8 Best Autumn Walking Trails in Kent


With Covid-19 still causing uncertainty, it has never been a better time to get outside in the fresh air and take some exercise. Getting out the house is important for your physical and mental wellbeing and has many benefits to your health.

There are so many beautiful walks and hikes that you can take across Kent ranging from dramatic coastal paths to peaceful woodland walks and historical tours, you will be spoilt for choice this Autumn. The following walks vary in length and difficulty so make sure you read the attached map to make sure the trail is right for you and your walking companions! 

Here are Kent-Teach’s 8 top walking routes in Kent:

1) White Cliffs of Dover 

The world-famous White Cliffs of Dover are an impressive back drop to this 4-mile walk. This bracing, coastal walk will take you along the cliff top to the lighthouse at South Foreland while you marvel at the waves of the English Channel far below. 

Visit the White Cliffs Visitor Centre for more information about the area and how it was used as a key defensive post in World War II. Nearby you can find Dover Castle which has a fascinating history and its Secret War Time Tunnels are definitely worth a visit. 

For walking routes check out this map.

2) Circular Walk Around Sandwich

Sandwich is arguably one of England’s most picturesque Cinque Port towns. The town is bursting with medieval charm and is home to some of the best-preserved half-timber houses in the country. This 2-mile town walk, which is suitable for families, takes in the sites of the historic town, and allows you to soak up some of its unique, medieval charm.

Visit Discovering Britain to download a walk guide and route map

3) Dungeness Trail

This 3-mile walk allows you to explore Britain’s only desert. Explore the desolate landscape’s haunting beauty and unique views to be found nowhere else in Britain.  During the circular walk you will see how the sea shapes this interesting landscape, which is dotted with abandoned fishing boats, you will also see Dungeness Power Station dominating the isolated panorama. 

Visit Discovering Britain to download a walk guide and route map.

4) Weardale Circular Walk from Chartwell Estate to Emmetts Gardens 

This 5-mile walk links National Trust properties Chartwell and Emmetts Gardens via a scenic woodland route through Toys Hill and Hosey Common. Chartwell is the former home of Winston Churchill and is brimming with history. The gardens are just as impressive and are beautiful in Autumn. Emmetts Garden is an Edwardian estate and gardens bursting full of rare trees and shrubs from around the world. It is located on one of the highest points in Kent, so spectacular autumnal views are guaranteed. You can find directions and a map of the trail between the attractions here.

Both Chartwell and Emmetts Gardens are both open to visitors, but you will be required to have a pre-booked ticket to visit the attractions and to walk between the two. If you haven’t pre-booked your tickets and you still want to enjoy a walk then there are plenty of other trails that you can enjoy without pre-booking, find more Chartwell walking trails here.

5) The North Downs Way National Trail

We couldn’t have a list of the best walks in Kent without including this famous trail. Running from Farnham in Surrey to Canterbury and the White Cliffs of Dover, The North Downs Way passes through two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Surrey Hills and the Kent Downs. 

The North Downs Way is 153-miles long and therefore, needs to be enjoyed in sections or over a week or two. Why not give it a go this October half term if you are feeling adventurous?!

You can find your trail guide here.

6) Medway Valley Walk

The Medway Valley Walk is a 28-mile linear walk along the banks of the River Medway. The trail will take you through the bustling market towns of Tonbridge and Rochester, quaint villages, orchards and hop gardens and through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

You can plan your journey using the Explore Kent website.

7) A Romantic Route Through Scotney Castle

Scotney Castle is a stunning setting for an afternoon stroll, whatever the season the estate offers breathtaking beauty. The National Trust website describes The Scotney Castle estate as “ready for exploring. Our ancient parkland and Wealden woodlands are criss-crossed by way marked routes and fantastic views. Perfect for picnics, scenic walks and mini-adventures.” There is something for everyone and a variety of walks are available on site, the most popular is a 2-mile route starting and ending in the car park. 

You can find more information and route guides here. It is recommended that you prebook tickets for Scotney Castle to avoid disappointment on the day.  

8) Blean Woods Nature Reserve 

Blean Woods Nature Reserve has made it onto our list of top walks in Kent due to the amazing variety of wildlife, insects and plants that can be found here. Almost all the woodland is classified as ancient woodland and over half of Blean Woods is classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, part of the woodland is also designated as a special area of conservation which makes it a wonderful spot for a walk during the Autumn half term. 

There are 5 waymarked nature trails to explore ranging from 0.9-mile strolls to 8-mile treks! So, there is something for all the family and for all abilities. 

We hope this list has inspired you to get outdoors this Autumn. Share your walking stories with us and let us know which trail you took.

Exercise is vital for teacher wellbeing, it can reduce the risk of multiple illnesses, it has the power to help reduce anxiety and stress, it can improve memory, boost brain power and increase the happy chemicals in your brain. But all to often it can be hard to find the time to exercise. Here are 8 ways you can fit exercise around your busy teaching schedule

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