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Brilliant Winter Walks

Walking is the only way to travel these days! Shake a leg and let’s go outside – ideally for a bracing walk around one of Kent's prettiest locales. Stay close to home and stay safe...

Wye Downs Walk

Distance and difficulty: Moderate / harder – 4 stiles and some steep slopes – one path that’s possibly a bit slippy so take care. 4.3 mile route, allow 3 hours. View walk here.

Good for: Stretchy leggers, adults and dog walkers – this walk has some challenging climbs in places but well worth it for the spectacular views from the Downs.

Why we love it: Wye is a gorgeous corner of Kent countryside, nestled at the foot of the North Downs (and just North East of Ashford with it’s high speed train in and out of London) in an area of outstanding natural beauty. And this walk takes in some of the pretty, historic village itself.

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Heralded for its beauty and diversity, the garden at Sissinghurst Castle is among the most famous gardens in England and should be on your to-do list as one of the top places to Kent.

The outside space at Sissinghurst Castle has evolved into the now world-renowned gardens which are laid out as a series of themed ‘outdoor rooms’.

The Garden, Estate and toilets are open and the Granary Restaurant is open for takeaway only. Tickets are released every Friday on their website, click here to book yours now.

Blean & Victory Woods, Dargate

Distance and difficulty: Take the easier option and stomp through Victory Woods with your dogs or take off-road push bikes or explore one of the five way marked trails in Blean Woods – the longest being an 25 mile circular wander but only for the brave-hearted (stick to the shorter trails with current restrictions).

Good for: Families and dog walkers.

Why we love it: The Blean is classified as ancient woodland, its value for wildlife is recognised at a national level with over half of the Blean being designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest – it’s a beauty! Also one third of the wood is also designated as a Special Area of Conversation.

Emmetts Garden

National Trust Images / Bryn Walters

With far-reaching views over the Weald of Kent, this National Trust gem has something for everyone, plus is also one of our favourite picnic spots in Kent – and dog-friendly too! Standing on one of the highest spots in Kent,

Emmetts Garden offers panoramic views as well as some great walking opportunities, plus it is a fantastic destination for kids too.

The Garden and Cafe (takeaway only) remain open. Book your timed entry slot here.

Ightham Mote to Shipbourne Walk

Distance and difficulty: Easy walk, 3.5 miles – allow 2 hours). View walk here.

Good for: Stately home fans, family day trippers and dog walkers – easy enough circular walk.

Why we love it: This Ightham Mote circular walk begins with a wander through ancient Scathes Wood, before taking in some wonderful views of the Kentish countryside on the way to the neighbouring estate of Fairlawne and on to Shipbourne. Wander out in early spring and you’ll find a magnificent display of bluebells in Scathes Wood.

Chartwell

National Trust Images / Jo Hatcher

Former home of one of our country’s most well-known political figures and now a wondrous place to visit with beautiful gardens and woodland to explore – pooches welcome!

There’s 80 acres of woodland and farmland belonging to Chartwell estate, you will soon see why the Churchills famously bought Chartwell for the views from the terrace lawn in front of the house.

The Garden, Cafe (takeaway only) and Woodland are open. Don’t forget to book your tickets before you head off.

Sissinghurst and Frittenden

Distance and difficulty: Easy to moderate walking stretching over a full 10 miles. View walk here.

Good for: Families, dog walkers, those keen for a longer time out and about.

Why we love it: Located in a famous corner of Kent, this amazing walk takes you through almost unknown footpaths and woodland. With an optional visit to the popular Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens created by Vita Sackville-West, it’s a breathtaking route.

Goodnestone Park

Goodnestone Park is a stunning, privately owned stately home and garden near Canterbury. You can hire the whole house for that truly special function or weekend with friends. There’s a reason it was a favourite of Jane Austen and the producer of Downton Abbey!

The House and The Old Dairy Cafe remain closed but the Gardens are open daily 10am-4pm – no tickets needed!

The Three Bridges Tour

Distance and difficulty: Easy to Moderate – 4.5 mile route, over three bridges (you’d never have guessed) and along river banks. Allow 2 – 2.5 hours. View walk here.

Good for: Families with older children (prams and tiny toddlers might not be best suited to a waterside walk).

Why we love it: There’s always something interesting to see when walking near water. Here you’ll amble along the river Medway, over three bridges at East Lock and between ponds and lakes surrounding the river. Great surrounds for brisk, fresh winter walking.

Wickhambreaux to Wingham and back via Ickham

Distance and difficulty: Moderate circular walk taking around 2.5 hrs. View walk here.

Good for:  Families & dogs.

Why we love it: This fantastic circular walk takes you through a variety of fields, woods and beautiful villages. 

Scotney Castle

National Trust Images / John Miller 

Scotney Castle has got it covered for that quintessential English outing. Steeped in history and all contained within a beautiful wooded estate, with over 770 acres for you to explore, plus your four-legged friends too.

The House and Old Castle are closed but their Estate walks, Gardens and Tea Rooms are open. Book ahead now.

Penshurst Place and The Eden Valley

Distance and difficulty: An easy to moderate 6 mile circular route. Allow 3 hrs. View walk here.

Good for: Walkers with slightly older children as there are some steeper slopes.

Why we love it: Find something for everyone in this varied walk across the River Eden, through the villages of Penshurst and Chiddingstone, lovely woodlands, and stretching fields. Penshurst Place offers an Adventure Playground, great for entertaining kids.

Bateman’s

Surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald, Bateman’s 17th-century house, former home to Rudyard Kipling, is a fabulous place to visit for you and the whole family.

The Gardens, Estate, Tea Room (takeaway only) and toilets are open. Book your ticket in advance to avoid disappointment.

The Seven Years’ Stagger

Distance and difficulty: Easy walking which will luckily not take you 7 years! (We hope). View walk here.

Good for:  Families & dogs.

Why we love it: Step into history with this country romp through Kentish fields. The famous ‘Seven Year’s Stagger’ maps the journey which  French prisoners walked between The Three Chimneys and Sissinghurst Castle during the Seven Year’s War (1756-1763). Visit one of the most popular National Trust properties, the beautiful Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens created by Vita Sackville-West.

Ightham Mote

National Trust Images / Andrew Butler

A romantic moated manor house, steeped in history, offering tonnes of fun for the younger ones in its natural play area as well as breathtaking walks across the Kent countryside.

While the house at Ightham Mote is closed, the Estate and the Gardens are open for us to enjoy, while observing social distancing measures. The cafe will also be open daily. Make sure to book your timed entry slot before you head off.

Stodmarsh

Distance and difficulty: Easy walking – various routes through the Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve to choose from at different lengths. View walk here.

Good for:  Nature enthusiasts & dogs on leads.

Why we love it: Walk the beautiful Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve and educate yourself on the wilds of nature through the panels around the reserve and maybe spot the rare wildlife found here.

Lamberhurst, Kilndown and Scotney Castle Circular Walk

Distance and difficulty: Easy, circular 5 mile walk. Allow 2-2.5 hrs. View walk here.

Good for: Dog walkers and National Trust lovers.

Why we love it: With fantastic views, this fairy-tale walk takes you through National Trust woodland, across rivers and through beautiful castle grounds.

Cousley Wood at Bewl Water

Distance and difficulty: Easy, circular walk of around 2 and 3/4 miles (allow at least 40 mins for round trip). View walk here.

Good for: Families.

Why we love it: If you don’t know it, Bewl Water is the largest stretch of open water in the South East. The 800 acre site is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in the heart of the High Weald. Open all year, a visit to this stunning lake is fantastic family fun and great value.

Bishopsbourne, Hops and Railway, Bridge Place

Distance and difficulty: Only just over three miles for a circular walk from The PIG at Bridge Place. Moderate fitness required to make the circuit – the walk is fairly flat and generally dry.

Good for: lots to look at along the way – what’s not to love!

Why we love it: This walk takes you to via Bourne Park to Bishopsbourne with its 13 Century Church (next to Joseph Conrad’s House) and restored railway station. On the way back you pass old hop kilns and hop fields.


Can you recommend a lovely local walk we haven’t mentioned? Please do – the comment box below is all yours!

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