Sometimes all you need is a bit of peace and quiet where you can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and Kent is certainly not lacking in that department. The county is jam packed with secret spots of serenity that you can spend your day exploring – but we can’t promise that you won’t want to stay a while! Even better is that you can get to all these places with the Southeastern trainline, meaning you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your time in Kent without needing to do any of the hard travel work yourself. These days out are perfect for a bit of down time with friends and family, wherever in Kent you may find yourself. Read on and plan your perfectly peaceful trip for the summer.
These beautiful beaches throughout Kent are sure to make your day out in the county super special. Not only are they all delightfully relaxing, they’re also all accessible by train – pack a picnic and venture on down to one of these calming coasts for a fab day of relaxing by the sea.
Calling all intrepid explorers! Fancy a day trip to a secluded sandy beach? Forget Barbados this summer, we’re looking at you, Folkestone. Catch the train from London Bridge to Folkestone Central and be at the Warren in no time, a perfectly secluded (and sandy!) beach that doesn’t get that many visitors throughout the year (so shh!). Pack some snacks and head off on your day trip to the fantastic Folkestone.
If you want an even more epic beach day trip, walk from Folkestone Central to the Harbour, hop on a bike at their cycle station, then head on down to the calming Hythe. Beautiful sea views and the wind in your hair, what more could you ask for in a bike ride? This is a day out that the whole family will enjoy, with a perfectly picturesque coast awaiting you at the end of your travels.
A bit closer to home, the isle of Sheppey awaits. It’s beautiful Blue Flag beach, Sheerness, is calling out to all you coast lovers this summer. Just a 20-minute train ride from Sittingbourne, you can travel (basically) overseas and spend the day on the immaculate Sheerness beach, a classically British shingle beach, surrounded by green open spaces – so don’t forget to pack that picnic!
We’ve also got Louisa Bay, a short walk from Broadstairs train station (getting you in half an hour quicker than travel by car), tucked away with rocky pools and a stretch of sandiness. Stay for a paddle or pedal up the coast to explore the rest of Thanet’s Viking Coastal Trail.
Last, but definitely not least, on our top picks for quiet coastal spots is White Cliffs Country, home to some stunning coastline. Just over an hour from London by train, come and discover some great beaches - from shingly Deal and Dover to sandy Sandwich Bay!
Take a stroll along Deal Pier and look back at a view that has hardly changed over centuries. Enjoy the quiet and secluded Sandwich Bay, about 2 miles from the town of Sandwich. Or, sit and enjoy fantastic views across the harbour from the promenade on Dover seafront or enjoy some water sport activities at the Sea Sport Centre.
For you green lovers out there, we’ve got a list of perfect secluded spots than are waiting for you in Kent, all just a train ride away. Get those legs moving as you explore the best that the Kentish countryside has to offer.
Walk the newly established River Park Trail in Maidstone, a 7km walk that runs from Allington Lock to Teston Country. Bring along paper and crayons for the kids to use the brass rubbing posts and learn about the trail’s wildlife in an interactive way. With Wateringbury and East Farleigh station on the walk too, you can always catch the train back to Maidstone to give those legs a break and simply sit back and enjoy the view!
Less than an hour away from London terminals, Royal Tunbridge Wells is the perfect place for a day out in the quaint Kentish countryside. Simply walk 10 minutes out of the vibrant town and find yourself surrounded by nature, wildlife and (most importantly) some peace and quiet. Explore the Tunbridge Wells Commons, with its bountiful sights and delights. Embark on The Tunbridge Wells circular walk, stopping off at any of the country pubs along the way, and enjoy the blissful calm of the great outdoors.
Head on over to the Elmley National Nature Reserve in Swale for a fantastic day out, filled with breath-taking landscapes and inspiring skies, all in a location like no other. From Sittingbourne, catch the train to Sheppey, where you’ll hop off at Swale Halt and begin your day in one of the most beautiful landscapes in Kent.
Just a short walk from Ramsgate train station, you’ll find the glorious Ellington Park. Recently regenerated, with a new café, bandstand, wooden play area and carved statues, the park makes a great day out for families. You’ll be nestled within the heart of the countryside within minutes, where you can spend the day relaxing and unwinding with a summer stroll.
A short walk from Kearsney Station on the outskirts of Dover are the beautiful gardens of Kearsney Parks (Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens). Restored in 2020, as part of a £3m investment from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery Community Fund, the open spaces are a wonderful place to visit!
Go from London Bridge to Tonbridge in just 30 minutes, where you’ll be just a walk away from the Green Flag awarded Haysden Country Park – a picturesque expanse of greenery where you’ll find wonderful wildlife, woodlands, freshwater lakes, and more. This peaceful park is sure to give you that much needed moment of mindfulness, with a chance to join in on walking and cycling routes, as well as spend time with the little ones in the dedicated kids’ play area.
Running all through Kent are the blissfully calming rivers, carrying bountiful wildlife and biodiversity within them. Bursting with life, we highly recommend spending the day strolling alongside any of the wonderful rivers in Kent – here are just a few to get you out and about and feeling zen in no time.
Maidstone is the perfect place to get that much needed river time. First up are the Kentish Lady River Cruises – all accessible from Maidstone East or West, these cruises will let you explore the beautiful town from a whole new perspective. Want a bit of independence on the river? Why not hire a self-drive cruiser and enjoy the wildlife, town and river of Medway on your own time? And if you’re feeling peckish, stop off at the Old Boat Café, where you can enjoy some local produce on board or on the riverside. The historic boat, that used to deliver coal and sugar, is now used as a place for friends and families to stop for refreshments and rest.
For even more river fun, you can experience the Tonbridge River Tour – a relaxing ride on an electric powered boat along the River Medway. Choose from a scheduled trip, an exclusive hire, or try your hand (or should we say whole body!) at rowing your own boat. This is the perfect chance to meander through the town and countryside of Tonbridge like you’ve never done before.
For a bit of history on your water-inspired day out, catch the train from Ashford to Appledore and walk the Royal Military Canal, built in the 18th century as a third line of defence against Napoleon. With a footpath along the canal, it’s the perfect spot for a relaxing walk amongst nature and history. Get lost as you wander the route, imagining all those who journeyed there in the past – and even bring a picnic along to have a bite to eat while you gaze upon the fantastic flora and fauna of the canal.
Take a relaxing trip aboard the River Runner along the River Stour from Sandwich. Learn about the wildlife and the historic river Stour. The modern, family friendly boats can accommodate up to 10 passengers per trip – now that will make for a perfect day out!
Who says a peaceful day out can’t be accompanied by a bit of learning? We’ve got a couple spots for you that are sure to bring you a fascinating day out in the countryside, and we just know you’ll have the best chats about everything you’ve seen on the train back home.
Ashford may be well known for its bountiful outlet and beautiful Kent Downs, but did you know that it’s also home to some quieter cultural spots? Hop on a train from Ashford and, in under 10 minutes, find yourself stood at the remnants of an 11th century bishop’s palace at Charing Palace, a site used by the Archbishops of Canterbury on their travels between Canterbury and Lambeth. While there, put on your pilgrim hat and walk the Charing East Lost Landscape walk, a journey through heritage and culture, all brought to life by the local people.
For something with a bit more mystery, why not catch the train from Ashford to Pluckley, where you can find yourself in what is reputed to be the most haunted village in Britain! On a walk celebrating The Darling Buds of May, you can experience the lovely countryside of Kent, while enjoying local food and drink. But watch out for ghosts! Many have been reportedly seen, including the highwayman, a miller, a red lady, and even a coach and horses (who needs that when you’ve got high speed rail services!?)
Make your day out that bit more relaxing with stress-free train travel. All you need to do is book and ride, then be whisked off to your next adventure. With weekend, group, and kid discount tickets, you'll be saving yourself the wonga and the worry when you travel with Southeastern!
Wondering how to get around Maidstone on your adventure this year? Why not hire an electric bike from Headcorn Station, then head off on your journey through the beautiful Kent countryside and its quiet lanes, vineyards, and rolling hills. This will be an unforgettable day out, especially knowing it’s one with such a small impact on the environment!
As part of Countrybike’s experience programme, they have released an e-bike weekend break from Tunbridge Wells train station. Make your trip as sustainable as possible and get the family out for a cycle around the Kentish countryside!
As we're out and about exploring, wherever it may be, we're always keeping in mind those who will be visiting these beautiful spaces after us. To make sure everyone gets the most out of their day's adventure, we must Respect, Protect and Enjoy our wonderful planet. This means taking litter with us, being conscious of our four legged friends and their whereabouts, and (most importantly) making memories with our loved ones! Click here for more information.