West Hythe river walk, with a hint of giraffe!

Fancy getting a glimpse of the zoo without paying a penny? Kids do love a day at the zoo, but you usually end up £100 down for a family of four, and, after a quick glance at the animals, my two always want to spend most of their day in the play park! So, it essentially becomes a very expensive trip to the park! 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.

Starting at the river along West Hythe, at the bottom of Lympne Hill, you can park (for free) and walk along the pathway. It is is lovely walk in itself, along the river, and the trees provide a bit of shade on a warm summers day. Continue further along and you will start to see some of the zoo animals on your right-hand-side through the fencing. A little further still, and a path leads you in between the enclosures and up the hill. Here you can see gazelles, water buffalo and, my kids’ favourite, the giraffes!

We were lucky enough to venture there at feeding time last weekend, and saw so many of the giraffes up close, all clustered together whilst they were being fed – we could even hear the talk being given by the keeper. The  children loved getting a sneaky look at the animals, and it suited their attention span well; we could turn around and saunter back along the river when they had had enough! We took our pooch with us too, so he had a lovely walk at the same time. Take a picnic, and you have a lovely thing to do on a Sunday afternoon, without spending a penny.

If you have a couple of quid to spare, there is 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:  Free

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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