Free Day Out with the Kids: West Hythe river walk, with a hint of giraffe! (Hythe, Kent)

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Updated March 2023

Fancy getting a glimpse of the animals without the big bill? The kids do love a day at the zoo, but it can easily set us back £100 for a family of four, so it’s not something that we do too often.

But what if you could get up close to the giraffes, and even watch feeding time, without spending a penny? Lympne has a secret which can get you close some of the animals at Port Lympne Zoo for absolutely nothing.

How do I find the animals?

Starting at the river along West Hythe, at the bottom of Lympne Hill, park in the car park and follow the pathway along the river. It’s a lovely walk in itself, and the trees provide a bit of shade on a warm summer’s day.

Continue farther along and you’ll start to see some of the zoo animals on your right-hand-side through the fencing. Keep going a little more, and you’ll see a path that leads you in between the enclosures and up the hill. Here you can see gazelles, water buffalo and (Finn and Lola’s favourite!) the giraffes!

In the past, we’ve been lucky enough to venture there at feeding time – we saw so many of the giraffes up close, all clustered together whilst they were being fed, and could even hear the talk being given by the keeper.

The children love getting a sneaky look at the animals, and it makes an afternoon stroll much more exciting! Take a picnic, and you’ll have a lovely thing to do on a Sunday, without spending a penny. And, it’ll certainly tide you over until your next visit to the zoo!

Free Day Out with the Kids, West Hythe river walk, zoo animals, nature walk, Kent, frugal mum children looking at giraffes


What else is around?

If you have a couple of quid to spare, there’s a lovely pub across the road from the parking area. Unit One does pizzas, drinks and has a rotating chef offering all sorts of tasty delights at reasonable prices. So you can have a lovely walk, then sit outside with a drink and enjoy the view of the river. Bliss!


Useful information for your visit…

Cost:  Free

Opening Times:  Year Round

Pets:  Dogs welcome

Parking:  Pay and display

Facilities:  None – but you can pop over the road to Unit One for refreshments!

Address:  Car park is at: CT21 4NB


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