East Kent Country Breaks
Discover East Kent
Since the earliest times, East Kent has been special. Come and discover the many attractions of the heritage coast and its rural hinterland - ‘unspoilt for choice', and full of surprises, too.
For detailed information and suggested country breaks, explore the individual areas in the menus to the right.
Cut carbon emissions and hassle
Leave the car behind: it's easy to visit East Kent by coach or rail. Regular Southeastern trains services run to all major towns and the local bus network helps you travel around.. Alternatively you hire a bike and cycle around the beautiful east kent countryside.
Explore the coast's countryside
On the doorstep of Whitstable and not far from the historic city of Canterbury Blean Woods is one of the largest areas of ancient broadleaved woodland in southern Britain, and a haven for birds, butterflies and plant life.
As you wend your way along country roads and dry downland hills from Canterbury to Dover and Folkestone there are many hidden treasure to discover. Take a rural break in Chilham, Elham or St Margarets or simply stop over in one of the many quaint villages such as - Ickham, Wingham, Chillenden, Barfristone, Alkham - so many but all with a different characters and a great local country pub to sample!
The iconic White Cliffs are a must. Part of the heritage coast there are plenty of ways for you to get to know this famous landmark - don't miss the visitor centre but there are also nature trails, countryside walks and special events.
In stark contrast is the wet and flat landscape of Romney Marsh whose spectacular and mysterious setting evoke a quality of times gone by from invaders to smugglers.
Go green, feel great
Walking, cycling and horse riding routes are the perfect green way of exploring this area of Kent following the pace of our ancestors and retracing their stories. Join the long-distance North Downs Way, following the historic Pilgrim's Way to Canterbury like medieval travellers or discover the ancient fortifications along the Kent Coast on the long distance Saxon Shore Way.
Pedal the family-friendly 7.5-mile Crab and Winkle Way from Canterbury to Whitstable. Spin around the Isle of Thanet peninsula on the 27-mile Viking Coastal Trail or try the cycle track at Fowlmead Country Park. Check out our three new cycle short breaks Cathedral to Coast, Coast, Castles and Clifftops, or Seascapes and Skies
Discover bastions of birds and wildlife
Head for the 26-mile Thanet coastline around the resorts of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. It represents 20% of the UK's and 12% of Europe's coastal chalk, and together with Pegwell Bay it's internationally important for wintering birds and marine life which can be spotted from the Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory.
Further south, to the White Cliffs Country around Dover and Folkestone you will find Samphire Hoe country park created out of the spoil from the construction of the Channel Tunnel.
Head further south to the award winning eco-built straw-bale constructed Romney Marsh Visitor Centre is an excellent introduction to dramatic landscape of the marshes and its wildlife - listen out for the laughing frog!
For an exhilarating close up of native seals try the Horizon sea safari's out of Ramsgate's Royal Harbour and if you really fancy a walk on the wild side don't miss the gorillas at Howletts Wild Animal Park or the safari experience at Port Lympne Reserve
Savour scrumptious food and stay - longer
East Kent is a larder brimming with goodies from farm, orchard, vineyard and sea. Set your tastebuds dancing with Romney Lamb or fresh Dover Sole or Whitstable Oysters. Sample them in season (April to September) or visit the town's annual summer oyster festival.
Raise a toast to good living in any number of village pubs. Shepherd Neame, Britain's oldest brewer, has hostelries throughout the region serving thirst-quenching Kentish ales. Why not go behind the scenes at an orchard or vineyard with a tour and tasting at Elham Valley Vineyard.
Food Trails take you on a culinary journey through the history of hops, apples, cherries and seafood with details on where you can taste them for yourself. For a taste of the modern garden of England look out for salad grown in the largest greenhouses in Europe Thanet Earth. With over 11 Farmers Markets in East Kent you are never far away from finding local produce for that perfect countryside picnic.
Where to Stay
Stay the night at one of Kent's Green B&B's, that are part of the Green Business Tourism Scheme. Rated for their environmental and social best practice, including energy conservation and keeping down waste.