Budget-friendly activities for half-term family fun

When it comes to keeping your little ones entertained during the school holidays without breaking the bank, Bewl Water in Lamberhurst is the perfect destination. Popular for its healthy outdoor activities, the reservoir, which is southeast England’s largest, has gone the extra mile to offer a range of new and free attractions, on top of its existing affordable experiences, ensuring a week full of fun for the whole family.

Located near the entrance of the Waterfront Café, there’s a newly installed Play Village.

This vibrant play area features lots of exciting activities, including a large climbing wall, a lily-pad trail, and a road track with scoot-along mini vehicles. It’s entirely free of charge, allowing parents to sit back and relax on the picnic benches while their children have fun and explore.

Also nearby is the popular pirate ship found in a spacious sandpit overlooking the reservoir. It boasts sweeping timber structures, an exhilarating slide, and multiple climbing levels where children can unleash their imaginations. There are also towers, hideout areas, a trim trail, and a separate play area for toddlers, which is just a short stroll away.

While the outdoor playgrounds come at no cost, please note that there is a small parking fee of £7 for the entire day. However, rest assured that there are plenty more free or affordable activities to enjoy at Bewl Water beyond the playgrounds, including Ranger Bear’s spring trail. Maps can be collected from the Waterfront Café which will need to be followed to collect hidden clues and solve the winning word.

For wildlife lovers, it is a short stroll from Ward’s Lane to the bird hide and nature reserve, which are also free to enjoy. Spot a wide array of water-dwelling creatures and over 200 recorded bird species along the shoreline before venturing on to the self-guided walking paths.

They span 12-and-a-half miles and guide you through wooded trails, meadows, and lush gardens, all offering stunning views of the waters. If you’re feeling adventurous, bike hire is available at a nominal fee of £10 per child, or you can bring your own.

While getting out in nature has lots of benefits, sometimes you need an extra activity to keep the kids engaged throughout the half term. From laser tag and soft play to water sports like paddleboarding and canoeing, there’s something for every adventure seeker, including the popular Aqua Park.

The giant floating obstacle course features an XXL action tower, a springboard, a balance bar, a flip mattress, monkey bars, an aqua slide, and much more. Sessions last 50 minutes and visitors are advised to arrive early to change into their wet suits and buoyancy vest and watch a safety briefing, when there is time to grab a snack and something to drink from the Waterfront Café.

Aqua Park tickets can be bought for £23 per person at: aquapark.bewlwater.co.uk

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