Walking

Here day hikes and long distance trails deliver wide horizons, stunning scenery, rich history and an exhilarating sense of freedom.

Kent has more than 4200 miles (6700km) of countryside and coastal paths. Creamy cliffs, rolling downland, mind-expanding marshes, sweeping beaches, sleepy villages, heritage-packed cities and towns - you can stroll to them all.

Some paths trace trails across iconic landmarks. The South Foreland Lighthouse Walk heads over the world-famous White Cliffs of Dover, revealing spectacular views en route. Or stroll along the woodland trails at Betteshanger Park where you'll discover an abundance of wildlife along traffic-free paths.

For short weekend breaks, consider the wealth of day hikes, including the 3.5 mile, circular Reculver Walk which reveals the remains of a Roman fort, Saxon monastery and 12th century church.

Or really get away from it all on one of Kent's long distance trails. The 153-mile, 12-day, ridge-top North Downs Way winds through the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Chalk peeps from the soil beneath your boots and magnificent views frame the horizon on a route which echos the historic Pilgrims Way. It also edges must-see heritage sites at Canterbury, Rochester and Dover, and offers a wealth of 2-8 mile, circular day walks too.

The 160-mile Saxon Shore Way arches from Gravesend to Hastings through some of Britain's most compelling coastal landscapes. Discover the remarkable White Cliffs of Dover; nature reserves alive with birds; funky, sand-fringed, art-packed Margate and the haunting expanse of Romney Marsh.

For a rural-get-away-from-it-all escape, tread the 108-mile Greensand Way through ancient woods, the Kent Downs AONB and bluebell groves, past magnificent historic homes, including mesmerizing Knole.

Or get some company and join one of many guided walks.  Pub walks abound too; great ways to refuel after a day on the trail. The Faversham Food Trails are eight, scenic circular routes highlighting prime Kentish food and drink (see A land for all seasons, The peasant's last revolt, Footsteps of Royalty and Romans,  Earth, Wind and Water, A walk on the wildside, First fruit, Syndale Valley and Two Creeks) while the Produced in Kent Food and Drink Trails see you strolling, and tasting your way through Kent's hop, wine, cherry, seafood, apple and farming traditions.

The Royal Geographical Society has  launched a variety of new self-guided walks in Kent - "Boats, Bangs, Bricks and Beer" in Faversham; "From Hops to Lavender" - walking around the beautiful Darent Valley ; "Saved Haven" in the medieval town of Sandwich and an beach gazing walk in "Magical Margate". Step back in time in Hawkhurst, where their "A Walk in the Past" self-guided trail reveals hidden gems around this rural town.

For more than 70 walks, complete with information and downloadable guides, visit www.kent.gov.uk/explorekent or check out Explore Kent's short walking film....