Simply stunning, amazingly diverse, wild and vibrant and yet, in places remote, secluded and totally peaceful – there is no way best to describe the countryside of White Cliffs Country because this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has it all making this part of Kent a great place to go walking.
Walkers are Welcome
in Dover, learn more at: www.doverwalkersarewelcome.org.uk
The Kent Downs
The Kent Downs covers nearly a quarter of Kent, stretching from the White Cliffs at Dover up to the Surrey and London borders. It is a diverse and vibrant landscape with its chalk escarpments, secluded dry valleys, network of tiny lanes and historic hedgerows, ancient woodlands, traditional orchards, locally distinct villages, unique wildlife and many sites of historic and cultural interest to explore.
For more information: Kent Downs - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
The White Cliffs of Dover - England's Frontier
France and continental Europe is 20 miles away and on a clear day you can see the French coast. As you walk the cliffs look out on one of the busiest sea-lanes in the world – The English Channel. Cruise ships, ferries and seacats draw the eye out to sea – a constant buzz of nautical activity.
The National Trust owns 8 Km of the White Cliffs. Walking routes are not way marked - simply keep the sea to your right going east along the cliff path and to your left on the way back to Dover. A short walk is to Langdon Cliffs & Cliff Terrace, an intermediate walk is onward to Langdon Hole and Langdon Bay and a longer walk going further east is to the South Foreland Lighthouse – all with spectacular views. Walk the cliffs, discover their history and natural history, enjoy the landscape and seascape - be inspired and invigorated by their power and their beauty.
The Gateway to the White Cliffs visitor building provides an introduction to the White Cliffs (located on Langdon Cliffs – parking and disabled facilities available). Visitors can enjoy lunches and snacks at the coffee shop whilst taking in the spectacular views of the Straits of Dover.
For more information: The White Cliffs of Dover - The National Trust
Dover gives you an option of two National Trails:
North Downs Way
Farnham to Dover 227km/141 miles
Along the chalk ridges and wooded downlands of Surrey into Kent, with an optional loop via Canterbury, often running parallel to the ancient trackway of the Pilgrim's Way.
Link: North Downs Way
Saxon Shore Way
Gravesend - Hastings 261km/163 miles
Intriguing walk around the Roman-era coastline of Kent along the Thames Estuary, down the Wantsum Channel, along the White Cliffs and on into Sussex. Part of the South East Walks network.
Link: Saxon Shore Way
The Western Heights are extensive coastal fortifications dating from 1700’s to 1800’s with spectacular views over Dover and the Channel - way marked from the town centre, visitors can walk the walls, ramparts and trenches via a network of restored footpaths. Open all year and admission is FREE.
Midway between Dover & Folkestone you can cut down to Samphire Hoe, a unique land mass jutting out into the English Channel, created from the material dug during the building of the Channel Tunnel. It includes 2 miles of flat, traffic-free & gentle walking, exceptionally brilliant blue sea plus of course, wild flowers & beautiful wildlife - peace and quiet amid stunning scenery. Samphire Hoe can be reached via the A20 or follow the way marked trail from the Aycliffe Estate and on the way - don’t miss the spectacular Shakespeare Cliffe.
An important site for both people and wildlife, offering dramatic views of Dover and surrounding countryside. Many of the plants seen on the chalklands are becoming very rare. Routes to the Nature Reserve are way marked from Dover town centre and parking is available. Areas of woodland, chalk grassland and heathland make for a diverse landscape on and around which people have lived, worked and died for thousands of years. A pair of Burial Mounds dating back to the Bronze Age are just visible on the top of the Downs – these were excavated in the 1930's and date back to about 3000 BC.
St. Margaret's Bay
St. Margaret’s Bay offers visitors the beautiful Pines Garden, the fascinating St. Margaret’s Museum and the Tearoom where you can enjoy a delicious cream tea and home-made cakes - then wander down to the beach or stroll up to the magnificent cliff top - all within a few minutes walk.
For more information: St Margaret's Bay
An easy circular walk the Frontline Britain Trail. Starting from the car park in the village or from the car park at St Margaret’s Bay – discover a series of information panels about the history and wildlife as you follow the way marked trail.
The White Cliffs Countryside Project
The White Cliffs Countryside Project (01304 241806) runs a full program of guided walks and activities throughout the year– a great way to visit the many interesting and attractive areas of the White Cliffs Country and The Garden Coast. The brochure is available at Tourist Information Centres or phone 01304 241806.
And of course, there's a gentle walk in the park...
Connaught Park, Dover
This park is the first park established in Dover dating back to Victorian times – presented to the people of the town by the Duke of Connaught in 1885. Set on the hillside below Dover Castle it provides facilities for both recreational and sporting activities. The open grass slopes provide a pleasant environment for a stroll offering excellent views across the town, there are both grass and hard tennis courts and a play area for children. The lower part of the park is set out in a more traditional style with an ornamental lake and lawns leading to an aviary - visitors can feed the local squirrel population - amusing and inquisitive inhabitants of the park. Access at the top of Park Avenue. – the visitor is offered a gentle and pleasant ‘alternative’ walk up to Dover Castle.
Kearnsey Abbey – off the Alkham Valley Road (parking available).
Informal parklands at Kearnsey Abbey are laid out around two ornamental lakes through which the River Dour flows. The abbey itself was demolished many years ago although the west wing remains and is now used as a café facility for visitors to the park. The site with its large gardens including stream, woods and lake are popular at all times of the year but especially in the summer time when the lawns become a favourite picnic site at weekends. A play area for children is available and the lower lake is used for model boating.
Opposite Kearnsey Abbey.
Bushy Ruff is situated at the western end of the recreation grounds and is set around a lake. This is laid out as a country park and provides an open space for dog walkers and those who simply enjoy taking a walk in pleasant natural surroundings.