2:40 PM January 18, 2022

2:43 PM January 18, 2022

Our walking specialist Alannah Crouch has five ideas for wonderful winter walks around the county this season…

1. The walk by the sea
Distance: 11.9km
Type of route: Round-trip trail
Walking time: approx. 3 hours
Perfect Pit Stop: The Minnis Bay Bar & Brasserie
Follow the Tracks: AllTrails, ‘Minnis Bay to Reculver Country Park Via Northern Sea Wall’ Trail
We start this roundup with the longest of our five recommended routes, and one that features sweeping sea views from start to finish. Beginning and ending on the sandy shores of Minnis Bay, which holds a coveted Blue Flag award, this route follows part of the Viking Coastal Trail, mostly along the sea wall. From Blue Flag awards to Green Flag awards, in the middle of this route, walkers will hold their breath at Reculver Country Park with its breathtaking 12th-century Reculver towers. The perfect point for a pit stop!

2. The cultural circuit

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Discover the creative side of Folkestone…
– Credit: Creative Folkestone

Distance 5.5km
Type of route: Circular path
Walking time: approx. 1 hour 30 minutes (Please note, however, that this approximate time does not take into account stopping at the various artworks along the route. Please allow plenty of time to fully enjoy this trail).
Perfect pit stop: The Pullman, Folkestone
Follow in the Footsteps: Folkestone Artworks Walk D’ West End’ Trail
For a day out that ticks the boxes of culture, coastline and cuisine all rolled into one, you needn’t look much further than fabulous Folkestone, where culture vultures should head straight for the works of Folkestone Art. Here you’ll find the UK’s largest exhibition of urban contemporary art, scattered across scenic and surprising locations. Four routes, each curated by the Creative Folkestone team, weave walkers around various stretches of this charming coastal town to fully appreciate this artistic outdoor trail. Our recommended route, Walk D, will allow you to stroll along the waterfront, walk the ‘Zig Zag’ path between the Leas Cliff Hall and the Band Stand, and walk along the promenade along The Leas.

3. The historical hike

The house and grounds in January at Chartwell, Kent

Land near Chartwell
– Credit: Andrew Butler

Distance: 8km
Type of route: Circular path
Walking time: approx. 3 hours
Perfect pit stop: Landmere Café at Chartwell or The Emmetts Garden Tea Room
Follow in the Footsteps: National Trust Route ‘Weardale Walk From Emmetts Garden’ Trail
The roll call of famous faces in the Garden of England throughout history is truly awe-inspiring, and this next walking route offers hikers the chance to – quite literally – follow in the footsteps of a particularly well-known resident of Kent. . Encompassing Sir Winston Churchill’s family home and garden, Weardale’s stunning circular walk connects Churchill’s Chartwell with another of the National Trust’s must-see sites, Emmetts Garden. At 8km in length, historic walkers will pass through the wooded areas of Toys Hill and Hosey Common, as well as the pretty hamlet of French Street. With other historic hotspots to watch out for along the way, this scenic drive through Sevenoaks is sure to leave a lasting impression.

4. Wildlife

Land of the White Cliffs

Glasswort Hoe
– Credit: White Cliffs Country

Distance: 2.4km
Type of route: Circular path
Walking time: approx. 40 minutes
Perfect pit stop: Samphire Hoe has a refreshment kiosk open every weekend of the year and most days between Easter and September (but can be weather dependent), from 11am to 5pm. However, we recommend taking a short drive from Dover, to enjoy seafood and sea views at The Dover Patrol.
Follow in the footsteps: All Trails
It’s probably not an understatement to describe Dover’s coastline as ‘iconic’, and while you’ve probably wandered atop these chalky cliffs before, the extraordinary Samphire Hoe Nature Reserve nestled below offers a walk that abounds positively of wild animals. Not only that, but the 30-hectare man-made park also provides a fantastic new vantage point to marvel at these famous white cliffs. Home to over 200 species of plants, 220 species of birds and up to 80 livestock (depending on the time of year), outdoor enthusiasts should pack their binoculars for this nature walk.

5. Rural hiking


Godinton under the snow
– Credit: Maison Godinton

Distance: 7.6km
Type of route: Circular path
Walking time: approx. 1h45
Perfect Pit Stop: The Swan & Dog, Great Chart
Follow in the Footsteps: Shepherd Neame Pub Walks ‘Swan and Dog, Great Chart’ Trail
If your ideal route starts and ends in a cozy country pub, our final recommendation will have you reaching for your walking shoes faster than you can say ‘a pint please’. The pretty village of Great Chart near Ashford forms the backdrop to this rural tour, which allows you to admire the beautiful grounds of Godinton House via part of the Greensand Way. Driving you through farmland, railway tracks and streams, before returning to the Swan & Dog pub in the heart of the village, travelers will get a real taste of the Kent countryside here. Plus, if this route whets your appetite, you’ll be pleased to know that this is just one of eleven new Shepherd Neame Pub Walk guides available to follow throughout the Garden of England.