Shorne Country Park
Steps Lake is the first lake you see as you approach from the car park. This is approximately 61m long and 33m wide. (0.5 acres) There are 14 pegs with reeds either side. Pegs 10 and 11 have a large lily pad as a feature. There is a bed of reeds approximately 2m(6.5ft) wide running down the middle of the lake. These reeds hide a secret – a sunken conveyor belt, from when it was a working quarry. Steps Lake varies in depth from 1m to approximately 2.5m (8.5ft) in the middle with pegs 1 – 7 being slightly shallower than the opposite side. Peg 7 and 8 on the lake are designed for disabled anglers. All swims fish well (author’s opinion).
Long Lake is to the left of Steps Lake and has 17 Pegs. Long lake is approximately 130m long and 20m wide (0.65 acres) There is one smallish island to fish to, which can be reached comfortably from pegs 7 and 10. Long Lake contains many features such as lily pads and rushes, and varies in depth from as little as 0.5m to over 3m in the middle. Careful plumbing is therefore necessary to find the shelves and undulations, if you are to maximise the potential of your swim. Don’t be put off by the floating weed as the carp like to hide underneath it. Peg 8 is designed for disabled anglers.
Both Lakes are well stocked with tench, roach, rudd, perch, crucian carp, carp to about 10lb, maybe more, fantails and many hybrids of the aforementioned.
Like any other fishery certain rules apply. These are posted on the notice boards at both lakes.
In the winter, the water goes very clear and the fishing becomes a lot harder, but you can still catch if you adjust your tackle accordingly.
Entry to the park itself is free , but car parking charges apply of £2.00 on weekdays and £3.00 at weekends and bank holidays. Alternatively, an annual parking permit can be obtained at the shop. If you plan on coming to the park to fish, walk the dog or take the children to the play area this will be the cheaper option.
The lakes are run on either a membership basis or a day ticket available on the bank from the Bailiff. See the Day Tickets page for prices. The lakes are open all year round. Fishing is permitted from dawn to dusk. NO NIGHT FISHING ALLOWED AT ANY TIME.
Shorne Wood Country Park is signposted off the A2 between Gravesend and Rochester at the Cobham/Shorne/Higham junction.
Regular train services from London and Kent from Meopham, Sole Street, Gravesend and Higham. All stations are served by the 416/417 Arriva bus service and taxis.
OS map: Landranger 178, Explorer 163.
OS grid reference: TQ687703.
General Park Details
Shorne Wood Country Park covers some 288 acres and is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The area has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its wildlife value.
The Park lies on what was originally Cobham Hall Estate, the main entrance and carriage rides of which ran through the park. From the 1920s to the early 1970s clay extraction (for cement) took place throughout an area of the park. In 1987 the park was opened to the public, and is owned and managed by Kent County Council. Shorne Wood consists mainly of ancient woodland with some heathland, and the old claypit, which is returning naturally to woodland, with meadows and wetlands. The Great Storm of 1987 affected large areas of the park with thousands of trees now replanted.
The ponds and lakes are rich with reeds, rush and willow. A sensory garden has been developed for everyone to enjoy. The planting and tactile sculptures provide colour, scent, texture, shape and sound. Nearby, the arboretum contains almost every species of native tree found in Kent. There are many rare and protected species at Shorne Wood, and it is particularly well known for its dragonflies, which can be seen throughout the summer and breed in the many attractive ponds.
Shorne Country Park has two lakes, a modern Visitor Centre, where there are toilet facilities and a cafe for hot and cold food, and drinks, Exhibition and information Centre and Outdoor Play Area. Some tackle can be purchased at the visitor centre such as landing nets and un-hooking mats.
A number of facilities are available to less mobile visitors including an easy access trail featured in their Walks For All Pack, sensory gardens, electro-scooters, etc.
Open daily 9am ’til dusk except Christmas day. The cafe is open from 10am to 5pm in the summer and from 11am to 4pm in the winter.
Phone: 0300 0414747
Address: Brewers Road, Shorne, Kent, DA12 3HX
Use the right tactics and the fishing on both lakes can be very rewarding. The carp when caught put up an incredible fight and many a rod and reel or pole top has been lost to the deep (the author has pictures to prove this point!).
The best way to catch the smaller fish i.e. Roach, Rudd, Crucians and small Tench is with light gear and by that I mean 2lb line and size 16/18 hook (which must be barbless). You should fish near the surface (6″- 12″) for the Rudd and Roach, or hard on the bottom for the Crucians and Tench . For the larger fish i.e. Carp and Tench, you need to step up your gear to say 8lb with up to size 10 hook. There is a line strength limit of 12lb. Many, youngsters in particular, fish using tackle which is much too heavy (line in excess of 15lbs breaking strain) or too large a bait and wonder why they catch very little. Popular baits alongside maggots, luncheon meat and sweet corn tend to be floating bread in the summer for the Carp, or prawns for the Tench. Cockles and mussels can also work well on the day. (Note from Author: I personally prefer to use homemade paste made from ground down pellets, fished over a bed of 2/3mm pellets. This works very well.).