6. It costs £120 for an hour for the six of you, which works out to £20 each, which I suppose isn't a terrible price when you compare it to the cost of bowling or the cinema or such. But it does now mean if only 2 or 3 of you want to have a go it would be much more expensive. Hopefully, this will change again in time as things become more normal again.

This video is the parks safety video but you'll get to see the aqua park in action and it looks so much fun. I know that my kids are desperate to have a go. It's open 9am - 6pm each day. Children over 6 years are welcome and children aged 6 - 15 years must be accompanied onto the aqua park by a responsible adult.  

Other Activities

There are all sorts of things to do at Bewl Water. If you have the children with you, they will probably enjoy the adventure playground and pirate ship, which were closed when we visited last year but are open now. Many children paddle in the water in the warmer weather too. Or maybe have a go at the laser challenge, or lastly the soft play, which will reopen on 17th May 2021. There is lots on offer.

You can book to fish, and we saw lots of boats when we visited. There is all sorts of fishing available, along with tuition and a well-stocked tackle shop. 

Bewl Water is such a vast area of water that it is suitable for all types of water sports, such as sailing, rowing, canoeing, paddleboarding and windsurfing. You need to book to take part in these activities, have a look at all the information over here

Camping and sites for tourers/ caravans are available from 12th April too, and there is also bookable open water swimming from 10th April, and when you pay to swim, you don't have to pay for the regular parking. 

Useful Information

Address: Bewl Water, Bewlbridge Lane, Lamberhurst, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN3 8JH

Telephone: 01892 890000


Parking cost: £5 for the day.

Dogs: Well behaved dogs can be exercised off the lead but must be kept to heel or on a short lead in the nature reserve. They are not allowed in the play park or cafes. Please dispose of your dog poo responsibly.

Why not pin this post for later?

Bewl Water is a vast estate on the Kent/ East Sussex border. It is £5 to park a car for the day and you can enjoy watersports, fishing, cycling etc

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