Countryside footpath across green fields in Kent

Best walks in Kent

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As you’d expect from a county known as ‘the Garden of England’, Kent has walks that are pristine, unique, and rich in heritage. From the famous coastline around Dover to the many trails found in its protected woodlands and nature reserves, Kent is simply overflowing with walkable routes.

Boasting two designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the North Downs Way National Trail, Kent is a walker’s paradise. The many nature reserves are rich in wildlife, particularly in spring when the whole county becomes vivid with colour. But in truth, walking in Kent is wonderful all year round and there’s plenty to keep fans of history interested with World War Two memorials, grand estates and imposing castles scattered across the landscape. We’ve compiled our favourite walks in Kent to give you some inspiration for when you get the itch to explore the South East of the UK on foot. All these walks are within a driveable distance of Allhallows Holiday Park, so there’s no need to worry about getting there and back, just get your hiking boots on and a water bottle in your bag.

Hoo Peninsula Walk, Upnor

Hoo Peninsula Walk, Upnor

Distance: 4 miles (6.4km)

Just 30 miles downriver from the capital, the Hoo Peninsula is sandwiched between the lower reaches of the Thames and the meandering Medway. With water on either side, Hoo has long been a strategic location and its decommissioned power stations and historic military forts can be seen on this short walk across the North Kent Marshes that inspired Charles Dickens. On this short walk from Upnor Castle, explore the changing face of the river and its marshlands by following the Saxon Shore Way and Skirting around Hoo Marina Park before returning to the pretty village of Upnor. Exploring these wetlands on foot are the best way to see why it attracted writers like Dickens and painters such as Turner and Hogarth.

The King's Wood Sculpture Trail Walk, Challock

The King's Wood Sculpture Trail Walk, Challock

Distance: 3.5 miles (6km)

One of the largest woodlands in Kent, the ancient King’s Wood was once used by Henry VIII as a hunting ground. Nowadays, it’s a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is popular with ramblers, hikers and dog walkers alike for this circular walk that combines art with exercise.

One of the finest woodland walks in Kent, you will pass through a variety of forest types from coppiced trees to majestic beeches and conifers as you follow a waymarked trail of red arrows, numbers and of course, sculptures. Paths can be steep and a little uneven in places, so appropriate footwear and clothing for the season is a must.

Riverside Country Park, Rainham

Riverside Country Park, Rainham

Distance: 2.5 miles (4km) approx (dependent on route)

Riverside Country Park has over 250 acres of open space with various habitats including open ponds, grassland, mudflats and salt marsh. It’s massively pooch friendly, making it one of the best locations for a dog walk in Kent. The lovely nature reserve is situated alongside the Medway River Estuary and has a wide variety of different walks, ranging from less than a mile to around three miles long. Many of the walks are flat and easy and will take you there and back over solid wide pathways away from roads meaning that it’s a suitable place for beginners to tackle. At low tide the mud flats are accessible and at some points along the walk so may be worth having your dog on the lead at these points to avoid your furry friend getting muddy!

Reculver Walking Tour, near Herne Bay

Reculver Walking Tour, near Herne Bay

Distance: 3.5 miles (5.6 km)

Situated on the county’s north coast between the popular destinations of Herne Bay and Margate, the wild and beautiful Reculver Country Park is an excellent spot for a Kent coastal walk. The park’s varied habitats attract an abundance of wildlife, including migratory birds, so there’s plenty to see. The loop trail is a relatively easy-going route that’s essentially a walking tour of the park, taking an average of 1 hour 20 minutes to complete. Highlights include the imposing Reculver Towers and Roman Fort and views out over some of the clearest waters in the South East. There is an eco-friendly visitor centre within the park where you can pick up further information on this route.

Weardale Circular Walk from Chartwell, Westerham

Weardale Circular Walk from Chartwell, Westerham

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

This beautiful route is one of the best National Trust walks in Kent linking the properties of Churchill’s family home at Chartwell with the Edwardian estate at Emmetts Garden. If you choose to walk this loop then you’ll pass through the woodland areas of Toys Hill and Hosey Common and see the remains of Weardale Manor that was destroyed by a bomb in World War Two. We recommend stopping for a fresh pint of Kent ale at The Fox and Hounds, before you reach the pretty hamlet of French Street and finish the walk with magnificent views over the Weald of Kent.

Scotney Castle Walk, Tunbridge Wells

Scotney Castle Walk, Tunbridge Wells

Distance: 2 miles (3.2km)

This enchanting two-mile walk takes you for a ramble through the grounds of the estate with vistas of the old hop farm, an elegant Victorian country house known as the “new castle”, and the ruins of a much older medieval castle. Beginning at Scotney Castle's car park, you’ll admire lovely bridges, Kent’s famed oast houses with their distinctive tops, and the Hornbeam Pollard, one of the oldest trees on the estate. The castle, on a lake island with its motte and bailey make for a wonderful backdrop, while the castle’s tearoom serves up well-needed refreshments when you’re done.

Canterbury Trails, Canterbury

Canterbury Trails, Canterbury

Distance: 2.5 miles (4km)

Follow in the footsteps of Chaucer’s pilgrims through the winding streets of the medieval city. The best route around Canterbury takes in the city walls, originally built by the Romans, and the ancient, cobbled streets and timber-framed houses of the city centre. Highlights include the quaint footbridges over the scenic Stour River, pretty St Margaret’s Street and passing by the magnificent entrance to Canterbury Cathedral.

Margate to Broadstairs

Margate to Broadstairs

Distance: 4 miles (6.4km)

Enjoy this Kent coastal walk from the coastal town of Margate to Broadstairs in the northeast of the county and follow in the footsteps of the great British artist, JMW Turner, and writer Charles Dickens. Start at the Turner Contemporary gallery by the harbour in Margate and follow the signs that indicate the Turner and Dickens route. Things to look out for on your way include the Turner mosaics at St John’s Primary School in St John’s Street, Draper’s Windmill, the Church of St Peter’s-in-Thanet, Dickens mosaics in St Peter’s Road, Crampton Tower and the beautiful seafront at Broadstairs with its Dickens House Museum.

White Cliffs of Dover Walk, Dover

White Cliffs of Dover Walk, Dover

Distance: 4 miles (6.4km)

This a four-mile coastal route that will take you round in a circle to the starting point. The idea of retracing your steps might seem repetitive, but not when those steps are across the dramatic chalk cliff tops that run from the edge of Dover to the lighthouse at South Foreland and plunge 350ft into the sea below. Browse the White Cliffs Visitor Centre with its information hub and coffee shop before you strike out eastward along the Saxon Shore Way, looking out for gun emplacements and remnants of other wartime structures as you go. Visit the fascinating underground tunnels at Fan Bay Deep, before finishing your walk at South Foreland Lighthouse.

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