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Walk our Top Five Kentish walks

Posted by Luci Ackers on 13 October 2017
Related property: Sibton Park
Walk our Top Five Kentish walks

Not for nothing has Kent earned itself the epithet ‘the Garden of England’: from hops to apples to grain to root crops, the place has always been, and remains, a picturesque powerhouse of arable productivity. Sibton Park is an ideal base from which to explore the exquisite landscapes of the county – close to London but a world away. Here are our top five walking routes to try while you're holidaying at Sibton Park. You can really experience the best of Kent and its incredible variety of scenery with these different trails.

1. South Foreland Lighthouse Walk

This pretty little four-mile route begins at the White Cliffs Visitor Centre, and constitutes a gentle amble along the famous White Cliffs of Dover (above). This refreshing walk overlooks the English Channel, one of the busiest stretches of water in the world, and leads you around Langdon Hole and Fan Point towards the South Foreland Lighthouse.

This section of cliff top played an important role in Britain’s defences in World War II and the walk is steeped in interesting history. To find out about the walk in more detail, click here.

2. North Downs Way

The North Downs Way is one of Britain’s long-distance National Trails and takes you through some of the UK’s most spectacular scenery. You can pick the trail up wherever you like and you’ll find it’s nicely waymarked and easy to follow. There is a selection of circular walks based on and around the trail too. The whole of the 153-mile route travels through the Surrey Hills and Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and follows part of the Pilgrims’ Way from Winchester to the shrine of St Thomas à Becket in Canterbury. It takes in scenery rich in heritage and history, embodied in a collection of cathedrals, castles, palaces, stately homes, ancient sites and endless defensive fortifications. To plan a route along just part of the North Downs Way from Sibton Park take a look at the North Downs website by clicking here.

3. Scotney Parkland Trail

The National Trust’s Scotney Castle (above) is a stunning 14th-Century building set in beautiful gardens and surrounded by a large wooded estate. If you fancy stretching your legs take the Scotney Parkland Trail, a two-mile circular walk that should take you about an hour. Along your way you will encounter woodland and parkland, you’ll cross the River Bewl and will get to enjoy an incredible view of the stately home in the grounds. Find the full route by clicking here.

Even if you’re not in the mood for a walk, Scotney is a good one for a day out. It’s roughly an hour’s drive due from Sibton Park via the A20, M20, A28 and A262, and well worth the trip.

4. Goodnestone walk

This interesting 2½-hour, 4½-mile walk is an easy one for most people. The walk starts in the quaint village of Goodnestone before leading you through fields and woodland to the parish of Chillenden, along the way rewarding you with views of rural Kent. You’ll see Chillenden Mill (above), a reconstruction of the original 1868 trestle post mill that was destroyed in 2003 by fierce winds. Enjoy a visit to the wonderful Goodnestone Park Gardens, where it is rumoured Jane Austen stayed just before writing Pride and Prejudice. You can read more about the walk by clicking here, or click here to learn more about Goodnestone Park.

5. Rochester Walk

And finally, how about something a little more urban?

To take a three-mile amble through historic Rochester is to enjoy a tour stiff with landmarks, striking architecture and dramatic views of a city from which Charles Dickens, no less, drew much of his inspiration.

From the waterfront on the River Medway – hugely significant in naval terms – you’ll cross Rochester Bridge, offering stunning views of the city including the towering, lowering remains of the Norman castle and the awe-inspiring Rochester Cathedral, the second-oldest in England (both pictured above), and visit Restoration House: a piece of local and national history as the place where Charles II stayed in 1660 on the eve of the Restoration, but which was remamed ‘Satis House’ by Dickens, who made it the home of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations.

You’ll venture into the heart of the historic city, much of it largely unchanged from Dickensian times, and you can visit the imposing 17th-Century Guildhall, now the Rochester Museum, the perfect place to stop and learn more about the city: its strategic importance, militarily, and its place in the nation’s cultural fabric.

You can find further information on Rochester, and the walk, by clicking here.

Come and stay in the Garden of England – and explore these walks for yourself. Enter your details below for a free brochure on Sibton Park.

Luci Ackers

Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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