hmmm what can be said about Dartford...?
"Well... There is the Dartford Crossing"
If you want to get to Essex from Kent, or vice versa, then you will be travelling via the good old Dartford Crossing (unless you are going the long
way round!) The Tunnels are for northbound traffic, southbound traffic will travel over the Queen Elizabeth II bridge with lovely views over the industrial areas on the Essex side, or rapidly developing Dartford & surrounding suburbs. Look out for Ingress Abbey (used be to a lovely grey stone building in the middle of a green park. Now a lovely grey stone building in the middle of a million and one new flats and houses.)
Costs £1 for cars - there is an ongoing argument to either scrap the toll or increase the price. Either way, if you are travelling on a Friday evening, always expect delays. If it is excessively windy, they will close the bridge and all traffic will need to travel via the tunnels.
"There is Central Park"
Lovely park in the centre of town. Plans to build a road through the park were eventually thwarted (we enjoyed our first political march and signed a petition a few years ago), and there are now plans to expand, develop and improve the park.
From the park, you can walk down the Darent Valley Path (which follows the Darent River) through the Kent countryside via a number of villages.
"The Darent Valley Path"
The path goes through the Brooklands lakes and on towards Sutton at Hone village.
Next (I think) is Horton Kirby. There is a lovely reedy part of the river with little fish and loads of dragonflies in the summer. Also a little shallow area near where you cross the road to walk towards Farningham, where you can sit and have a rest or picnic.
Best stop along the way is The Lion pub at Farningham. They do a delicious Sunday roash here, and prices are quite reasonable. It is very very popular in the summertime due to its location. It has a fantastic garden with loads of outside tables next to the river, with a lovely bridge and mill on the other side. You can take a stroll round the local churchyard, or carry on along the path to Eynsford.
Eynsford, as its name suggests, has a ford which is very popular with locals in the summertime. The river get to about knee high depth and the kids love it here. There isn't much parking in the area but if you get there early, or have lunch in one of the local pubs you won't have a problem with parking.
The path continues from here to Sevenoaks via Lullingstone roman villa, Shoreham and Otford. Apparently the path is 19 miles in total from Gravesend to Sevenoaks, but I'll stick to the bits closer to home!
More information here and on Google: ttp://www.walkingpages.co.uk/trails_paths/LDP_darentvalleypath.htm