Brilliant autumn family days out at Bewl Water

Looking for a stunning place to enjoy a day out in nature this autumn? Bewl Water isn’t just for the summer, and as the nights draw in and colourful leaves cover the forest floors, the reservoir known for its all-year-round beauty welcomes those looking to enjoy the great outdoors with a host of new family-friendly activities including 50% off cycle hire and their new self-guided walking trails.

Drone image of the adventure play area

Hire a bike and enjoy 50% off in November and December

Not having your own bike shouldn’t stop you exploring with your little ones. This November, families can enjoy 50% off cycle hire at Bewl Water.

Hiring a bike is a great way to keep everyone occupied during the colder months and makes for the perfect opportunity to get outside and explore your natural surroundings.

Mountain bikes fit for adults and children are available at the bike shop in front of the Waterfront Café where you can finish up and enjoy a spot of lunch and a hot cup of cocoa.

Helmets are supplied free of charge and mile markers and signs are posted throughout the 12 ½ mile route.

Wildlife spotting makes this activity a popular favourite where families can expect to see sheep, rabbits, and birds on their way around.

Don’t forget Bewl Water is a natural environment and it can be muddy in places meaning in bad weather conditions, part of the cycle route may be closed to preserve the grounds.

Adult bike hire – was £20 / now £10

Child bike hire – was £10 / now £5


Family-friendly self-guided walking trails

Get your little ones out and about on one of Bewl Water’s new self-guided walking trails.

The family-sized strolls lead you through wildlife-rich woodlands and meadows and stops at play areas along the way to keep your little ones entertained whilst enjoying some healthy, outdoor fun.

Each route has been designed to help families navigate their way through the reservoirs extensive landscape, soaking up the picturesque views at their own pace.


Green Route: 30-minute walk suitable for buggy and toddler

Starting from the terrace outside the Waterfront Café, follow the path through the ancient woodland.

Keep walking down towards the fishing boat jetty on the water’s edge where you might spot the fishing boats coming back in!

Turn left (water on your right) and cross the decking bridge past the wooden gazebo before heading to the adventure playground for some play time fun and return with a short walk up to the Waterfront Café where your hot chocolates awaits.


Blue Route: 1 hour walk suitable for buggy and toddler

Starting at the Waterfront Café, follow the footpath across the top of the Reservoir Dam, passing the two towers – here, you can tell how deep the reservoir is. If it’s full, you’ll only be able to see the tops of the towers!

Along the blue route there will be sheep and rabbits in the meadows behind the dam and often kestrels hovering overhead. When you reach the gate into Chingley Woods, you can either return (1 hour walk) or continue the adventure!


Red Route: 2.5 hour walk suitable for buggy

Follow the 1 hour walk to the chestnut tree lined Chingley Woods where the stone path is suitable for pushing buggies.

Head all the way up to where the path opens, and you’ll be met by a meadow at Hatheralls Bay.

This makes for a great spot to take a break and enjoy the views across the water where you’ll see Canada Geese, Great Crested Grebe and Tufted Duck!


Adventure Play

Designed for little adventurers with the most imaginative of minds, Bewl Water is home to three playgrounds – two outdoor and one indoor soft play centre.

The largest of the three, the adventure pirate ship features sweeping timber structures and slides constructed around the Bewl Galleon – a washed up pirate ship from the stormy seas.

With views of the natural landscape surrounding the ship, the playground enhances learning by boosting balance, agility, memory, and concentration through communication and teamwork.

The smaller play area is for children up to six years old where they can be supervised by adults, and the other – the indoor soft play centre, has two challenging levels of soft play fun where children aged 0-8 can explore a safe and stimulating environment.

The structure is crammed with interactivity, different play features and numerous routes up and down. Explore tunnels, make your way through the hanging snakes, and attempt the cargo net before running to the main attraction – the classic dual slide.

Soft play sessions last for one hour and cost £5 per child. (Adults and under 1s are free)

The outdoor adventure play areas come free of charge with your daily parking of £6 and are open from 8am – 5pm every day


Explore the Bird Hide and Nature Reserve

Just a short walk from Wards Lane, visiting the bird hide and nature reserve at Bewl Water offers fantastic wildlife watching opportunities – autumn is a season of spectacle as nature prepares for the colder months ahead, making this activity popular with the little ones.

The bird hide was built by the Sussex Wildlife Trust and is home to species such as Great Crested Grebe and Little Grebe as well as Canada Goose, Mallard and Common Pochard.

The nature reserve, that has multiple roles including the conservation of species and biodiversity and the conservation of ecosystems, can be found on the southern side of the reservoir.

Here you’ll spot lots of wildlife on the water and around the shoreline where well over 200 bird species have been recorded!

Establishing these areas remains one of the most effective efforts for protecting Bewl Water’s endangered species and their natural environment, making the nature reserve out of bounds for water sports users and the bird hide out of bounds for dogs.


Bewl Water has been highlighted in the Index Digital’s article ‘Top places to see the Autumn colours in Kent & Sussex’. To read the article, please click here.


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Editor’s Notes: Bewl Water is the largest stretch of open water in the South East. Located in Lamberhurst Kent, the 800-acre site is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, in the heart of the High Weald. Open all year, a visit to this stunning lake is fantastic family fun and a great day with a range of activities available. Bewl Water is privately owned and is part of the Elite Leisure Collection group of companies.