Mad Cat

Mad Cat Brewery

Mat Cat Brewery, based at Brogdale Farm in Faversham, has been brewing delicious craft beers using Kentish hops for eight years. It has built up a strong reputation for creating beers with taste and flavour, offering a wide range of beers for all palates.

The brewery mostly sells to pubs and bars throughout the region. It also sells its bottled beers and minikegs direct to the public online.

Free delivery throughout Faversham.

Find more details on their website here

Faversham's amazing business women.

Celebrating Some of Faversham’s amazing business women.

Let’s Go Girls!

I think we can all agree that Faversham is full of wonderful, innovative, and creative independent businesses. Behind a lot of these are some brilliant female entrepreneurs who have turned their passion into a successful business. From bra fitting to handmade pizza, we have such a varied selection of services and products that we can all enjoy, right on our doorstep! 

Boho + Bloom

When it comes to planning and styling an event, Leah is your go-to girl! Her ever growing prop hire collection is an eclectic mix of boho, disco, wild and one-of-a-kind pieces perfect for weddings, hen do’s, birthdays, window displays and corporate events. Leah launched her own company last year, but in short space of time she’s been featured on Channel 4, The Independent, The Wedding People Podcast and Festival Brides! If you have an idea in mind, Leah can bring your vision to life in her own bespoke way!

The Bra Boss of Kent

Joanna has worked in the lingerie industry for over 10 years, working for well-known brands such as Gossard and Panache. Last year she decided to take the ‘plunge’ and renovate her summer house into a lingerie boutique right here in Faversham. She offers one to one bra fitting appointments in a peaceful, quiet, and private space. She specialises in Sports, Maternity + Nursing and Mastectomy bras, but also offers a good selection of everyday bras too. She stocks bras from A – KK cup and 28 – 44 back. She’s here to support the ladies in Kent, one bra fitting at a time!

Flowerstart

Julie is the award-winning florist that teaches. She runs classes and shares hints and tips from the trade, which enables her students to gain the skills and confidence to create flower arrangements for their home, business or that special occasion. She’s runs some fantastic classes online via her social media and You Tube channel where you can enjoy classes such as ‘Flower Hour’ and how to create a beautiful floral wedding display all on your own – with Julie’s expert help of course!

Rosebud Bakes

Rosie is the owner of Rosebud Bakes and is here to fulfil all your sweet-toothed needs! From brownie and blondie tray bakes to bespoke birthday cakes, all her creations are delicious! Rosie started Rosebud Bakes in June 2019 after years of being harassed by her family to take the plunge and set up her own business. According to Rosie, she’s been baking since she could hold a wooden spoon! She loves creating beautiful, bespoke, and most importantly, delicious cakes for all occasions.

Sophie Jayne Yoga

Sophie has been practising yoga since she was 14 and fell in love with it from the very first class. Since 2016, she has gone on to teach yoga and meditation in Faversham and the surrounding areas and absolutely loves it. Whether you are a total beginner or advanced, Sophies classes are for all abilities and she offers different levels of difficulty for each pose, and there’s absolutely no judgement on how well you can stretch or downward dog! If you fancy a relaxed and friendly bit of “me time” this is the class for you!

Beauty @ Your Door

If you love being pampered but struggle to find the time to get to a salon, Hannah is here to help! Hannah is a Fully Qualified mobile beautician with nine years’ experience, who offers beauty and massage treatments in the comfort of your own home. From luxurious pedicures to eyelash tints, there are so many lovely treatments to choose from and are all at really great, affordable prices too. It’s so important to set aside some time “you time” for yourself and this is the perfect treat!

Workspace on the Farm

Workspace on the farm is a vibrant co-working community for creatives, freelancers and remote workers nestled within beautiful farmland in Hernhill. This fantastic space is run by the wonderful Jo, who has created a calm and inspiring place for people to work productively. It’s a great place to be able to meet other like-minded people, have a coffee and bounce ideas off each other. It’s also perfect if you have young children, as there is a nursery (FarmWorkPlay) adjacent, which means you can work knowing that they are being cared for and having a great time in a safe environment

Papa Bianco

There is a new pizza place in town! Down at Standard Quay, Papa Bianco offers fresh handmade pizza, homemade garlic bread, tiramisu and you can then wash that all down with a cocktail or two! Hannah set up during lockdown and hasn’t looked back! She’s already expanded her menu and has some amazing weekly specials too! You have a choice of dining in the fabulous restaurant or you can take away if you’d prefer to.

Wasted Kitchen/Mighty Fine Things

Katy is the brains behind Wasted Kitchen and Mighty Fine Things. She is passionate about big flavours, local produce and ensuring that no food goes to waste. Wasted Kitchen offers lovely homemade food such as bento salad boxes, freshly made soup and sausage rolls and these can be delivered straight to your door! All of these are made from scratch, have minimal packaging and are obviously full of lovely local ingredients. If you love a condiment, Mighty Fine Things specialises in sauces, vinegars, mustards and much more! You can also treat yourself to some delicious Coxy’s Liqueurs in some fantastic flavours such as Spiced Damson Shrub or Morello Cherry!

Hope Fitzgerald

Hope runs Bindfulness.com a website packed full of beautiful gifts, cards and handmade books. Including Hope’s original Cyanotypes of botanical specimens collected in Kent. Printed on card and fabrics in Prussian Blue, the signature colour of this process

Up until this year Hope also ran hugely popular Bookbinding Workshops, which will return as soon as social distancing rules allow.

'Christmas Gifts for him In Faversham

Christmas Gifts For Him In Faversham

If you are stuck for ideas of what to get the men in your life, we’ve put together a short list ideas all available in Faversham. Shop local this Christmas, you’ll be amazed at what you can find on your doorstep

  • Barley Mow Gifts and Interiors – Barley Mow is currently open for click and collect. The shop stocks a range of gifts for him, including dad gifts and gifts for men with hobbies.
  • Brogdale Collections – You may be surprised to learn that Brogdale offers a range of rural courses throughout the year including gardening, foraging and cider making – a perfect Christmas present idea for someone who loves anything to do with nature and the outdoors.  Details on their website 
  • Creekside Vinyl – A music lover’s dream. Currently open for click and collect, Creekside Vinyl has a wide selection of Vinyl across all genres, they also sell record vouchers if you aren’t sure what he likes. He’s not got a record player? Don’t worry they sell those too
  • Edible Culture – A must visit for gardening fans. Edible culture is currently open and can supply the men in your life with tools, gift boxes and gardening vouchers
  • Joe’s Bows – Set in the beautiful Edwardian gardens of Mount Ephraim, Joe’s Bows offers a range of experiences including falconry, archery, axe throwing and laser clay shooting. Find out more on their website 
  • Macknade Fine Foods – For the serious food lover Macknade is offering gift cards (from £5) and a range of food and drink Hampers which can be delivered or collected. Check out their website for more details
  • Mad Cat Brewery – Based at Brogdale Farm, Mad Cat brews a very popular range of all types of beers using local hops.  You can now buy direct from their website  https://www.madcatbrewery.co.uk/shop/.  Perfect for gifts for the beer lover in your life.
  • Tiddly Pomme at Brogdale Farm is a great spot to shop for men!  It has a terrific selection of beer, juices and ciders (they produce their own very popular Woolly Pig Cider using Brogdale apples on site) along with a wide selection of food and fruit related items and gifts.  For up-to-date information visit their Facebook
  • The Hobby Shop – For the man who can’t quite grow up! The Hobby Shop stocks everything from Model railways, Scalextric, model kits, jigsaws, board games and Lego. Visit their website for the full range.
  • Top Hat and Tales – A must for book lovers, books and vouchers available here, check out their website, you’ll find there is much more than books available here
Shop Faversham this Christmas

Shop Faversham this Christmas

It’s easier than you think to support local shops and businesses this Christmas.  Here are some great ideas for Christmas presents shopping in Faversham.

Despite another lockdown meaning many shops and businesses having to close their doors again, there are still many ways to continue to shop locally and support Faversham’s businesses. 

Many of us miss strolling down West Street, wrapped up in coats and scarves and popping into all the shops for our Christmas shopping.  And it’s such a shame that we won’t be able to enjoy the wonderful Faversham Christmas Markets again this year or the fabulous Lights Switch On.  However, now more than ever, it’s important to continue to shop local and keep Faversham’s thriving businesses up and running. Plus, with all the amazing and unique gifts on offer from Faversham businesses, who needs Amazon..? 

With a lot of local shops going online and starting up delivery services, it can be tricky to know where to start with your local Christmas shopping. Firstly, a quick shout out to the Facebook Page ‘Christmas Shopping in Faversham’, where local people and shops are posting info on how to buy their goods online. Worth a quick look! 

We’ve rounded up just a few of the brilliant item available.

Christmas Tree – Erriot Wood Christmas trees 

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The most exciting part of Christmas – the tree! These Nordmann Firs, grown locally in Kent, are delivered right to your door. Drop them a message on Facebook for further details. (https://www.facebook.com/Erriot-Wood-Christmas-Trees-Delivered-112181870660576)

Christmas Tree – Quality Christmas Trees

Based next to Lysted School, Quality Christmas Trees are also offering free delivery to the Faversham area.  Contact them via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/733171886873719/posts/1482222381968662/?sfnsn=scwspmo

Wreaths – Lotty’s Flowers

Lotty’s is offering a range of beautiful festive wreaths in an assortment of sizes and styles. They are offering both delivery and collection services – check out their website (https://www.lottysflowers.com) or Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Lottys.Flowers).

Gift ideas – plenty of choice on your doorstep

Here are just some of the fantastic offering of gifts in Faversham.

Records – Creekside Vinyl

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The perfect gift for any music lover – a record! Creekside vinyl has a brilliant range in stock with everything from Radiohead to Beethoven. On their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CreeksideVinylFaversham) they post regular ‘virtual browsing’ updates to give you a taste of what they have in store (almost as good as flicking through the  stacks of albums yourself). But if you can’t find what you’re after just give them a call – they offer a call and collect service.

Books – Top Hat and Tales

Top Hat and Tales has a brilliant range of books of every description available online to order. Along with a wonderfully curated selection of gifts and accessories, customers can enjoy click and collect from the shop in West Street or they will deliver locally. Visit their website to order

Edible Culture – Potted House plants and all things horticultural!

Edible Culture, based on Canterbury Road in the grounds of Abbey School, are currently fully open and a great place for Christmas shopping.  They are stocking houseplants, pots, wildlife accessories and gift boxes (picture).  They also have a terrific range of Christmas trees decorations. https://edibleculture.co.uk

Chilli oils and rubs – ChilliChupShop

For any food lover who likes their spices check out ChilliChupShop’s Etsy page. They have a huge range of products all centred around the chilli all made here in the UK and would normally be selling at Faversham markets. 

Gift Cards and Hampers – Macknade

For the serious food lover Macknade are offering gift cards (from £5) and a range of food and drink Hampers which can be delivered or collected. Check out their website for more details

Bra Boss – Bras and fittings

Although Bra Boss has had to close for lockdown, you can still order online bralettes and briefs, plus a gift voucher would make a fab present. You can choose how much to put on the gift voucher which can cover the cost of a private fitting and maybe a new bra to go with it. Check the website for further details.

Notebooks – Bindfulness

Bindfulness has a delightful range of handmade notebooks which would make a beautiful gift. The cover and first page feature original Cyanotype prints of leaves and flowers. Check out the website (https://bindfulness.com) to order online! 

Prints and cards – Sherbert and Spice

Faversham based designer Sherbert and Spice has a range of cool prints available to buy on etsy – a great present idea or stocking filler. Christmas cards are also available to buy.

Gifts and Cards – Barley Mow

Barley Mow offers a whole range of unusual gifts, cards and decorations all available for click and collect. Visit their facebook page for more.

Fawn and Thistle, unique gifts and cards

Local illustrator Kirsten McNee is based at Creek Creative and has fabulous range of cards, prints, homewares and gifts, all featuring her charming and quirky illustrations.

Full details on her website https://www.fawnandthistle.com/

Faversham prints

– Jess Illo

This is a great gift for anyone who loves all things Faversham. Local designer Jess Illo has this print, as well as similar prints for Whitstable and Canterbury, available on her Etsy shop. She also offers personalised prints – check it out here

– Drawn By Freya

Beautiful illustrations of local buildings and scenes by Faversham-based architecture graduate and illustrator. You can buy her Faversham Christmas cards and gift tags via her Etsy site.

You can also commission Freya for bespoke, beautiful illustrations of your home or workspace. Lovely idea for a Christmas gift!

Visit Etsy site here

Natural beauty, health and home products – Apotheca

Apotheca has a great range of natural beauty products, remedies, essential oils, candles, incense, and much more. You can also buy a gift voucher for the treatments they offer – everything from acupuncture to hot stone massages. Check out their website or Facebook for more info.

Country Practice at Brogdale Farm 

also sells beautifully packaged gift vouchers which can be redeemed against their range of relaxing health treatments for the body and soul.  https://www.countrypractice.co.uk/

Gift Vouchers for courses and events at Brogdale Collections

Brogdale is home to the largest collection of temperate fruit trees in the world and their orchards are stunning.  We’re so lucky to have them on our doorstep.  They run a schedule of rural courses throughout the year including gardening, foraging and cider making – a perfect Christmas present idea for someone who loves anything to do with nature and the outdoors.  Details on their website www.brodalecollections.org

Gloves – Top Hat and Tales in West Street 

Warm and snuggly lamb’s wool fingerless gloves perfect for the upcoming wintry weather. Find these and other similar bits and pieces on the Top Hat and Tails website.

Socks – Luvies Boutique

Luvies boutique are still trading on their Facebook page by posting products such as these cute bumblebee bamboo socks, so you can drop them a message to order online. 

Board games – The Hobby Shop

It isn’t Christmas without family board games and the Hobby Shop in Preston Street has a fantastic range.   Game of Thrones Monopoly, Sherlock Cluedo, Harry Potter Trivial Pursuits, Strictly Come Dancing the board game… plus all the classics. Everything is listed on their website which is super easy to use to order online!

For four-legged members of the family – Ollie Bongo’s Pet Essentials

Ollie Bongo’s has a great range of festive treats for your furry friends and will deliver locally – check out their Facebook page for further details. It is also worth noting that Ollie Bongos is open over lockdown, so feel free to pop in to check out what they have in stock and for other pet essentials.

Gifts for small people

There are plenty of childrens gifts available in Faversham

Sweets – Jilly Pop Sweet Shop

For stocking fillers and sweet treats Jilly Pop Sweet Shop based on East Street has gone online and has a variety of gifts on offer. Check out their website for more info

Lego Harry Potter Calendar – The Hobby shop 

The Hobby Shop has a great range of toys and games on its online shop, including Lego, Playmobile, and much more. This advent calendar is perfect for any Harry Potter fans and includes 24 wizard-related items waiting to be constructed.

Huckleberry Woods Micro Animal Farm

The perfect present for little people – animal days and walks with micro pigs, donkeys, sheep, and alpacas. You can view the full range of available activities on their website.

Falconry Experiences – Joe’s Bows

Set in the beautiful Edwardian gardens of Mount Ephraim, Joe’s Bows offers falconry handling and bow and arrow experiences, as well as other outdoor activities. Find out more on their website 

Eat, drink and be merry

Takeaway bottles of wine – Vino

Vino on Court Street is open for collections, so get in contact if you’re after takeaway bottles of wine or bubbles! They also offer free delivery in Faversham. Check out their wine list on www.vinofaversham.co.uk or their Facebook for contact details.

Craft beers from Mad Cat Brewery 

Based at Brogdale Farm, Mad Cat brews a very popular range of all types of beers using local hops.  You can now buy direct from their website https://www.madcatbrewery.co.uk/shop/.  Perfect for gifts for the beer lover in your life, or just to stock up for Christmas!

Takeaway meals – The Yard

The Yard, in Jacob’s Yard off Preston Street, is offering hearty seasonal takeaway dishes for those evenings you just don’t fancy cooking. Menus change regularly so be sure to follow them on Facebook to keep up to date. With dishes such as caramelised shallot, bacon & apple sausage rolls, roasted veg and cheddar tarts, and chorizo, lentil & parsnip stew. 

Takeaway Pizza – Papa Bianco

Currently on offer at Papa Bianco on Standard Quay from Monday to Wednesday is a starter, two pizzas and two deserts for £30 (or £40 with a bottle of wine…) perfect for a cosy night in. Make sure to call up to book your order as deliveries get booked up fast! https://www.facebook.com/papabiancofaversham

These are just a few suggestions of some of the fabulous Christmas gift ideas from Faversham businesses.   

Click and Collect – Allport Cars

If you would like to shop local but are isolating or unable to access businesses for collections.  Allport Cars are offering a “click and collect” service in the Faversham area. To make arrangements, contact AllPort cars via Facebook.

For more ideas check out:

The Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/favershamshopping or search Instagram using #shopfavershamonline.

Top Dog Walks in Faversham

Top 5 dog walks in Faversham and surrounding areas

We are very lucky to have some beautiful dog walks on our doorstep here in Faversham. Take a read below and discover some of the best places you can take your furry pal for a day out!

Harty Ferry

I’m going to start off with my favourite dog walk – Harty Ferry. It might be one of my favourites because I am very lucky enough to be a short 3 or 4 minute drive away, so for me it’s right on my doorstep and very easy! Secondly, and more importantly, it’s absolutely stunning and such a great place to take your dog! 

You can find Harty Ferry at the end of a winding country road, past the lovely Three Mariners pub in Oare, and past St. Peter’s Church and some beautiful houses along the way too. Once you get to the end of the road (you just keep going straight until there’s no more road) there’s plenty of free parking in quite a generous sized car park – but be warned this can get full up very quickly and you may have to park along the road at peak times. When you come out of the car park and face the waterfront (oh did I forget to mention it’s situated on a stunning nature reserve overlooking the Swale Estuary?!)  you have the choice of two different pathways, left and right. It’s a bit of an unwritten rule that dog walkers go left, and the birdwatchers tend to go right, so we tend to naturally take a left. Once you go past the first gate, the whole walk is great for off the lead walks. There’s a nice path for us humans to walk along, enabling you to take in the views of the surrounding nature reserve. Often, you will see cows, sheep, swans, all sorts of different birds, butterflies, frogs and if you’re very lucky, occasionally seals too!  

Our dog Molly loves to run alongside us down the verge, through the long grasses and more often than not, jumping into the little plunge pools of water to cool down. Please be aware that there are lots of opportunities for your dog to get their paws wet and probably muddy too, so it may be good to come prepared with a couple of towels in the car to dry them off at the end of the walk. If you’re keen for a long walk, the path takes you along part of the Saxon Shore Way, which is a coastal circular loop of about 10 miles. It’s a great opportunity to pack up a picnic and take in the scenery along the way. 

Harty Ferry is a really relaxing, interesting and tranquil walk. There’s plenty of space for everyone if it’s a slightly busier day, however, some days you may not see another person the whole time. If you do bump into people, it’s often they will have a dog too, and a great opportunity for the dogs to play and make new friends!

Pros:

  • The scenery is next level stunning. I have been there during some beautiful sunsets on a summers’ evening, or first thing on a sunny, hazy morning and you feel like you could be abroad somewhere exotic with equally stunning views.
  • Plenty of free parking with no time restriction.
  • Safe for your dog, as there are no cars or busy roads during the walk. 
  • A fresh water well (named George Oare-Well so I’ve heard!) at the start/end of the walk, so you can fill up your water bottles and re-hydrate!

Things to be aware of:

  • The car park can fill up very quickly at peak times and the road leading up to the parking area can be very uneven with large potholes – make sure your car has good suspension! 
  • This walk is open to the elements! There is no shelter if it starts to rain and it can get quite cold and windy at times. When getting ready to go to Harty Ferry, I will always say that whatever the weather is like at home, it will be more extreme on the walk. For example, if it’s a tad chilly at home, it will be freezing at Harty Ferry! Wrap up warm and wear sturdy walking shoes.
  • Bring your own refreshments. Apart from a fresh water well, there isn’t anywhere to get tea or coffee if you are accustomed to a hot drink on your walk. Be prepared and bring a flask and some snacks if you’re going for a long walk!

“Loop de loop” starting at Upper Brents and finishing on Ham Road.

This walk was a lockdown discovery that we didn’t realise was also pretty much on our doorstep! We start the walk along Front Brents, just by the new creek bridge opposite the brewery. Walking along the Faversham creek, you will pass the fabulous Albion Taverna (cheeky margarita anyone?!)  as well as some cute little houses until you get to a little path which leads you through Brents Bank community garden and along Upper Brents. During April/May time, there are some stunning wild flowers which all come out to bloom and look absolutely beautiful, as well as a huge Willow tree which you see lots of children playing on. As you get to the end of the footpath, you can cross over just where Quayside Tyres are and it takes you round to some fields that lead you to a lovely walk along the creekside.

  • From here, you can walk in a huge “loop” along and around the creek. You can take your dog off the lead and there’s a HUGE space for them to run and play. At times there are livestock in the fields, so please be mindful and pop your pooch on a lead if need be. The scenery is so interesting as the path takes you past Standard Quay, the Oyster Bay House (which is a grade two listed building) and the shipyard, which are all on the opposite side of the creek.  Keep your eyes peeled for an abandoned pirate ship named ‘Revenge’ which has been left stranded in the creek for many years! 

Like with most walks, you may decide to reach a certain point and then turn back, however with this walk you are able to complete a full circle. The walk will lead you right around the creek and past a lovely pub called the Shipwright Arms. We discovered this pub during one of our many “lockdown walks” so unfortunately it was closed every time we ventured past, but it is on our list of ‘must visits’ to enjoy a drink in the pub garden and have a little rest.

Pros:

  • A really interesting walk with lots of things to see and keep an eye out for (like abandoned pirate ships!)
  • Will wear your dog out if they are full of beans – there’s plenty of space for them to run, play and sniff!
  • There’s a couple of really lovely places to stop for a drink and a snack (The Albion, Shipwright Arms and Cafe by the Creek).
  • A few options where you can make the walk shorter if you wish to or have time constraints. 

Things to be aware of:

  • Again this walk can be open to the elements and get quite windy and cold, so wrap up warm.
  • At the start of the walk alongside the creek (opposite the Oyster Bay house) the path is very uneven and an open invitation for twisted ankles – watch your footing.
  • There can be livestock in the fields at times, so please be aware of this and keep your dog on a lead. 
  • Willpower is a must, if you pop in to The Albion at the start of the walk you might just decide to stay there and eat tacos instead!

Through Standard Quay, past the Iron Wharf boatyard and through Abbey Fields

The great thing about dog walking in Faversham is that within a few minutes from the centre of the town, you are immersed in the glorious countryside and this walk is just a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle. We start this walk at the Standard Quay, which hosts some quirky little antique shops such as Aladdin’s Cave, cute cafes, fishmongers, butchers and a new mouth watering pizza restaurant called Papa Bianco’s. 

If you carry on walking past all these lovely places you will come to the Oyster Bay House (as previously mentioned in the last walk) and you can cut through the Iron Wharf shipyard. Hop over the water via a little bridge and you are then in the midst of fields, open space and lots of fresh air! The first section of this walk is parallel to the previous “loop de loop” walk, so you will also pass the abandoned pirate ship (but you will be much closer to it on this side!) 

You can continue on forwards (this will take you to the Saxon Shore Way) but if you would like a smaller route, you can turn right.  This will take you along next to a pretty river and over a bridge round to Abbey Fields. During spring this is such a beautiful walk when the fields are FULL of rapeseed oil plants and other wildflowers all in bloom. 

I would say about 80% of this walk can be off the lead or at least away from any cars and busy areas, however, the last part of the walk is along a road or back in pedestrian areas, so it’s best for the pups to be on the lead. Halfway down the Abbey Fields road, there is a little cut through, which will take you past Gordon Square and alongside the Queen Elizabeth Grammar school, past St Mary of Charity church near Abbey Street, and voila – you are pretty much back to the start of the walk near the Quayside! 

This lovely walk takes about an hour (give or take) so a great chance to stretch your legs and take in the beautiful surroundings closer to Faversham town centre. 

Pros:

  • A quicker, shorter route closer to the centre of Faversham.
  • You pass some lovely local businesses in Standard Quay where you can get a cup of tea to take with you on the walk!
  • The area by the river is really pretty, and if your dog fancies a paddle, they can have a cool down swim.

Things to be aware of:

  • The last section of the walk is heading back towards Faversham, so you will be near roads and other pedestrians, so best to pop your dog on the lead for this part.

Victory Wood

Victory Wood is situated in between Faversham and Whitstable and has beautiful views over the Isle of Sheppey and the Thames Estuary. We have been here a few times and have discovered there are multiple routes you can take to explore with your dog, so every time you come you can do a different walk to keep things interesting. 

There is free ample parking and you are right next to the start of the walk, which is enclosed, so safe to let your dog off the lead if you wish to. The path you take is totally up to you. Some lead you through the beautiful woodlands, or if you prefer to stay in the open, there are plenty of routes that you can follow.

Pros:

  • Free parking with plenty of spaces
  • Lots of different route options to choose from
  • Stunning scenery to enjoy

Things to be aware of:

  • You will need to drive here as it is not walking distance from Faversham. 
  • Can get very muddy when there has been wet weather (from experience!)
  • No shelter if it rains
  • Very few dog waste bins along the route – please remember to pick up and dispose in a bin.

Oare Gunpowder Works country park

Oare Gunpowder works is a beautiful little walk tucked away along The Western Link road and not far from Bysing Wood road. For a while we didn’t even know this walk existed until a friend mentioned it, and we have now been many times to wander and explore. 

This enchanting walk is filled with plenty of heritage which you can read about as you walk around, as well as a visitors centre which also houses a lot more information about the site if you wish to learn more. As the name of this walk suggests, this area was a very important area for the Gunpowder industry in Faversham in the late 17th century up until 1934. You can still see a lot of the remains of the buildings and mills dotted about – which is now home to lots of birds, insects and creatures who live in the wetlands and plants which now thrive in the woodlands. Occasionally, there are live walk and talk sessions that take place in the country park, where you can learn more about the species that live in the woodlands and wetlands and if you’re lucky, spot some of them too!

If like us you are naturally drawn to water, there are a couple of lakes and a wetland known as “the leats” which is a system of waterways that lead up to Lower Mill Pond. Here you can sometimes spot frogs, toads and newts. It is a great place to pack up a picnic and have a leisurely walk around discovering new and interesting parts of the woodland. 

Pros: 

  • A really interesting place to visit, with lots of heritage and wildlife. 
  • Free, generous parking area and toilets. 
  • Great to bring the children as there are loads of things to look out for and to keep them entertained along the way. 

Things to be aware of:

  • When the car park closes, they lock the gate so please ensure you leave by the requested time otherwise you may get locked in. 
  • Best to keep your dog on a lead here in case there are other people walking around on the pathways or if there are people fishing in the lakes. 
  • The visitor centre may be closed and the nature walks may currently be postponed due to the current pandemic, so please check beforehand if you are interested in these. 
6 ways you can support local this lockdown

Six ways to support local without spending a penny.

It’s been a tough year for businesses in general, and with Lockdown 2.0 there’s no sign of things getting easier this year.  Many of us what to shop local and support our fantastic local independent traders through these tough times, but what if you can’t?  

Ideally, spending money on products and services is the best way to keep independent businesses running, but there are many more ways you can help and support your local high street and beyond. 

  1. Recommend. A personal recommendation is without a doubt one of the best ways to support local businesses.  Shoppers who have a personal recommendation are far more likely to buy.
  2. Like social media posts. If you see a local business share a post on social media, give them a like.  This really helps the algorithms and gets the post in front of more potential buyers.  It only takes a split second of your time.
  3. Comment and share.  Commenting and sharing a post really helps get businesses in front of more buyers. The more you can do this, the more it helps.
  4. People often ask for recommendations for services and products online.  Tag a local business and recommend them.
  5. If you had a great service or bought a great product, write a review.  We are too quick to write bad reviews on poor service.  Writing positive review (it doesn’t matter where) not only really helps local businesses to shine and for new customers to be reassured that they are dealing with a trusted, reliable business (plus it feels nice).
  6. If you host a blog, why not write a piece about the your favourite local businesses?  Recommend to your followers that they try them when they can.  The mentioned businesses will most likely share your blog, getting you both in front of new audiences.