‘Nethergong’ is a great name; memorable, expressive and with a playful undertone. It sounds like a fictional place in a child’s story book. The Chronicles of Nethergong, perhaps. So it’s a great relief to find that Nethergong Camping is not only real (based in the Kent countryside, just 90 minutes from London) but lives up to expectations. It’s the perfect kids’ playground – full of secret paths that promise adventure, nooks and crannies in which to hide, lakes to fish, and ponds in which to dip.
It should come as no surprise, then, that some families have been coming back every year since this campsite near Canterbury was set up back in 2008. Like the wildlife that is very much encouraged here, many of those returning campers have found their natural place among the varied habitats on site. There are sunny, sociable spots near the site’s famous frog pond, pitches in woodland and room between the fruit trees which offer dappled shade and the chance to PYO. There are also more secluded spots and a few glamping options dotted around too. But, the owners are keen to point out, this is not a glamping site but very much a campsite – with glamping.
Off-grid and without running water, the six bell tents, four shepherds’ huts and the lone but lovely Romany wagon all share facilities with the rest of the site. They are, more often than not, used by friends of campers or campers who’ve decided to leave the tent at home. But that doesn’t mean they’re without comfort; each is kitted out, all have made-up beds and the shepherds’ huts even have memory foam in their mattresses.
Christine and husband Jed have handed the site over to the next generation of their family, who now look after the day-to-day running of the site they grew up with. It might be Hannah welcoming you to site from the cafe-shop, Lewis cooking your dinner at the pizza oven on Friday night or Dan leading bushcraft lessons for the kids on weekend mornings.
While what’s on offer for campers has gradually increased over time, the site’s ethos remains the same and nature has continued to flourish. Trees, planted by Jed’s father 50 years ago, are now well established, a wildlife pond beyond the carp lake has been introduced and the site is part of an RSPB project to help support turtle doves. Look out for them while you’re on site and keep your eyes peeled for barn owls, heron, egrets, Marsh frogs and more. This may not quite be the magical kingdom of Narnia, but it’s not far off.
There are 12 toilets and nine showers spread across two facilities blocks (and behind the on-site cafe). There’s also a popular open-air shower, washing-up sinks, a washing machine and communal-use fridges and freezers. Recycling and rubbish facilities are also provided. There’s an on-site cafe/shop which doubles as a reception area where you can buy campsite basics and nets for pond dipping (the site’s best seller). Logs for campfires can also be pre-ordered and will be delivered to your pitch. There’s a frog pond for pond dipping, a carp lake (confusingly known as The Duck Pond) where you can fish (free for kids; £5 for adults) and plenty of space to run around. Shepherds’ huts, bell tents and the Romany wagon are all kitted out with beds, bedding and camping kit - including cooking equipment, a gas stove, table and chairs, tableware and cutlery. The huts and wagon each have a log-burning stove too.
Tents, families, couples, small campervans – yes. Caravans, motorhomes – no. Dogs by prior arrangement only and must be kept on a lead.
Animal magic abounds on and off site. On site, kids can help feed the fish in the carp lake every morning at 10am and go pond dipping in the frog pond. There are also bushcraft lessons for kids at the weekend. Off-site, it’s five minutes’ walk to The Stodmarsh Nature Reserve where you can step aboard an electric boat for a Grove Ferry River Trip (07985 273070) or hire kayaks and canoes from Canoe Wild (07947 835688). For more exotic animals, there’s Howletts Wild Animal Park (01227 721286) which boasts big animals including tigers, gorillas, elephants and Wingham Wildlife Park (01227 720836), where you can hang out with penguins, meerkats and realistic dinosaur models, both a 10-minute drive from the site. This area also has an abundance of Blue Flag beaches – Whitstable, Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs are all within 20 minutes’ drive – as is historic Canterbury.
Food & Drink
There’s an on-site cafe-shop which serves pizzas on Friday nights (which must be ordered in advance). There are locally baked pastries available on Saturdays and bacon rolls on Sunday mornings. Local veg and campsite basics are sold in the shop. For eating out, you can pick up printed directions to two decent pubs within walking distance, including the riverside Grove Ferry Inn, about 10 minutes away (01227 860302), and The Gate Inn (01227 860498), about 40 minutes’ away. For something a bit special, how about lunch or dinner at a Michelin-starred pub? There are two nearby: The Fordwich Arms (01227 710444) and The Sportsman (01227 273370) - book well in advance. Another option for a special meal out is JoJos in Tankerton, Whitstable (01227 274591) for fine meze and sea views in a relaxed, kid-tolerant environment. Whitstable is also the place to try fresh seafood including the town’s famous oysters while Canterbury is full of places to eat, drink and pick up supplies - with a mix of independents and all the usual suspects. The Goods Shed (01227 459153) on the outskirts combines an artisan food market and bistro.
The Owner Says
Nethergong Nurseries was originally owned by Christine and Jed Jenkins and passed to their children in 2019. In the 1990s Jeds father had the vision to plant thousands of broad-leaved English native trees on our 26 acres of woodland and pastureland in rural East Kent. We inherited this lovely piece of Kent in 2003 and after walking our dogs around for 7 years decided we had to share it. We thought that camping would be a great way to introduce people to Nethergong as our family are both sociable and love talking!
We don't want to spoil what makes Nethergong special so our tents are spread over a large area. You can choose to camp in our two-acre wood or in one of our meadows, flanked by young trees.
The wildlife makes Nethergong a magical place. We regularly have a pair of barn owls nesting in the opposite field and campers are treated to daily displays of both owls hunting.
The marsh frogs are also a speciality, especially in the frog pond. Children pond-dip in it all summer and grass snakes have been spotted.
Other wildlife you will see are marsh harriers, herons, egrets, water voles and a pair of little owls who roost in the woods. Our site is equipped with showers, toilets and laundry facilities. We welcome couples and families and the unspoilt nature of our 26-acre smallholding lends itself to back-to-nature holidays.If you are looking for a hi-tech holiday park then we are probably not for you, but if you want your children to know how to build a den or forage for blackberries then we probably are. Dogs are allowed by arrangement.
We have just stocked one of our lakes with carp for our campers and veg box cusomers only to fish. Day tickets for adults and adults and children are available. Strictly recreational fishing
Our small campshop opens in the morning and late afternoon (times will be posted on the door and may vary depending on whether Christine has work in the polytunnel!). We will stock essentials like ice cream and lollies as well as our fab fruit and veg and local sausages, bread, eggs and bacon.
We have also converted the front of one of our polytunnels as an indoor space for wet wether, board games or just chilling out in the warm to read!
Head south on the M2 and continue onto the A299 past Whitstable and Herne Bay. At the A28 roundabout at St Nicholas At Wade, turn right and follow the A28 to Upstreet. Turn right onto Nethergong Hill and look out for the campsite, a short way up on the right.
Buses from Canterbury stop 500m from the site on the A28.
ReviewsAdd Your Review
Rated ★★★★★ over 22 reviews
A little bit of Magic !
The Best Campsite we have been to
Couldn't have helped more!
Just spent a fun filled 3 days hammocking at Nethergong in their first week of the season, right after storm Katie. Some areas were not fit for camping, but they were fit for exploring, & we were told the best places to set up.
The staff were always cheerful & polite; even going to the trouble of lending my son a pair of wellies after he filled his with mud when sliding into the frog pond (don't try to paddle in it). I asked loads of questions about the walks & things to do & always got a useful reply; I even got introduced to their (unofficial) fossil expert for advice on where to hunt for shark's teeth, and yes we did find one!
This is our second visit; something about the place makes the kids nicer to be around :)
Simply the Best!
We never thought to visit Kent for a holiday but as we were chasing the weather this site came up on our search. This campsite is simply the best we have ever stayed at! Christine and Jed are lovely and gave us personal recommendation every day when we asked were to visit etc. which never failed to delight. There is a very relaxed feel and is rustically equipped with nice surprises such as a washing machine (free to use) powerpoints and fridges and freezers. The ponds with the frogs were fab for the kids and the open space was really great (Christine deliberately does not fill up the space). Another nice touch is how the van drops off your logs to your tent every evening. My only comment to improve would be to put down some duck boards on the shower floor as it gets a bit mucky. A ride on the electric boat on the river is a must, as is a visit to Whitstable, Tankerton Slopes, Broadstairs and Botany Bay. We WILL be back!
Our Favourite Campsite
Nethergong is without a doubt our favourite campsite. The perfect mix of attentive (owners Christine and Jed will do pretty much anything to make your stay a happy one) and being left completely alone! The countryside here is beautiful, and Canterbury is just on the doorstep. The site is large, and never feels busy even when it's fully booked. Two loo blocks have lovely hot showers, and super clean loos. Fridges and freezers provided to keep your champers cold too. Fishing, pond dipping, slipping in and getting a wet bottom, listening to and searching for the amazing marsh frogs - plenty to keep everyone busy. Please don't tell anyone else about Nethergong, or I'll have to book now for next year!
My favourite campsite
We have just finished our third visit to Nethergong and we love it. The whole vibe of the place is exactly what we want in a site. Proper camping with enough facilities to be enjoyable. Nethergong is a relaxing haven where you feel like you have been away for a month after a week. You do as you please in lovely surroundings with friendly folk to help or advise you if needed. Great riverside pub within walking distance and hours of exploring and climbing trees for the children. As long as you don't wreck the trees or annoy other campers, there aren't really any rules. Wood fuelled fire pits at night with marshmallows are a must and catching frogs is so much fun, even for a forty year old! The showers are basic but clean and there is lots of hot water. I tried the outdoor shower with some trepidation...but loved that as well! You will struggle to find a site as fun as this one.
A natural wonderland
This was my first camping trip since having children (it took me 8 years to go for it!). Perhaps the night Hurricane Bertha came through wasn't the best choice of evenings to begin our hopefully annual camping trip tradition?! This was the perfect site to visit, Jed and Christine are so welcoming and helpful - especially good for a novice family! The site is really beautiful, we went for a secluded spot near one of the lakes and felt like we had the place to ourselves. The fridge freezers by the shop were really useful, and the fact that you can drive alongside all of the camping spots is brilliant since I was envisaging have to carry the kitchen sink for miles. The toilets and showers were clean, lots of lovely hot water. My kids adored the frog pong and feeding the fish, we made a den in the forest, enjoyed marshmallows by our campfire every night - Jed brings the logs round every afternoon which is brilliant. The rainy day games in the polytunnel were a big hit with us. I can't fault this site, we will definitely be coming back!
Great base camp
Spent a week, mid august, 2 boys aged 7 & 8, one nanny aged 70 and friends without kids, and we all had a great time. As the other reviewers said, jed and Christine welcome you, and give you just enough attention. We stayed up by the carp lake, which was quite a stroll to loos and showers etc, in truth we drove to shower block ( best shower is one without a roof!! ) each day, did everything and retreated back to peace of our tent. This was our choice and suited us, as we wanted to be quiet... We explored the area, Dover Castle, Whitstable, Broadstairs and Canterbury are all worth a visit, and the food at Grove Ferry Pub was great. we will defiantly be returning
We visited in June with a group of 5 families with children from 2-12. I don't think we could have chosen a better campsite; we had loads of space, the outdoor shower was lovely and hot and the owners are very welcoming. The kids loved playing in the woods, exploring the frog pond and running around the fields. They loved the kayaking where we found a very nice pub within walking distance, and the fridge/freezer and washing machine came in handy. There was lots of wildlife around which was wonderful apart from the biting insects so do take mozzie repellant and anti-histamine. We made a detour to Whistable on the way home, ate oysters and chips and did a bit of window shopping. Highly recommended!
Our three nights at Nethergong was the first time that my friend and I had taken our children camping - my son was 2.5 and her daughter nearly 4. We found the campsite easily and were warmly welcomed by Jed, who took us on a tour of the site to help us find the best spot to camp with our little ones and a dog.
We all thoroughly enjoyed our three nights and it was an excellent first camping experience for our children with plenty of space to run around in, a great kids play area and not too many other people around so no worry of disturbing anyone else!
My personal favourite part of the holiday was the fact we could sit around a campfire at night, as it doesn't feel like real camping without one!
I have given the campsite four stars instead of five because the only thing that lets it down slightly were the showers. It was quite a long way to the shower block from where we had pitched out tents (although we did choose this spot for its slightly more secluded nature) and the showers themselves were a little bit on the small side - fine for individuals but less easy when trying to wash and dry a little one. Having looked at the website recently, I believe that the toilet/shower facilities have been upgraded this winter and a new one added.
I would definitely visit Nethergong again!
A lovely campsite
The campsite is beautifully set out and not at all crowded. The owners are helpful and friendly. It is very good value.
A great experience!
We stayed here twice; once at the beginning of our trip to England and the second time on the way back, because we'd really enjoyed our first stay!
The owners are really kind and helpfull. We could pick our own spot, even in a very busy weekend. They were even worried if our spot wasn't too small, but we had all the space we needed and lots more.
The campfires were great and were deliverd at our tent. Very cosy in the evenings!
The campsite itself was great for a small evening walk, through the fields, trees and bushes.
The only thing that wasn't great, were the bathrooms. But I've heard that they are being rebuild as we speak.
I highly recommend this campsite!
We spent 5 nights at nethergong and absolutely loved it! We arrived and were greeted by a smiley Christine, who was so kind and friendly; walking us around the site to find the perfect spot! The farm is perfect for camping; lovely even ground, great places to explore, excellent facilities and our 3 year old son had a ball! The frog hunting went down a treat too! Jed arrived with a firepit and a couple of bags of logs in the blink of an eye (always a must to have a roaring evening fire). If you fancy a day trip, Broadstairs is a must, and the Gate Inn pub nearby haf delicious food and a roaring fire, excellent! We will most certainly head back as soon as able and couldn't recommend the friendly environment enough. Ps, Christine even gave our little one a couple of eggs one day, and leant him her grandson's fishing net, great people, great spot!
This is a lovely site! From the beginning when arranging our booking the owner was very helpful and fair to our arrival and being accommodated when we arrived things couldn't have been smoother and we were made to feel very welcome and at home. It was only our second camping trip and the last time it rained the majority of the time so knowing there was the option of the wet area if it was needed was a reassuring fact. Needn't have been concerned though as we had gorgeous weather with much fun paddling and enjoying exploring the site interspersed with just the right amount of lounging away from otherwise hectic city life. It's a great getaway space, go check it out for yourself!
A wonderful experience
We have now been to Nethergong twice and intend to make it at least a yearly visit as everything about the site is just perfect. Christine and Jed are friendly and welcoming hosts who really go the extra mile to help you enjoy your stay. The site itself is beautiful, with varied terrain to make your camp interesting. You can choose to camp in the big field with lots of other tents if you are feeling sociable, or find your own secluded spot in the woods or by a pond. Nethergong is one of the few sites which allow campfires (they supply a firepit) which really adds to the experience. Campfire cooking was the best fun! The children in our party had a wonderful time exploring and discovering nature here and even braved paddling in the frog pond! The site offers a small shop well stocked with the basics, and we also bought lots of veg grown on the site by Christine. Can highly recommend the Grove Ferry Inn Gastropub which is a 15 min walk away if you want to eat out and take a boat ride downthe Stour one day.
This was our first trip to Nethergong and our first camping trip as a family with 2 year old twins. Even though it was the end of the season and variable weather, we still had a lovely time! The owners were friendly and helpful, suggested a lovely spot for us to put our tent, brought us a fire pit and wood and a wheelbarrow which was loved by our son for 'rides' back after washing up! The site itself is beautiful with many different places to camp according to your preferences. The facilities were clean and tidy and well maintained. We walked both within the site (and enjoyed picking fresh plums at the owners invitation - our daughter ate quite a few!!) and outside the site using helpful provided maps and instructions. Overall a great place for families, first time campers, lots of space and would thoroughly recommend. Thank you!
Memorable first time camping
We chose to visit Nethergong for our first family camping over the weekend. It was a great adventure with my wife and five-year old son spending two nights in the middle of the quiet field by the duck pond and they both loved it.
The reason we chose Nethergong was that they 1. seem well equipped for the first time campers with hot showers, washing sink with hot water and their farm veges 2. allow campfires 3. have spacious site with different types of pitch areas 4. are few hours away from London by car.
*If someone is allowed to wish so much, area with stunning views overlooking farm lands or etc... would truly make it a five star. But it is already a lovely camp site!
It gets our ‘gong’ of approval!
Christine at Nethergong kindly accommodated us and our dog last minute (we stayed just the one night) and were put at the far end field behind the marsh frog pond. As has been pointed out, a generous amount of space comes as a given here and we could barley even see our neighbours! Soon equipped with a firestand, logs and kindling, we felt the stresses of the week drift away with the fire smoke. Also blessed with hot weather, it was an idyllic spot. Nethergong’s noted for its wildlife and in our very brief visit, we saw a pair of swans in a shady dell with their young; the marsh frogs (you may need earplugs on summer nights) and, as I fished in the old ‘duck pond’, a grass snake too. (I caught a cute little common carp by the way on sweetcorn bought at the shop). We only live 20 minutes drive away but it was a world away and we’ll be back, without a doubt.
Our six-year-old son summed it up: 'We can't say how much we loved it because we haven't got enough words'! We were made to feel welcome by Christine and Jed before we even got there, with an email updating us on the frogs and other wildlife activity on the site.
We camped in the trees and found we had plenty of space to feel remote, but were really close to the loos and so on, so had no trouble using the amenities. Everything was kept clean and well stocked at all times and Jed was constantly on top of things like keeping the ground usable during our wet visit, by adding wood chippings to well-walked areas.
It's the little thoughtful touches that make this site so good: the loan of log-burners, and logs to buy on-site, use of a poly-tunnel to relax in on colder evenings, a fridge-freezer, washing machine and on-site shop. We liked the layout, with the site being divided into smaller areas, each with a different feel - you could easily hide yourself away, or pitch yourself in a busier area if you're feeling more sociable.
It's a great site to position yourself to explore the area: lots of lovely beaches, Canterbury for days out, Margate with its excellent 'Turner Contemporary', or walking/cycling/running in the surrounding countryside. We will definitely be back and will tell all our friends to visit :)
Lovely. Possibly the nicest campsite we have ever been to. First time with the children and couldn't have wanted more
This was our first time camping as a family and it couldn't have gone any smoother. Nethergong Nurseries is a delight to stay in with a variety of different areas to camp in. Christine recommended a pitch by the pond which was like our own private little site. We had a beautiful view over the fields to the village beyond. The site is a warm and friendly place, incredibly clean and convenient. There is plenty of space to relax in and explore. Christine and Jed made the experience comfortable and memorable, even coming round to make sure we had been able to put our tent up before night time. Our 6 year old had a wonderful time searching for the different birds that live in the area, fishing in the lake and making sandcastles. Christine even let him into the chicken coop with her to see the freshly-laid eggs which he loved. We all thoroughly enjoyed the experience as new campers. Fantastic.
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