Bewl Water Country Park renaissance

BEWL WATER, PICTURE BY CIARAN McCRICKARD

BEWL WATER, PICTURE BY CIARAN McCRICKARD - Credit: JOHN CONNOR PRESS ASSOCIATES

Kent’s largest reservoir, near Lamberhurst, reopens for business on Saturday 16 April after a major upgrade by its new owners aimed at boosting tourism

Markerstudy, the privately owned financial group with headquarters near Sevenoaks, completed the deal to acquire the lease to operate Bewl Water Country Park on 8 January and has spent the last few months making substantial improvements at the stunning 1,000-acre site.

The most dramatic are the new visitor centre, which now has a superior food offer that will appeal to families enjoying a day out, and the nearby sailing clubhouse, where among other tempting dishes the stylish, contemporary restaurant on the upper floor serves rainbow trout caught just hours before from the beautiful lake it overlooks.

Markerstudy Leisure, whose popular first move was to reduce parking charges at the attraction from £8 to £2, has also made the 13-mile long path around the reservoir more accessible to people through the introduction of a new water taxi service. Fish stocks have also been improved.

The purchase of Bewl is another step in the Group’s strategy to create a substantial Leisure division and forms part of a portfolio that includes Salomons Estate, Next Dimension Gymnastics Academy and One Warwick Park Hotel (formerly The Brew House Hotel and due to open in early summer.

The largest stretch of open water in South East England attracts families, fishermen, sailors, walkers and cyclists and friends who can participate in a host of exhilarating recreational activities, on land and on water.

Andrew Daniels, chief operating officer of Markerstudy Leisure, described Bewl as the ‘jewel in the crown’ for the local community and its future now certainly looks very bright indeed.

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