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Where are the best walks in Kent? holiday cottages

Where are the best walks in Kent?

Kate 26 May 2020

Kent is less than an hour away from London, which makes it the perfect place for city-dwellers to spend the weekend or enjoy a day trip. The county could not be more different from the sprawling metropolis and is known as the ‘Garden of England’ for good reason.

Miles of sandy and shingle coastline clings to its chalky edge and woodland that is rich with wildlife punctuates the wide-open farmland - it's a beautiful county. Amongst the patchwork of quaint villages and countryside lie many trails and walks in Kent, and here are a well-chosen, easy few that the whole family can enjoy while soaking up the sensational scenery. And if you’d like to finish your walk by putting your feet up and relaxing in one of our cosy holiday cottages in Kent, just click the button below to browse our full collection.

Scotney Castle

Scotney Castle

Discover historical secrets and lies on this moderately hilly 2-mile stroll around National Trust’s  Scotney Castle and its grounds, found in the High Weald AONB. One of the most beautiful walks in Kent, there’s a stream that filters into the castle’s moat, the ruins of the old castle and a bridge that parades as something that it isn’t. The River Bewl meanders by and leads to the nearby Bewl Reservoir. Look out for an enchanting gnarly old tree known as a hornbeam’s pollard because of the technique used to harvest and prolong its life. It is estimated to be more than 600 years old!

Good to know:

  • 2 miles, moderate terrain
  • The route follows a natural grassy path, open fields and a tarmac lane
  • There are some moderate hills
  • Dog-friendly – they must be kept on a short lead in the gardens
  • Parking is £4 or free for National Trust members, although limited
  • We suggest a backpack as opposed to a buggy
  • Tearoom serving refreshments
  • Toilets and baby changing facilities
  • Stay nearby at Little Bewl Bridge Stable | Sleeps 4


Explore more castles in Kent with our guide to some of the most dramatic fortresses in the county.  

Minnis Bay to Reculver Country Park Walk

Reculver Country Park

This is an easy walk, between Margate and Whitstable, that follows the sea wall with plenty of opportunities to spot the local wildlife and seabirds. One of our favourite Kent coastal walks, it takes in views of the Thanet coast, following the Viking Coastal Trail where the Vikings and the Romans landed on their quests to conquer. The walk is flat all the way and the highlight is the amazing and imposing Reculvers, or Two Sisters. They are the remains of a monastery and most of the ruins have been washed out to sea, but the two towers still survive. It’s a great place to have a picnic and watch the world go by.

Good to know:

  • 7.4-mile circular walk – you can cut this in half and catch public transport back to your car
  • Flat terrain suitable for buggies and wheelchairs
  • Pay and display car park with toilets and a cafe
  • Suitable for dogs
  • Stay nearby at Bay View Annexe | Sleeps 4


See more of the beautiful Kent coast, with our guide to the county’s best beaches

Jeskyns Country Park




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Jeskyns Country ParkJeskyns Country Park credit: Instagram @barcodeadventurer

 


Acorn Apartments, Mushroom Manor, The Old Boot Inn and Tree Top Village are just some of the tiny abodes that you can see on your way around Jeskyns, not far from Cobham. A community of fairies and elves have set up residence and if you look carefully, you can see the trail of sparkling fairy dust. Along with the little people also lives an abundance of wildlife and the 1.25-mile walk allows you to explore some more. If you’re looking for great walks in Kent for children, then this is most certainly it.

Good to know:

  • 1.25-mile circular trail
  • Flat terrain with no stiles or obstructions
  • Suitable for buggies and wheelchairs
  • Plenty of resting points
  • Café and picnic areas
  • Toilets and baby changing facilities
  • Play area for children
  • Dogs aren’t allowed on this particular trail but there are other trails in the woodland that are suitable
  • Stay nearby at Lower Gallants | Sleeps 12 + 2 dogs

Ham Street Woods Easy Access Trail

Ham Street Woods

Not far from Ashford, this half-a-mile-long walk takes you through a woodland park to land that descended from a post-Ice Age forest. Ham Street Woods was one of the first National Nature Reserves designated in England and there is a cornucopia of wildlife to spot. One of the top circular walks in Kent, open glades are rich with flowers and buzz with insects and butterflies, especially in the warmer months.

Good to know:

  • 0.5-mile circular trail
  • There are climbs and descents for most of the route
  • Suitable for dogs
  • Limited free parking available
  • There are no facilities
  • Stay nearby at The Old Army Cinema | Sleeps 9 + 3 dogs

Clowes Wood Easy Access Trail




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Clowes WoodClowes Wood credit: Instagram @mr_nelson_cockerspaniel

 


The Clowes Wood Forest covers over 200 hectares of public forest estate woodland in North Kent, between Whitstable and Canterbury. It is roughly 5 miles to the north-west of Canterbury and the coastal towns of Whitstable and Herne Bay are nearby. Beyond the wood, the surrounding countryside is split equally between forest and farmland and this trail in Chestfield meanders through Clowes Wood and over open farmland for just over 3 miles. Along this walking trail in Kent, several ponds provide habitat for foraging bats and it is an important home to a variety of wildlife, including butterflies, nightingales and nightjars.

Good to know:

  • 3.2 miles
  • Flat terrain with no stiles or obstructions
  • Suitable for buggies and wheelchairs
  • Suitable for dogs
  • Benches along the route
  • There are no facilities
  • Free parking available
  • Stay nearby at Mermaid's Cave | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

East Peckham River Walk

Kent Oast Houses

This walk, between Tonbridge and Maidstone, trails through Hop Farm and past the largest group of Victorian Oast Houses in the world - a reminder of Kent’s heritage as successful hop farming land. One of the best river walks in Kent, the 3-mile trail crosses the River Bourne as it joins the River Medway, and along the trail is a 16th-century coaching inn called The Man of Kent. The nomenclature is a nod to the local tradition that Medway was once divided into the old Kentish kingdoms. Those who were born on the east side of the river are 'Men of Kent' and those born to the west are 'Kentish Men'.

Good to know:

  • 3-mile circular walk
  • Fairly flat terrain with a few steps up and down to bridges
  • Suitable for small children and dogs
  • There are a few shops and pubs around East Peckham for refreshments, along with the Man of Kent pub en-route at Little Mill
  • Free car parking in the village centre
  • Stay nearby at Pilgrims Apartment | Sleeps 4

HADLOW EASY ACCESS TRAIL

Hadlow

One of the best village walks in Kent is an easy circular trail around picturesque Hadlow, taking in striking Hadlow Tower, the tallest gothic folly in the world. This is also one of the best walks in Kent for kids as it’s nice and flat and as you wind your way through the village, you’ll come across an attractive pond home to a plethora of plants and wildlife which they can enjoy spotting.

Good to know:

  • 1.2-mile circular walk
  • Flat terrain with no stiles or obstructions
  • Suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs
  • Suitable for dogs
  • Roadside parking at the start of the trail
  • Shops, cafes, and pubs can be found in the village
  • Stay nearby at Keyworths Apartment | Sleeps 5

LEYBOURNE LAKES EASY ACCESS TRAIL

This circular ramble around Leybourne Lakes is one of our favourite country walks in Kent, as it offers stunning scenery, great opportunities for wildlife and birdwatching, and lots of points of interest along the way. When it comes to walking in Kent with children, it always helps to have little activities to keep young minds entertained and this trail not only features a play area, but also has eight different snake sculptures for kids to seek. Plus, if they’ve still got energy to burn after the walk, there’s a Water Activity Centre in the park providing windsurfing and canoeing.

Good to know:

  • 1.8-mile circular walk
  • Flat terrain with no stiles or obstructions
  • Suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs
  • Pay and display car park and toilets available
  • Suitable for dogs
  • Stay nearby at The Stables – Frant | Sleeps 6 + 1 dog

LYMPNE SAFARI TRAIL

Lympne Safari Trail

It’s not often you get to see a giraffe on your walk, but this unique trail offers the rare opportunity to admire some of the tallest animals on the planet as you explore the Kent countryside. Overlooking Hythe and parts of the Romney Marsh, the Lympne Loop is one of the best hikes in Kent, taking you on a magical journey past historic Lympne Castle, a Roman fort, and Port Lympne Safari Park’s extensive grounds. When you reach a part of the path which borders some of the reserve’s animal enclosures, you may be able to glimpse giraffes, zebras, elephants and even ostriches going about their daily activities.

Good to know:

  • 2.5-mile circular walk
  • Terrain is along tracks and paths which are steep in places
  • Parking and refreshments in Lympne village centre
  • Suitable for dogs
  • Stay nearby at Marwood Farm Cottage | Sleeps 6 + 1 dog

 

Have any of these walking routes in Kent caught your eye? Discover even more of what Kent has to offer with our complete guide to Kent, or browse our guide to some of the most fascinating National Trust properties in the county. And with so many places to explore, why not make a holiday of it and stay in one of our cosy Kent cottages? From romantic retreats for couples to fun-filled family properties, you’re sure to find the perfect base for your adventures by clicking the button below. 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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