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Danson Park

Looking for a fresh park to explore close to Grays?
Kent calls itself the garden county but driving through Dartford or any town just the other side of the Queen Elisabeth Bridge can feel that this is a stretch of credibility. The Cement County might be for appropriate. The streets look like a setting for a kitchen-sink soap opera. Kent is of course a glorious place and has numerous moments of genuine breath-taking beauty, not in Dartford but it does have as a county. However if you are in or around Dartford consider visiting Danson Park. Its only 20 mins drive from Grays town centre and is a kind introduction to some of the other glories of Kent.
It covers over 180 acres of land and dates back to the 13th Century. It was owned and maintained by a number of old well-to-do families throughout the years but was sold to the district council by the Bean Family in the 1900s (we never heard of them either). But no matter because the landscape and woodland surroundings are stunning, and maintain a sense of remoteness, even when it's relatively crowded.
Its centre pieces are the lake from which the park surrounds and from which many Rowers and Boat enthusiasts potter around. The other principle feature is Danson House, which looks like the setting for an Agatha Christ murder weekend but adds a nice touch of drama and grandeur to the surroundings. The house is open to the public and worth a visit. It is an excellent example of Georgian architecture, built by a sugar merchant; who was also a chairman to the east India trading company.
The whole location has a National trust feel to it but without the expense or the time of getting there (its closer than Basildon don't forget). It's not as splendid as Langdon hills but it is a special place to pass an afternoon.

Postcode: DA6 8HL

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