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6 winter walks in kent

6 Ways to Walk Off the Winter Blues

We all know the true meaning of winter – vats of hot chocolate, easy access to selection boxes, festive box sets and assuming hibernation positions under the snuggliest blanket you can find.

Here at Visit Kent we would never dissuade you from enjoying a few cosy days in…but don’t forget to get outside and enjoy some of the spectacular seasonal scenery too! During the winter, the county of Kent has some truly marvellous sights for you to explore, so don't miss out an opportunity to blow away the cobwebs and keep those pesky winter pounds at bay!

Here are a few of our favourite winter walks, chosen with the help of our friends at Explore Kent (no gym memberships required)…

1. The White Cliffs Of Dover 

White Cliffs of Dover

Breathe in that bracing sea air and feel on top of the world as you conquer one of England’s most striking landmarks. Take the South Foreland Lighthouse walk along the magnificent White Cliffs of Dover, a gentle four mile route with stunning sea views and plenty of history. The signposted route includes Langdon Hole, Fan Point and the imposing lighthouse – all vital parts of England’s defences in the Second World War – and the surrounding countryside is a joy to behold.

Have a break: Stop at Mrs Knott’s Tearoom for a brew with a view, or head to Walletts Court Hotel and Spa for a sumptuous afternoon tea or gourmet lunch

2. Bedgebury Pinetum

Winter walk in Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent

For a choice of easy or challenging woodland walks, you can’t beat the sights and scents of Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest. A light dusting of snow or a sharp frost transforms the pinetum near Goudhurst into a winter wonderland - and the forest is perfect for a long crisp walk to set you glowing. Over the winter months, conifers come into their own so you will have an entirely fresh perspective of the pinetum. A 12mile circular route takes in the picturesque village of Cranbrook or you can take the easier 1.7m route around the trees. Find out more at www.forestry.gov.uk/bedgebury

Have a break: Fuel up at the Bedgebury Café in the forest’s visitor centre, or call into The George Hotel in Cranbrook for outstanding food and beautiful views

3. Viking Coastal Trail

Winter walk along Viking Coastal trail, Kent

Photo by: Explore Kent

Chase sunsets and drink in coastal scenes that must be seen to be believed on the Viking Coastal Trail around the Isle of Thanet. If you don’t fancy the full 32 miles route(!), take the one hour walk from Margate to Broadstairs (or vice versa) and enjoy the same views that delighted JMW Turner and Charles Dickens.

Call into Margate’s Turner Contemporary art gallery for a spot of culture, enjoy spectacular scenery at Botany Bay and the surfers of Joss Bay, and stroll along the sandy beach of Broadstairs.

Have a break: The Sands Hotel for afternoon tea with a view, The Royal Albion Hotel for a rewarding pint above the sands, or pitstop at The Botany Bay Hotel for edge-of-the-world scenery. 

4. Shorne Woods Country Park

You don’t have to venture into the wilderness for a wonderful wintry walk – head to one of Kent’s fantastic family-friendly country parks for a chance to blow away the cobwebs and have some outdoor fun.

Shorne Woods Country Park in Gravesend is bursting with activity trails and walking routes to suit all abilities, with its own fishing lake, a new children’s play area, sensory garden and bridal paths. 

Have a break: Head to the eco café for locally sourced sustenance, or bring your own warming nibbles for a picnic

5. Wye Downs

Winter walk on Wye Downs, Kent

Photo by: Explore Kent

You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to impressive sights on this circular walk encompassing the beautiful village of Wye. Trek up to the Wye Crown, which was cut into the chalk of the North Downs to mark the coronation of King Edward VII, explore rolling fields and farmland before drinking in the views of The Devil’s Kneading Trough – the largest and most famous of the steep-sided dry valleys that characterise the hills of the Downs. 

Have a break: The New Flying Horse is the perfect place to refuel or to indulge, with excellent food, beautiful gardens and lovely rooms for the weary.

6. Teynham

Take an intriguing trip through orchards and fruit fields on this lovely walk through Teynham. The area’s famous orchards are a delight all year round, and offer a tranquil 5.5m circular walk past grazing sheep and lush fields. A hidden gem of a walk!

Have a break: Bag a seat by the inglenook fireplace and a warming drink at The Plough Inn – live music most Sunday afternoons.