Free Day Out with the Kids: Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens Review, Dover, Kent

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August 2023

Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens, in Dover, are a great choice for a sunny day. And, the best bit is, it’s open every single day of the year and it won’t cost you a penny for entry or parking. So (if the kids don’t fleece you for an ice-cream 😉) you can have a completely free day out.

What’s there for the kids to do?

It’s a beautiful place to visit for a stroll outdoors and, if you’re lucky enough to get some sunshine, the children can paddle in the shallow streams which is a firm favourite with my two and their friends in the summer! There are some smaller areas for the little ones, but also places for the older ones to climb and explore – just remember towels and a change of clothes!

kearsney abbey, parks, dover, kent, children playing in water, frugal mum, free day out

kearsney abbey, parks, dover, kent, child on log over water, frugal mum, free day out

We’ve had so many days out there with friends and family; there are huge areas of grass for picnics and games, so it’s a great space for a game of football or rounders. We take all sorts with us when we go to keep the kids occupied.

kearsney abbey, parks, dover, kent, grass area, free day out

There are a couple of play parks to keep the children entertained too – these are on both sides of the road, so it’s worth moving around to make the most of it all. It does get quite busy in the summer holidays,  but as there’s a lot of space to roam it doesn’t ever feel too crowded or overwhelming.

kearsney abbey, parks, dover, kent, children playing in park, frugal mum, free day out

The park on the main side is best for younger ones, whilst the other side of the road has a more natural themed park better for older kids.


What facilities do they have?

There’s a cafe for lunch and ice-creams (and loos!) but if you bring your own food you can avoid any extra costs. It’s the perfect place to take a picnic and meet up with your mummy friends and their broods!

kearsney abbey, parks, dover, kent, view of lake, free day out

Kearsney Parks also run events, details of which can be found on their website, so be sure to check out what’s on offer over the school holidays. They hold a model boat race which could be quite fun to watch for the little ones.

As I mentioned above, the parking is free at Kearsney Abbey (for up to four hours) which is pretty rare but very handy! It does get quite busy in the car park during the summer holidays, but we’ve only once needed to park down the road and walk along, so it’s not too bad.

Even on a colder day, wrap up warm and enjoy a nice wander through the parks to blow the cobwebs away.

kearsney abbey, parks, dover, kent, view of water, free day out


Useful information for your visit…


Cost:  Free

Opening Times:  Year Round

Pets:  Dogs are welcome in both parks. Must be on their leads on the north side of Kearsney Abbey (the side where the cafe is) the old mill pond area and in Russell Gardens. Dogs can be let off their leads on the south side of Kearsney Abbey.

Parking:  Yes, free for up to four hours

Facilities:  Restaurant, parking, toilets, picnic areas on site.  Pushchair and wheelchair friendly, but not in all areas. Bikes welcome.

Address:  Alkham Road, Temple Ewell, Dover, Kent. > The postcode for the western car park (opposite Russell Gardens) is CT16 3EE.


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