At first glance, you’d never guess that Preston Hill used to be a military firing range. Nor that it was hit by a 1,000kg parachute bomb during the Second World War. Instead, you’ll find a wildlife-rich Site of Special Scientific Interest, with extensive views across the countryside over the Darent Valley to Lullingstone Country Park.
Preston Hill is half grassland and half woodland, at the top if a steep hill. Visit in the summer months to see it covered with wildflowers. You’ll spot a variety of butterflies, including chalkhill blues and dark green fritillaries, flitting across the chalk grassland.
As the site is relatively rarely visited, it’s a bit of a haven for adders and grass snakes. You might meet a herd of feral goats here too – they’re brought in at certain times of the year to help manage the grassland.
Bring your sense of adventure – there are paths through the woodland at the top of the hill but they’re steep in places and some have become overgrown.