Countryside & park walks
Take in the beautiful countryside and explore the nature and wildlife near you
Nestled in the rolling hills of the Kent Downs, is the medieval village of Wye, a short 15-minute train journey from Canterbury West. Enjoy a stroll through the pretty village and along the North Downs Way to the Wye National Nature Reserve (NNR), a protected habitat brimming with wildflowers, over 20 species of orchids and rare butterfly species. You'll also find the Devil’s Kneading Trough - one of Kent’s must-see beauty spots. Enjoy stunning, panoramic views of this famous steep-sided dry valley. After wandering through the village, enjoy a feast at The Tickled Trout, a charming Kentish inn just a minute's walk from Wye station - it’s the perfect pit-stop!
Petts Wood and Hawkwood
Just 13 miles from London, Petts Wood and Hawkwood feel like a real escape. Both are managed by the National Trust, Petts Wood consists of 50 acres of natural woodland, whilst Hawkwood is mainly green pasture with cows and sheep busy grazing and stunning views! Plenty of space for children to run around and for grown-ups to take deep breaths of fresh air and reconnect with nature. Petts Wood, Chislehurst and St Mary Cray Stations are all a short walk away, so you can hop on a train and explore the area in no time!
The Wateringbury Rail Trail
Wateringbury is one of several Upper Medway Valley villages situated around the River Medway. This 1.8 mile circular walk (with optional 2.9 mile extension) starts and ends at Wateringbury station, which is also a popular Grade II listed building due to its Tudor style architecture. Exit the station, beginning this trail by taking in Bow Bridge and the beautiful countryside of the surrounding area with glimpses of life along the banks of the river where Kingfishers can often be seen and otters are sometimes spotted. This walk also has lovely views over the Medway Valley, providing plenty of opportunities for a rest and to enjoy a picnic lunch.
Stroll along the banks of the Great Stour on this circular walk through beautiful countryside and fruit-filled orchards. Spot wildlife and enjoy picturesque views as you take in this spot near historic Canterbury in the Garden of England. Take in the villages of East and West Stourmouth and you can also extend the walk by heading to Plucks Gutter where the Little Stour and Great Stour join. Image credit: Explore Kent
Take the high speed train and arrive into the historic market town of Faversham. It’s just a 6 minute walk along Preston Street to the Market Place where you’ll begin this walk through the beautiful Garden of England. You’ll see orchards, oast houses, woodlands, manor houses and medieval buildings on route and there’s also plenty of opportunity to stop off for a drink and a bite to eat! Don’t miss a visit to Shepherd Neame, Britain’s oldest brewer, and why not pick up some fresh produce from Macknade Fine Foods before a 15-minute walk back to Faversham station.
A popular space for people in and around Tunbridge Wells, and only a short 15-minute from Tunbridge Wells station, Dunorlan Park features a Victorian garden, meadows, and wild grassy slopes. Dunorlan Park has a stream running through it with a series of pools at various points as well as the large lake offering views across the Weald of Kent. Take a picnic to the park or wander into the town and grab a freshly baked cake from The Cake Shed on The Pantiles.
Haysden Country Park
Take the train to Tonbridge to visit this local gem that's only a 15-minute walk from the station. The park covers an area of about 160 acres in the Medway Valley. It has a range of habitats such as the River Medway, grassland, freshwater lakes, marshland, woodland and lots of walking paths and trails. The site is designated as a local Nature Reserve. You can walk through woodland with streams and ponds alongside Barden Lake, which is popular with bird and wildlife enthusiasts. Kent Wildlife Trust recognise it as a 'Site of Nature Conservation Interest' a great place for a picnic and to watch the water wildlife and birds.
Dulwich Park is a grade 2 listed heritage site and a tranquil 10-minute walk from West Dulwich station in south London. Covering over 70 acres, it’s packed with historic features, beautiful gardens and perfect picnic spots. Stroll around the outskirts or through many of the winding paths intercepted with ponds and flower beds. With a park this size you can find your own quiet spot under a tree and escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. You’ll feel a world away in Dulwich Park while still in the heart of London. On the outskirts of the park is Dulwich village, a quiet, leafy suburb full of quaint cafés, boutique stores and garden pubs. The Crown & Greyhound is a local favourite and a great place to grab a pint before heading home.
Otford to Wrotham
This is a lovely walk between the pretty Kent villages of Otford and Wrotham along the North Downs Way. This walk gives you the chance to really explore and discover the local area with its far-reaching views and stunning woodland and countryside. There are Southeastern stations in both villages for those that don't fancy the walk back. Just 30 minutes from London, at the foot of the North Downs, Otford sits on a stretch of the ancient Pilgrims Way. It is a picturesque Kent village complete with iconic duck pond which acts as a quirky roundabout. Surrounded by open fields and Kentish countryside with a pretty high street. Otford village is a short walk to the left of the train station and the North Downs Way is to the right. Don't forget to stop off for a well-deserved drink in The Bull's beer garden!
Sydenham Hill Wood
Sydenham Hill Wood in Dulwich was once part of the ancient Great North Wood and has a unique mix of new and ancient woodland. Look out for the Victorian folly hidden in the wood and one of the trails was a part of the old railway line. Situated between Sydenham Hill and West Dulwich stations, this is an easy walk and includes several footpaths and over 200 species of trees and flowering plants. The area is also a nature reserve so there is a host of wildlife to see too. Before heading back to the station, stop by the popular Wood House gastro pub. Sat at the top of Sydenham Hill, The Wood House is a lovely pub boasting a large outdoor kitchen and bar, and is the perfect stop to soak up the sun with a cold drink. (Image credit: visitlondon)
Brixton to Herne Hill
Start in the multi-cultural Brixton, wander through Windrush square – named to recognise the important contribution of the African Caribbean community to the area and only 5 minutes from the station. You can also catch a movie at the iconic Ritzy Picturehouse! A 10-minute walk from the square, Brockwell Park is a sprawling 50 acres of undulating green space. With wooded sections to floral beds and wide-open expanses, Brockwell Park is a great spot for walking, resting and soaking up the sunshine. Take a picnic and admire the city views or grab a bite to eat from the café at the top of the hill. This easy walk ends at Herne Hill which is located on the north side of the park, just a short distance from Herne Hill station.
Follow the great River Thames on this circular walk that starts from Gravesend Station which is serviced by our high speed line. Follow the river as you take in the scenery and nature at the pace you want. Visit the Cliffe Pools RSPB Nature Reserve which boasts a beautiful remote landscape where you can spot a whole host of wildlife, great for bird watching. Whilst you’re there check out Cliffe Fort, this majestic fort was built in the mid-nineteenth century as a defence against the invasion of London via the Thames estuary. If you fancy a nice beer garden then check out The Windmill Tavern in the local town, with a large garden with plenty of seating you’ll be sure to treat yourself to a nice meal and a drink before you head home.
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