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Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest – guide for visiting this special area in 2022

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We've written about many of the excellent forests that you'll find across the UK, and although it's great to have a peaceful forest to visit for quiet walks, it's also great to have a forest area to visit where there is plenty to do for young and old. This is exactly why we decided to publish a guide about the excellent Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest in Kent. It gives you a great combination of fun and relaxation, and with more than 12000 trees it is an ideal location for forest bathing. We'll be talking about what you can do there and why you should visit the area, let's get into the article:

What is there to do at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest?

There really is something for everyone at Bedgebury, and each activity deserves a breakdown. Options include:

Walking trails

One of the best things to do at Bedgebury is to simply go for a walk. You've got 3 main trails and a couple of others that you can follow, each offering something different for varying levels of challenge. Here is a breakdown:

     

  • World of Conifers Walking Trail - If you're looking for a trail which allows you to see some of the best Conifers in the country, then the Conifers Walking Trail is a must try. This trail is very gentle with only one sloping section, however it is still just over 1 mile long so be prepared to do a fair bit of walking.

 

  • Pinetum trail - The Pinetum Trail takes you through the National Pinetum of the forest, allowing you to admire the internationally significant tree collection at Bedgebury. If you're going to walk one trail during your visit to the forest then we'd recommend this one. It's around 2 miles long but is really gentle and is suitable for all ages

 

  • Forest walking trail - This is the longest of the main trails at Bedgebury at just under 3 miles long if you go for the shorter route, and 5.5 miles if you go for the longer route. If you're looking for a proper walk that'll help you to work up an appetite, then this is the trail to go for at Bedgebury
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Cycling trails

Cycling is also very popular at Bedgebury and if you're into your bikes then it's a great place to visit. You've got 3 trails to try each varying in difficulty and with something for everyone:
      

  • Family Cycle Trail - if you've got the kids with you and they're up for a longer ride, then this is ideal. At 9km long it isn't super challenging, but still enough to tire you out and work up an appetite. There is a slight incline at points so it helps to have a proper mountain bike with gears
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  • Short family cycle trail - This is half the size of the main family trail and is ideal for much younger riders, however there is still some rougher terrain so we'd recommend a proper bike
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  • Singletrack Mountain Bike Trail - if you're looking for a more serious trail then this is definitely the one for you. It's only 13km long but the terrain is mixed and challenging - expect to encounter climbs, tricky descents, drop-offs and even large rocks. All good fun!
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Horse riding

If you've got your TROT membership then you are free to bring your horse to Bedgebury and to take advantage of the miles of lovely public bridle paths and tollrides. There is even an area for box parking at Bedgebury so it's an ideal destination for horseriders.
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Go ape

If you're taking the family to Bedgebury then you'll no doubt be considering giving Go Ape a shot. The 170-metre zip line is probably the highlight of the course, however the tree-top challenges are also excellent fun. Learn more about Go Ape at Bedgebury here - goape.co.uk
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Waymarked running trails

Lastly, we wanted to mention that Bedgebury is actually a very good place to run. Not only is the setting lovely to run through, but you've also got a range of trails to follow which will take you across a range of terrains. Trail options are all waymarked and include a 2km, 3km, 5km, and a 10km running route which takes you right into the heart of the forest.
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Visiting Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest in 2022

Before you visit Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, there are a few things to be aware of:

 

First of all, it's a good idea to decide beforehand whether you're looking for a challenging walk/bike or something a bit more gentle. For walking, gentle trails can all be found near the visitor centres. You should also make sure you dress appropriately for any weather (you are in Britain after all). Some other things to be aware of:

 

  • How much does it cost to access Bedgebury? You'll be happy to hear that entry is totally free, however there is a parking charge in each of the car parks. This varies from each car park slightly but shouldn't be more than £10-£14 for a day ticket and there are special discounts if you arrive especially early or late
  • When does Bedgebury open and close? The forest opens at 8am and closes at 8pm, the only exception being on Christmas day when it is closed all day. Last entry is 30 minutes before closing
  • What facilities are there? At Bedgebury you'll find a visitor centre and a giftshop, as well as toilet facilities and 2 cafes (plus a kiosk selling food and drinks).
  • Can you bring your dog? Absolutely! Dogs and assistance dogs are welcome and will no doubt have a great time.
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If you enjoyed this guide, check out our guides about Galloway Forest Park, Glentress Forest and some other ideas for Forest Getaways. We also have guides about Welsh forests such as Bwlch Nant yr Arian and Coed y Brenin.

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