Kent is known as The Garden of England, and for good reason. Those of us lucky enough to live in the South-Eastern county are surrounded by fruitful farmland, woodland, coastal views and parks. Thanks to the abundance of beautiful scenery and green areas, Kent offers no shortage of enjoyable walks. From woodland trails to sweeping views of the North Downs, there’s something for everyone. Some of the walks in Kent will be longer and more difficult for the younger members of your family, so it’s important to choose the right walks in Kent for families and young children.
Over the past two years, due to the limitations of the coronavirus pandemic, many people have turned to exploring their local woods, fields, paths and parks to become avid walkers. Without being able to spend much of our time at restaurants, pubs, local attractions, shopping malls, cinemas and concerts, one of the few forms of entertainment left was a good old-fashioned walk in the countryside.
Have you exhausted all the local walks you know of over the past two years? If you need some new ideas and routes, we take a look at the 6 best family walks in Kent.
Based in the beautiful town of Sevenoaks, Knole is a sprawling estate with more than 1,000 acres to discover. With beautifully maintained gardens and Kent’s last remaining deer park, the grounds provide the perfect family walk. The Knole Deer Park All-Ability Walk is ideal for children of all ages and you can even bring the family dog along. Allow 1-2 hours to complete the walk, which is about 3 miles long.
For amazing sea views and lush woodland trails, head to Samphire Hoe Country Park. This nature reserve offers breath-taking landscapes and views of the sea along the Dover coast. The Easy Access Trail is perfect for families and is dog-friendly. Walk along the seawall and through the lush park. Allow roughly an hour to complete the 2-mile walk.
This beautiful park is a collection of lakes, wood and grasslands as well as marshes and can be enjoyed by the whole family. With plenty of wildlife, including ducks, geese and swans, Leybourne Lakes Country Park has something for the whole family. There are many paths to follow in the park but keep to the main path that loops around Ocean Lake for an enjoyable walk through the heart of the Lakes. The walk is just under two miles and should take about an hour to complete.
Bedgebury offers miles of beautiful forests, paths and wildlife. The forest makes up one of the world’s top collections of conifers. Bring the whole family and the dog along for a fantastic walk in the fresh air through some of Kent’s most beautiful woodland. The Easy Access Walk is a 1.7-mile circular walk through nearly 2,000 different species of trees from all over the world. Allow just under an hour to complete the full loop.
The beautiful wooded Trosley Country Park offers breath-taking views of Kent’s North Downs. There are a number of trails throughout the park at different levels of difficulty and some are quite steep. Depending on the age and ability of your children, you’ll need to decide which walk is most suitable. The Woodland Walk is suitable for children of all ages thanks to the flat terrain through the woodland. If you find the 2.5-mile circular walk too long for some members of the family, there are clearly marked shortcuts along the way. Dogs are welcome, and you should allow 1-2 hours to complete the walk.
A more ambitious walk suitable for older children, this trek takes you through the village of Wye and beautiful North Downs. The walk includes some steep climbs but offers dramatic views across Kent. There are also plenty of landmarks to glimpse along the way, including the Wye Crown and the Devil’s Kneading Trough. Allow a good 3 hours to complete the circular walk, just over 4 miles long.