The Path Less Travelled By
28th March 2021
From rural countryside trails to secret city spots, Kent’s hidden treasures offer visitors the opportunity to step off the beaten track and discover so many incredible experiences, sights and stories. From a walking tour that follows in the footsteps of some of Kent’s legends to canoe trail adventures and everything inbetween, there are so many inspirational journeys and trails to experience across the county. Whether you want to walk, run, cycle, paddle or ride, Kent’s tour experiences are incredibly varied and unique, offering fresh and innovative ways to explore the county.
Less than an hour from London and known as the jewel in Kent’s crown is the thriving city of Canterbury - steeped in history with many hidden paths to explore and discover. Complete with medieval streets, excellent locally produced food and drink and a whole heap of history to sink your teeth into, this beautiful walled city is a must-see on your Kentish journey. Why not take your time and appreciate the breath-taking architecture of the city’s historic landmarks such as the iconic 11th century Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine's Abbey and St. Martin's church with a Canterbury Walking Tour? Or if you’re feeling energetic, lace up your trainers and see the city at a pace on a brand new running group route? Or if you prefer to take it a little easier, relax on the river as you paddle around the beautiful city with the award-winning Canterbury Historic River Tours.
Our insider guide to Kent’s unique trails and tours will leave you inspired to venture off the beaten track and onto a pathway of discovery…
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A new view of Canterbury
Canterbury’s award-winning Historic River Tours are heading onto dry land and offering walking tours along the banks of the Stour and into the walled city to bring Canterbury’s rich history to life. Fun, informative and hilarious, the tour company plan to bring their much-loved commentary style to this exciting new venture! Or why not explore the city streets with Canterbury Running Tours' ‘Sightrunning’ experiences– a whole new way of exploring a city! The guided running routes are perfect for mixed ability runners keen to see the city at a pace in a supportive running-club style environment. Taking out all the stress of running in an unknown city, the tours will take in all the popular and iconic tourist attractions as well as some lesser-known sights.
Get active, enjoy Kent’s beautiful countryside and discover the sights of Medway from a unique vantage point on the water with a canoe trip along the river Medway. Elveys Canoe is a family run business in Yalding that offer a range of seasonal paddling activities on the Canoe Trail between Tonbridge and Allington. Or, just outside of Canterbury, Canoe Wild offers the chance to experience some of Kent's most spectacular countryside from the River Stour. Whether you choose to hire a kayak or canoe, master stand up paddleboarding, or take a guided paddle with the experts, you're guaranteed wildlife sightings, insta-worthy views and the chance to relax and reconnect with nature.
Augustine Camino Pilgrimage Trail
The stunning scenery of the North Downs is a sight to behold and the epic Augustine Camino Pilgrimage Trail from Rochester Cathedral to St Augustine's in Ramsgate is the perfect showcase. Taking in seventy miles of downland, the trail passes historic castles and standing stones and meanders through picturesque Kentish villages, glorious wildflowers and wonderful woodland. Walk the route in sections, stopping to pause at the many breath-taking view points along the way or for the more adventurous, spend a week taking on the trail, staying in pubs or camping along the route. Taking in Rochester, Maidstone, Canterbury and Rochester, as well as the stunning surrounding countryside, the pilgrimage is a true opportunity to discover Kent’s rich and varied history and heritage.
Bike Hire & Tours
The rolling Kentish hills pose no problem when you’ve chosen an electric bike as your mode of transport for the day! Fancy zipping between quintessential Kentish orchards and vineyards? Maybe popping to an iconic castle or a world-famous garden on route? UK Electric Bike Hire & Tours have created some stunning routes that take you along the quiet lanes of the Weald of Kent, passing oast and Wealden hall houses, farmsteads and ancient woodland. For traditional pedal power, Country Bike offers easy online bike hire, whether you choose to rent them for a day or a week. Offering a drop off and collection service, along with rental locations already along cycling favourites, the Pilgrims Way and Tudor Trail in Sevenoaks, Kent's wide range of winding paths and magnificent trails await.
Why not take a trip on the much-loved Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway – one of Kent’s most popular visitor attractions and always a firm family favourite? Brand new experiences at the RHDR include pre-bookable group hampers and individual picnic boxes, wood whittling at the Romney Marsh Visitor Centre and also a brand new accompanying app that delves further into the history of the railway as well as the wildlife and sights along the way. For even more heritage fun, the Kent and East Sussex Railway steams through the countryside from Tenterden to Bodiam, offering country views from aboard vintage carriages and compartments. On the way back, the award-winning Tenterden museum is a must for delving into British railway history. While the East Kent Railway is a two and a half mile heritage line taking in the East Kent countryside. Jump aboard vintage trains and discover miniature railways - perfect for a weekend of family fun.
The History Project Deal
Journey back in time as you discover Deal’s fascinating history on a fun and informative walking tour with ‘The History Project’ – an award-winning tour company run by Deal locals. With fun, family-friendly tours such as Castles on the Coast, The Smugglers Trail or Piers over the Years, there’s a range of topics to choose from to inspire, educate and entertain the whole family!
Long distance trails
Grab the family and head off on a self-guided walking tour following secluded footpaths and bridleways leading to awe-inspiring countryside around the Kent North Downs. With child-friendly guides available for all the circular routes, the kids will be able to take the lead and follow the simple directions to guide their parents around the routes. After a full day of discovery, head to one of the beautiful family-friendly self-catered cottages along the routes for a well-earned rest! For a completely different take on our long distance trails, head along the Darent Valley Path by rail! 12 miles of rolling countryside await on the Darent Valley Community Rail Partnership. Be transported from Swanley to Sevenoaks, stopping off to take on part of the trail by foot, or sip and sample at gourmet pit stops like Mount Vineyard and Castle Farm shop for plenty of local produce.
Take a step up with Coast and Country Ramble's tailor-made self-guided walking breaks. Allow them to take away the stress of planning your trail, with easy to follow guides and routes tailored to you, whether you want to see pretty villages, historic sites or just miles of uninterrupted views. With accommodation ranging from cosy country pubs, to shepherds huts, you're guaranteed a soft bed for the night and a breakfast to set you up for the day! 4000 miles of footpaths, 500 villages...now all you need to do is work out what you want to see first! For fully planned guided walking and driving tours packed with history and heritage, England Plus Tours are a favourite. Step back into Kent's history on the Gateway to England tour through Folkestone and White Cliffs Country, taking in the Battle of Britain Memorial, the famous White Cliffs, the English Channel and even St Margaret's Bay where the infamous James Bond creator, Ian Fleming lived.
Lace up those boots
Forget the map and allow Hike South East to guide you on small group walks through the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Enjoy breath-taking views across the countryside, wander through woodland and pasture along the Greensand Way, and pass Churchill’s iconic home of Chartwell just outside of Westerham. Along the way, you’ll be treated to tales of the famous people who have called this glorious area home, and will be given an overview of the area’s geology, wildlife, history and geography to really enrich your hike. Guided wanders along the coast, strolls through ancient woodland and the chance to explore the countryside of Whitstable – a day with the Salt Marsh Walking Company is another great way to discover the Kent countryside on foot. With the promise of a picnic of locally sourced produce, and plenty of historical points of interest along the way, we can promise you it will be a chance to enjoy a real slice of the Kent countryside.
The Ultimate Luxury Hovercraft Experience is just about one of the most exciting things we've heard of in a while! A one of a kind trip by hovercraft that encompasses gliding over land and water, seeing historic sites, eating gourmet food and witnessing our local wildlife in its natural habitat. With trips from Sandwich (where you can see a whole colony of seals), to seaside favourite Margate, this is a whole new way to experience the East Kent coastline. We're continuing to glide as we head over to North Kent with Jetstream Tours and their range of cruise experiences. Whether you choose to set sail from Queenborough on the beautiful Isle of Sheppey, the pier at cultural favourite, Gravesend, or Sun Pier in Chatham, the hour long circular cruises offer the perfect chance to see the history and wildlife of the Medway Estuary. And if you really fancy pushing the boat out, we recommend the fish and chip cruises for a lip-smacking evening out, packed with insights into the local wildlife.
Before you embark on a Kent journey of discovery, please do check our partner websites as many tour and hire companies now request that you pre-book. There may also be new procedures in place in order to keep their staff and visitors safe. Take a look at our guidance on how to best Respect, Protect and Enjoy our wonderful Kent attractions and landscapes.
Stay a while
Travel with Arriva
As restrictions start to lift and the government’s plans to ease out of lockdown come into effect, Arriva are here to support our local communities. Plan your journey, track your bus in real-time, buy, store and activate tickets all in on one handy app. Search Arriva UK Bus app in your app store which is free to download or visit www.arrivabus.co.uk/app. You can also plan your journey, buy tickets and check out the latest news and offers online at www.arrivabus.co.uk. All Arriva buses are COVID-19 secure, to find out more please visit www.arrivabus.co.uk/help/coronavirus
As our worlds begin to open up again, Southeastern Railway are looking forward to welcoming you back on board their trains. Whether you’re continuing to travel for work, starting to think about returning to the office, planning to meet friends and family or are looking forward to visiting one of the wonderful destinations in Kent, Southeastern are there to help and support you every step of the way. Travel looks a little different from before and Southeastern want to reassure you that they are doing everything they can to help make you feel more comfortable, such as cleaning trains more frequently with anti-viral products, regularly wiping high touch areas and supplying hand sanitiser points at busy stations. So whenever you are ready and when it feels right for you, whatever journey you are taking, Southeastern want you to feel you can travel safely and with confidence.