About Haysden Country Park

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Haysden Country Park covers an area of about 65 hectares (160 acres) in the Medway Valley, to the west of Tonbridge. It includes a range of habitats such as river, grassland, freshwater lakes, marshland and woodland. The site is designated as a Local Nature Reserve and in part a Site of Nature Conservation Interest. It has also been a Green Flag Award wining park since 2006 and is a Natural England accredited park.

The park stretches from Barden Lake at its eastern end, westwards to Haysden Water. With the River Medway running along the northern edge, with the Environment Agency Leigh Flood Relief Barrier and Storage Area providing a crucial role in the protection of Tonbridge from the threat of flooding.

Covering an area of former agricultural land on the Medway Flood Plain, the park contains part of the Straight Mile, and the Stone Lock, constructed in 1830 as part of the unsuccessful Meday Navigation Canal. More recently the site had been used for sand and gravel extraction, which was processed and distributed from Haysden Water. These works altered the landscape of the area and created Barden and Haysden Lakes. Once the gravel workings were completed in 1988, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council created the park.

Park summary

  • Water safety should be considered when visiting this park
  • Refreshments - Café by the man car park and toilets. Summer Monday - Friday 8.30am-5pm, Saturday - Sundays 8am-5pm , winter Monday - Friday 8.30am-3.30pm, Saturday - Sundays 8am-4pm
  • Picnic areas
  • Toilets - male, female and disabled with baby changing access with a RADAR key near the main car park (café has key for baby changing)
  • Natural play area with an aerial runway, climbing items, slides, chimes, bridge, roundabout, tyre and other toddler swings near the main car park
  • Walking - many paths are surfaced and there are a number of linking Public Rights of Way
  • Waymarked trails - Nature Trail with green markers and Historical Trail with blue markers. Play sculpture trail. Leaflets are also available from Tonbridge Castle or from Leisure.
  • Easy access trail a Walks for all route is available for the park here
  • Horse riding is limited to the marked bridle route in the park
  • Cycling is only permitted on Regional Cycle Route 12 between Tonbridge Castle and Penshurst Place, also known as the Tudor Cycle Trail. There are cycle racks beside the country park toilets.
  • Sailing with Tonbridge Town Sailing Club only
  • Dog training classes Itsalldogfun must be booked in advance
  • Triathlon open water swimming training. Please note that swimming in the water bodies and lakes is only allowed under the supervision of this club
  • Fishing in this country park is controlled by Tonbridge & District Angling & Fish Preservation Society. Day tickets are available from the bailiff at Barden Lake.
  • Dogs are allowed in accordance with the Public Space Protection Orders, there are dog waste bins.

Not allowed

  • Swimming only TriSwim members at their sessions
  • Fires including barbeques
  • Unauthorised boating
  • Model boating
  • Camping
  • Drones
  • Motorbikes other than in the car park


Business and clubs can advertise on the reverse of the parking tickets for this car park. This funding covers the cost of printing the tickets.