About the Country Park

Southwater Country Park is the jewel in the crown of Southwater. The 90 acre site is a popular destination for villagers and visitors alike all year round. The Country Park offers a range of activities, from exhilarating watersports through to a relaxing walk around the various trails. 

History of Southwater Country Park


Southwater Country Park is located upon ground once occupied by the Southwater brickyard and quarry. The land was originally Andrews Farm, which can be traced back to Medieval times. CJ Mills purchased the farm in 1890, turning the area into the Southwater Brickyard. Sussex Bricks and Estates Co. purchased the yard in 1907, before it was later rebranded as Redland Bricks in 1958. The brickyard eventually closed in 1981, and it was reported that the brickworks chimney was blown up by a lucky resident who had won a fundraising draw! At the peak of brick production, Southwater brickworks manufactured 18 million bricks a year, employing 100 people. Bricks from Southwater were used in the construction of Christ’s Hospital, London Victoria Station and as far afield as the Australian RAAF Woomera Range Complex.

Things to do at Southwater Country Park


Southwater Country Park is enjoyed by people of all ages thanks to the diversity of activities and things to do. The flat, mostly tarmaced paths offer easy access around the park, allowing you to enjoy the views over the lake and surrounding woodland. Onsite is The Quarry, a designated natural conservation area that is home to many flora and fauna, such as lizards, kingfishers and butterflies. The Southwater Country Park Cafe is a great place to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea and slice of cake overlooking the beautiful lake. 

For those seeking more adventure, the Country Park offers canoeing, kayaking, sailing and bike hire from the Southwater Watersports facility that is located at the site. The canoeing, kayaking and sailing is all available on the main lake, whilst there are numerous fun trails suitable for cycling. Southwater Country Park is connected to the Downs Link in both directions, a popular route for cyclists of all abilities and ages. Southwater Country Park is also popular for fishermen, who enjoy the lakes abundant with pike, perch, carp among other types of fish. 

Southwater Country Park is especially popular as a route for dog walkers, both from within the village and from further afield. To protect the breeding mute swans and other wildlife, all dogs must be kept on leads around Southwater Country Park between April and September. 

Families can enjoy the ‘Dinosaur Island’ play park that offers a large selection of outdoor play area equipment. The play area is named after the iguanodon bones that were discovered fossilized in the clay in the brickyard back in the 1920s.  

How to get there

Southwater Country Park is located on Cripplegate Lane, RH13 9UN. There is parking at Southwater Country Park, although there are height restrictions in place and parking charges are in operation. 

Southwater Country Park Cafe

Southwater Country Park Cafe is open 7 days a week, between 10am-4.30pm everyday during October to March, and between 10am - 5pm April to September. The only day that the Cafe is closed is Christmas Day.

Southwater Country Park Cafe overlooks the country park lake and sits just beside the watersports centre. Serving a wide selection of hot and cold food, the cafe is a lovely place to relax. The menu includes sandwiches, baguettes, jacket potatoes, soups, cream teas and cakes. There’s a children's menu and even doggy ice cream for your four-legged friends!

Southwater Country Park Lake

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