New attractions now open in Kent including Dinotropolis, Adventure Golf in Rochester Cathedral and Bewl Water Aqua Park

by Lauren Abbott

Every year a new and exciting bunch of attractions join Kent's superb range of things to do.

We have taken a look at what's opened across the county in the 12 months since last year's 6-week summer holiday.

Here are seven attractions which could make it onto your family's list of things to see and do this summer...

Dinotropolis in Bluewater
Dinotropolis in Bluewater

1. Dinotropolis, Bluewater

Budding explorers can venture into a prehistoric world at this themed soft play and activity centre. Dinotropolis opened at Bluewater last year with animatronic dinosaurs, a dino jungle that is three storeys of soft play, dino-interactives, raptor racing, a dino escape challenge and a Fossil Café serving drinks, meals and snacks.

Children (with a parent or guardian) have the chance to become real Dino Rangers when they explore the Jurassic world in the Discovery Cove, they can search for fossils in the Dino Dig and discover all of their favourite dinosaurs throughout the park, which is described as being both educational and fun.

There are also arts and craft tables where kids can build a volcano or see dinosaur drawings come to life on huge interactive screens as well as a jungle themed soft play zone for younger visitors aged 18 months to three-years-old.

www.dinotropolis.co.uk

Owner of The Big Fun House Simon Bridgland
Owner of The Big Fun House Simon Bridgland

2. The Big Fun House, Chartham

Dubbed the 'best off-road pedal circuit around', the tight and twisty track at Big F, which launched in May this year, is suitable for anyone aged five and above.

The attraction, which also hosts a soft play centre, has added painted tyre walls, cambered bends and changes of gradient to the circuit which is raced-on using different sized Berg karts. Just shy of 300 metres, the track can have up to 15 karts on the circuit at one time and can be seen by motorists travelling on the A28 near Canterbury.

Manager Simon Bridgland said: “It’s the premier off-road pedal kart track in the UK. It’s purpose-built and there are not many out there like this.”

Hiring a large or medium go-kart costs £10 for an hour, while the smaller karts for five and six-year-olds are £5 for a half-hour.

bigfunoutdoors.co.uk

Total Wipeout style attraction at Bewl Water
Total Wipeout style attraction at Bewl Water

3. 4Bewl Water Aqua Park, Lamberhurst

Adrenaline junkies are sure to be eyeing up this new giant water playground which opened in May.

The 1,500 square metre floating obstacle course consists of an XXL action tower, bridge, flip mattress, cliff, monkey bars, aqua slide, dome, roundabout, halfpipe, hurdles and more!

Participants must be aged eight and above to take part and be more than 1.2 metres tall (3.9 feet) but there will also be special sessions held for six and seven-year-olds.

Everyone aged eight to 15 must also have a responsible adult on the shore for the duration of their visit and be able to swim at least 50 metres unaided. Sessions are timed and available to pre-book.

Bewl is home to the largest stretch of water in the south east, with a host of activities and attractions available on and off the water including pedalos, rowing boats, cycling, sailing and walking routes. There's also an on-site cafe and bistro and lots of parking.

www.bewlwater.co.uk

The new Clip 'n Climb and soft play area at Swallows Leisure Centre
The new Clip 'n Climb and soft play area at Swallows Leisure Centre

4. Clip 'n Climb in Dover and Sittingbourne

If your little monkeys are climbing the walls then let them go wild at these state-of-the-art indoor climbing attractions at two Kent leisure centres.

Both Dover District Leisure Centre and Swallows Leisure Centre in Sittingbourne have installed Clip 'n Climb facilities this year.

Dover opened its climbing walls in April and Swallows threw open the doors to its new Family Adventure Zone, which also includes soft play, this month.

The High Places Clip ‘n Climb activity at Dover is open between 9am and 7pm and features 16 impressive fun-themed climbing experiences as well as 20 individual climbing lines up to a maximum height of 7.5m, each boasting different striking designs.

In Sittingbourne, families can look forward to 13 climbing walls provided by Clip n Climb, which also has a huge main centre in Tonbridge. At Swallows, there's also new soft play facilities suitable for children aged up to 10 complete with sensory zone and overhead football pitch plus a deli-style cafe.

Climbing sessions at both leisure centres can be pre-booked and all climbers have to run through a safety briefing.

There are lots of new attractions at Mote Park including Segways, new play areas, crazy golf and climbing
There are lots of new attractions at Mote Park including Segways, new play areas, crazy golf and climbing

5. Outdoor Adventure Area, new playground and skate park, Maidstone

All winter a multi-million pound investment has been taking shape at one of Kent's biggest green space - Mote Park in Maidstone.

The new skate park and play area, which finally opened at Easter, has a range of equipment for different ages and abilities and includes slides, climbing frames, zip wires, a variety of swings for children of all ages, a sandpit and astro turf to make it suitable for its young visitors in all weather.

Families can also try the high ropes climbing area of the Outdoor Adventure Area, take a whizz around the park on a Segway or have a round on the Dino mini golf course.

Whilst the skate park and playground is free to visit (with the exception of car parking charges) attractions within the Outdoor Adventure Area are available for an additional charge. Some age and height restrictions do apply for the Sky Trail high ropes challenge and the Segways.

Adventure activities can be booked in advance through www.maidstoneleisure.com

Try adventure golf within Rochester Cathedral
Try adventure golf within Rochester Cathedral

6. Adventure Golf in the Nave, Rochester Catherdral

Rochester Cathedral has opened a crazy golf course to pull in a younger crowd during August.

The nine-hole green is rolled out in the nave of the 900-year-old building and themed around different types of bridges as the golf is being organised in partnership with Rochester Bridge Trust.

www.rochestercathedral.org

Cbeebies presenter Ben Cajee opened the new Knights Stronghold playground and Adventure Golf Course at Leeds Castle
Cbeebies presenter Ben Cajee opened the new Knights Stronghold playground and Adventure Golf Course at Leeds Castle

7. Knights Stronghold Playground and Adventure Golf, Leeds Castle

A Kent castle has let down the drawbridge on two new attractions this year.

The Knights' Stronghold Playground and Adventure Golf both opened at Leeds Castle this spring as part of a year of events to mark its 900th anniversary.

The huge new adventure playground, suitable for children aged up to 14, is modelled on the design of Leeds Castle and includes spiralling slides, fireman’s poles, giant cargo nets and zip wires.

The neighbouring crazy golf course, which can be played for a small additional charge, has also been modelled on the castle. It is open all year round whatever the weather.

www.leeds-castle.com

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