The Larches

A mosiac of habitats including woodland, scrub and chalk grassland.


The Larches
ME14 3HW

OS Map Reference

A static map of The Larches

Know before you go

25 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

Parking is limited to roadside parking at the Eastern end of the site near Detling.

Bicycle parking


Grazing animals

Cattle and ponies graze during the spring and autumn.

Walking trails

Steep and uneven in places.


Not Wheelchair accessible. There are stiles and the surface is a woodland floor. It is slippery on exposed chalk when wet.


Dogs permitted
Grazing animals and Adders may be present.

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

June to September

About the reserve

Bright sunny glades filled with bees, butterflies and wild flowers contrast with the cool sheltered Yew woodland. Climb the steep trails and emerge onto ‘The Plateau’ - a remnant of the quarrying that used to take place here and the perfect picnic spot with views over Maidstone and into the Weald. As you descend the slopes you find the remains of a beech avenue planted in Victorian times, much changed after the 1987 storm but still full of birds flitting about in the canopy.

This is a site with something to see in all seasons with a fantastic display of fungi and leaf colour in the autumn, jewel bright wildflowers in the spring and summer and silhouettes of birds of prey gliding across the winter sky.

The Larches is the perfect size for a family stroll with lots of variety to fascinate the curious but also forms part of a bigger complex of woodland and Downland that stretches for over 10 miles. Sandwiched between the North Downs Way and the Pilgrims Way, it’s a great starting point for an adventure into the wider countryside.


Contact us

Alison Ruyter
Contact number: 01622 662012

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)