Lydden Temple Ewell National Nature Reserve
Lydden Temple Ewell NNR, adjacent to the A2 above and between the villages of Lydden and Temple Ewell, is one of Europe’s finest surviving chalk downlands. It consists mainly of ancient chalk grassland on the more inaccessible slopes, with improved grassland on the clay cap and gentler slopes. The best time to visit is probably between May and August, when the reserve is rich in chalk-loving wildflowers such as burnt-tip, early spider, common spotted and fragrant orchids, plus milk wort and autumn gentian later in the year. Lydden Temple Ewell NNR is an excellent site for butterflies such as the common blue, brown argus, marbled white, Adonis and chalk hill blue as well as a number of grasshoppers and bush crickets, including the largest British species, the great green bush cricket. Bird species include the grey partridge, yellowhammer, linnet, skylark and some birds of prey including the wind-hovering kestrel.
Also in the Area
About The area
The White Cliffs of Dover are an English icon – the epitome of our island heritage and sense of nationhood. They also mark the point where the Kent Downs AONB, that great arc of chalk downland stretching from the Surrey Hills and sometimes known as ‘the Garden of England’, finally reaches the sea. This is a well-ordered and settled landscape, where chalk and greensand escarpments look down into the wooded Weald to the south.
Many historic parklands, including Knole Park and Sir Winston Churchill’s red-brick former home at Chartwell, are also worth visiting. Attractive settlements such as Charing, site of Archbishop Cranmer’s Tudor palace, and Chilham, with its magnificent half-timbered buildings and 17th-century castle built on a Norman site, can be found on the Pilgrim’s Way, the traditional route for Canterbury-bound pilgrims in the Middle Ages.
In the nature reserves, such as the traditionally coppiced woodlands of Denge Wood and Earley Wood, and the ancient fine chalk woodland of Yockletts Bank high on the North Downs near Ashford, it is still possible to experience the atmosphere of wilderness that must have been felt by the earliest travellers along this ancient ridgeway.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
Why Choose Rated Trips
Your trusted guide to rated places across the UK
The Best Coverage
Discover more than 15,000 professionally rated places to stay, eat and visit from across the UK and Ireland.
Choose a place to stay safe in the knowledge that it has been expertly assessed by trained assessors.
Plan Your Next Trip
Search by location or the type of place you're visiting to find your next ideal holiday experience.
Read our articles, city guides and recommended things to do for inspiration. We're here to help you explore the UK.