These wonderful walks will soon have you back at one with nature
The Hoo peninsula in north Kent is a fascinating area, full of wildlife, and is part of the newest section of the England Coast Path joining Grain and Woolwich on a 49 mile (79km) stretch. Arrive into Gillingham, Chatham or Rochester by train and take the bus eastwards to the Isle of Grain. From the village of Grain, head west and enjoy stunning views across the merging of the Thames and Medway rivers and at low tide see an abundance of birds on the mudflats, sea clover in the grasslands and the occasional seal!
Samphire Hoe is a 30-hectare nature reserve featuring hundreds of bird species, butterflies and plants. Explore the many pathways and enjoy spectacular views of the White Cliffs and across the English Channel. Samphire Hoe is accessible by the train to Dover Priory and the 61 bus to Aycliffe, then on foot.
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!
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.
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)
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.