Top 5 Autumn Walks in Kent

Phoebe Shipton  ·  22nd October 2013

Top 5 Autumnal Walks in Kent

This is a fabulous time of year to get out into the Countryside and enjoy the beautiful Autumnal Colours which are changing on a daily basis. Many of the woodlands in the South East of England have a rich heritage with some being used as hunting grounds for royals and aristocracy and many providing the timber upon which Great Britain’s formidable navy depended.  Along with this there are some lovely country house estates worth a visit such as Great Comp Gardens and Lullingstone Castle which also make for lovely family days out.

Having done some research I have collated five walks or places to visit for fabulous colour explosions and locations to be enjoyed by all.

Hever Castle1. Hever Castle

When you see the striking red Boston ivy clinging to the side of Hever Castle, you know it’s autumn. Go for a wander along the Walking In The Wild trail or around the lake and look out for autumnal delights like fungi, edible berries, conkers and hazelnuts. There’s a special leaflet showing you where to look and what to see.  A walk around the lake takes about 1 hour.

2. Bedgebury Arboretum

The National Pinetum at Bedgebury lies at the heart of Kent’s High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. While the Pinetum is world renowned for its conifer collection, at this time of year it is ablaze with autumn colour. A walk down Dallimore Valley passes the liquid amber, tulip trees, ginkos, oaks, black birch and recently-planted nyssas, all of which have been chosen for their spectacular autumn colour. Around Marshal’s Lake, the dawn redwoods and swamp cypresses, despite being conifers, all take on various shades of burnt orange and foxy red before shedding their needles. The spindle and maples are already turning a vivid pink.

Bedgebury PinetumAlso at Bedgebury, an autumn trail map is now available. The route follows surfaced paths and is flat apart from gentle slopes.

The trail is just under a mile long and will take about 45 minutes to walk at a leisurely pace. Along the way are various information boards highlighting points of interest.

3. Adisham/Barham Downs

This walk begins in the quiet village of Adisham on the edge of the old coal mining area of East Kent. It joins the North Downs Way for a short section by following little used footpaths and bridleways with some interesting woodland sections. Good views open up north-eastwards to the coast as you return to the village. It is a fairly flat walk with no stiles although paths can be muddy in wet weather.

Distance: 6 miles

Wye Downs4. Wye Downs Walk

This walk around the village of Wye has some challenging climbs in places but offers some spectacular views from the Downs together with some fascinating local features. Wye Crown, a landmark that can be seen for miles around was created in 1902 by local students to mark the coronation of King Edward VII. Wye Downs National Nature Reserve is managed by English Nature and offers views over the Devil’s Kneading Trough and beyond.

Distance: 4.3 miles

5. Knole, Kent – Sevenoaks

Knole is the last remaining deer park in Kent and one of few parks in the country to have escaped the 18th century fashion for landscaped treatments thanks to the Sackville family’s conservative approach. It is also filled with ancient trees that reveal the wood’s medieval past and whose colourful leaves make the site stunning in autumn. Hawthorn, oak, hornbeam, silver birch and ash colours mix together for beautiful effect.

Knole ParkDistance: 4.5 mile or 3 mile accessible walks available

Terrain: Both are easy. The 4.5 mile walk has mostly flat grassy grassy paths while the 3 mile accessible walk has mostly hard surfaces with occasional potholes and some sections of short grass and bare earth

A few other suggestions to get you out and about in East Kent:

Deal SeafrontFor an invigorating and bracing outing nothing beats a cliff top walk from St Margaret’s to Kingsdown.  Start and the old War Memorial and follow the Saxon Shore Way towards Deal.  Refreshments can be taken either at the Bluebird Tea Rooms at the Memorial or at the Zetland Arms Pub in Kingsdown.  The walk should take about 45 minutes and if you are heading from St Margarets there is a gradual slope all the way down to Kingsdown, of course this means a slight incline all the way back if you choose to walk back!

Another lovely area to explore for walks and gardens are the Goodnestone Park Gardens.  You can either go into the Gardens themselves or explore in and around the pretty village of Goodnestone where there are a number of walks suitable for all ages.

About Phoebe Shipton

Having studied Marketing at University of Manchester, Phoebe joined the family business in 2020 as Head of Marketing and Operations. Phoebe is focused on making Keepers Cottages stand out, as well as ensuring the bookings flood in!

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