micbinks - UK holiday, leisure & tourist attraction images

UK Tourist & Leisure Attractions - Kent

Belinda and Mike - follow our tourist travels in the UK

Kent Holiday June 2013 - page 3

Kent is also known as the Garden of England and here on our final page we enjoyed a day at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park visiting all the endangered animals, see conservation in action and get shaken around a bit on a very bumpy safari truck ride through the park.  Next up was a sunny countryside walk from our holiday cottage at Hollingbourne along Kent's famous Pilgrims Way and North Downs Way, ending with an evening meal in the pub.
This is page three of three.
Kent 1 | Kent 2 | Kent 3

Checking the info board at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent
Port Lympne Animal Park is down in the south of Kent, near Hythe.  It's home to some 70 species spread throughout 600 acres divided into four zones.  So then, where to go first!

Port Lympne Wild Animal Park: Basecamp
Basecamp seemed a good start with a coffee in the café and a quick look at the Snow leopards here, just some of the 650 rare and endangered animals in the wildlife park.  Then we headed off to...

Guinea baboons at Port Lympne
...the Primate Trail and these Guinea baboons didn't fail to impress as they monkeyed around their huge enclosure at Port Lympne.  Further on and...

Diana monkeys at Port Lympne Animal Park in Kent
...hang on, what are these Diana monkeys up to?  Photo tip: get up close to wire fenced cages to knock the fencing out of focus (but not too close!).

Animal enclosures at Port Lympne
The animals had some massive enclosures at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, but the inmates seemed rather shy.  The park was not very busy on the weekday of our visit, apart from the dreaded school parties!  We sure did some...

Lynx in Port Lympne's Carnivore Territory
...walking through the various zones.  In Carnivore Territory we encountered this lazy looking lynx; other species in this area along Bison Walk at Port Lympne included the Pallas cat and European bison, now pretty much extinct in the wild.

Port Lympne Wild Animal Park safari truck ride
The highlight of our visit to Port Lympne Wild Animal Park had to be the safari truck ride which ran at regular intervals throughout the day and was included in the not inconsiderable £23.95 adult entry price (we used supermarket reward tokens).

Port Lympne: African Experience safari truck
The safari truck bumped slowly along the tracks through the African Experience and gave us some wonderful close-up views of elephants, rhinos and zebras, however taking a steady photo from the jarring truck proved troublesome!  We continued...

Giraffe crossing the path of the safari truck at Port Lympne
...along and stopped when some giraffes crossed its path.  What gloriously gracious creatures they are.

For more on Port Lympne and other Kent attractions please see our tourist resources.

Meerkats at Port Lympne Animal Park in Kent
The safari truck stopped mid-way where there are visitor facilities and the meerkats to observe; these two meerkats seemed to be having a bit of a spat.  Also at the Serengeti stop was the tropical Discovery Zone with lizards and snakes!

Barbary lion, Port Lympne Wild Animal Park
Returning to Basecamp, the final area for us at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park were the wolves, tigers and lions; here we encountered a member of the education team, the only time we did all day.  And this guy is a Barbary lion which is now sadly extinct in the wild.  Port Lympne is run by the Aspinall Foundation.

Setting off on a walk along the North Downs Way & Pilgrims Way in Kent
Oo-er, it looked like Mike was expecting WWIII with all that camo clobber on, hey, we were only doing a country walk in Kent taking in parts of the North Downs Way and Pilgrims Way!  It was our second car-free day as the route started just up from our Hollingbourne holiday cottage.  So, onwards and...

High up on the North Downs Way, Kent
...upwards, then before long time to pause for breath, find a geocache, and take in the view over the Kent countryside from the North Downs Way here.  We spotted many fine old oast houses down towards Broad Street below.  We often take...

Picnic in the Kent countryside
...a picnic on our all-day walks so we're not reliant on getting to a pub or café for lunch.  Good job too as Mike had underestimated our timings again (he blamed the navigation app on his smartphone).  This idyllic Kent spot was just off the Pilgrims Way.

Thurnham pub on the Pilgrims Way in Kent
Presently we arrived at the pub at Thurnham (the Black Horse) which was right on the Pilgrims Way.  Boy, did we need a drink and we're happy to report that the first pint didn't touch the sides - nor did the second - on what was a rather hot day!  Kent's known as the...

Garden of England: a converted Kent oast house
...Garden of England due to its association with hop growing used in Mike's favorite tipple, beer.  Here's an oast house we passed near the Pilgrims Way used previously for drying (kilning) the hops; many oast houses are house conversions now.  We walked...

The Dirty Habit in Hollingbourne, Kent
...on through the Kent countryside as we had a table booked at the Dirty Habit, our lovely local pub in Hollingbourne just a short stroll away from our Kent holiday cottage.  Here we...

Yum! Enjoying a meal at the Dirty Habit
...enjoyed a delicious meal washed down by some local Kent beer!  Nice and relaxing after a rather strenuous day's walking in the Garden of England and a fitting end to our endearing Kent holiday.

If you liked Port Lympne Animal Park you may also like our visits to Monkey World, Longleat and the seabirds of Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire.