Walking at Toys Hill

The view of Ide Hill from Toys Hill, a natural area owned by the National Trust in Kent

With breath taking views across Kent and plenty of nature to spot, Toys Hill is just the place to take a walk at any time of the year. Find out where you can go and what you can see along the way.

Toys Hill was one of the places that inspired Octavia Hill to found the National Trust. She grew up at nearby Crockham Hill and wanted to preserve the area for others to enjoy.

Celebrate the life of Octavia Hill on a walk to the picturesque village of Ide Hill and her commemorative seat, passing Emmetts Garden on the way back. Make a day of it and follow on to the Octavia Hill centenary trail west, a 6-mile (9.6km) walk that can be done separately or together with the east trail to make up a figure-of-eight trail.

Short walks

Long walks

Keep an eye out for...

The Octavia Hill well at Toys Hill, a National Trust place in Kent

Well, well, well

Octavia Hill (one of the founding members of the National Trust) sank a well for the residents of Toys Hill to use and gifted it to the National Trust in 1898. The well was restored in 1999 and has some of the best views across the Weald of Kent to the Ashdown Forest in the far distance.

The bat tower at Toys Hill, a National Trust countryside site in Kent

A batty place for a tower

The bat tower was once used as the water tower for the Weardale estate. After suffering damage in the 1987 storm, we decided to convert the tower into a bat hibernaculum. The tower is well used by bats and they seem to like hanging out in their new home.

A pond that supplied water to the Emmetts estate near Toys Hill and Emmetts Garden, National Trust places in Kent

Pump it up at Pugden

Next to a beautifully calm pond you'll see the remains of the Victorian ram pump system which was used to supply water for the Emmetts estate. The basic idea behind a ram pump is simple: it uses the momentum of a relatively large amount of moving water to pump a relatively small amount of water uphill.