Riverside country park offers lovely walks and cycle rides along the River Medway. There is a lot of wildlife here to look out for and the rangers keep a log of bird spotted in the main Visitors Centre if you fancy a bit of bird watching. The paths are unmade and muddy at times, so access for wheel chairs is not great once you are away from the Visitors Centre and playground, pushchairs offer a good work out.
The Visitors Centre offers a cafe, toilets and an education space where there are displays about the wildlife you can expect to encounter at the park. There are 2 large ponds here and the rangers often put on pond dipping sessions in the school holidays, check out their website for more details. Riverside Country Park also hosts The English Festival every year, get there early as parking fills up fast.
There are benches around the site and some picnic benches near the main car park and play ground, but it’s worth bringing your picnic blanket, just in case.
There is plenty of free parking and the 131 and 190 buses stop near the country park on the Lower Rainham Road.
Riverside Country Park is part of the Saxon Shore Way which offers extensive walks around the Kent coast line. You could follow the paths and walk, run or cycle to The Strand Park.
The Strand Park is a great play park a short drive (2 miles) from Riverside Country Park, or you could even cycle, run or walk there along the Saxon Shore Way. It offers several different play areas, cafe and toilets, a lido (charges apply) and splash pool (free) in the summer.
How to find it…
Lower Rainham Road, Gillingham, ME7 2XH
What to take
There’s lots to do here from cycling along the paths, to finding shells and crabs on the shore line, bird watching and looking for painted rocks. Here are a few suggestions:
- Wellies - for the wetter days and if you intend to spend time on the shore line.
- A bucket to collect stones or crabs
- Binoculars for bird watching
- A scavenger hunt list or iSpy sheet
- A football or cricket set, during quieter times the overflow car park is under used or closed and it offers a great space for ball games.