Those who live in Kent are fortunate to have a whole world of natural beauty on their doorstep - this county isn't called the Garden of England for nothing, after all!
Stretching across the south of the country, taking in glorious swathes of meadow and forest, Kent is a snapshot of old England, dotted by charming old market towns that ooze history and culture. Further down towards the south, an impeccable coastline stands tall over the British Channel, rising into chalky cliffs and diving down into sheltered bays and coves.
Kent is a walker's paradise, and to celebrate everything it has to offer, we've come up with a compelling list of some of the finest walks through the county.
Our first destination takes us down to the shorelines, down to the historic holiday town of Margate. Margate's illustrious history as a holiday town is on full show still but the real charm of this walk lies on the undulating cliffs that come to their apex at Botany Bay.
Part of the Viking Coast Trail, the best part about this easy-going route is that you can take in the views from the clifftops or wander the beaches closer to the water - the choice is entirely up to you.
Whichever path you take, you'll be sure to experience the majesty of the southern English coast, with the sweeping land giving way to golden sands that drop off at the horizon. There's six miles between Margate and Broadstairs and on a sunny day, there's plenty of opportunities to take a dip in the sea at any of the bays that are dotted along the way, such as Kingsgate Bay or Botany Bay. Keep an eye out for Stone Bay too with its charming painted beach huts.
An English country home with features dating back to the 16th century, Scotney Castle has remarkable buildings all set among gentle, Arcadian natural scenery. This scenery is where our next walk lies, a relaxed ramble along the footpaths and trails that take you through meadows and forests.
The parkland here is Grade I-listed, granting sublime views of the home itself and the farm buildings and mills that made up the industry here in times gone by. Many of the trees are centuries old, provide shelter between the grassy knolls in case of a quick British shower. The walk through the parklands is easy and manageable for both adults and children, and throughout the grounds there are ample places to stop of for a quick picnic or just to take in the tranquillity of this historic area.
As an aside, much of this land was used for producing hops, and hop production still continues to this day here, at Little Scotney Farm.
A gorgeous walk and one of the finest in England, the North Downs offers history and nature in equal measure. The full walk is an impressive 153 miles long, but for those of us who don't like embarking on an odyssey of a hike, there are plenty of towns and villages along the way to grab a bus or train back to our starting point.
With sun-dappled forests, tumbling valleys, and even chalky coastline and white beaches, this adventurous walk truly has a little something for everyone. You can start wherever you like, but the best way to plan your route is to pay a visit to the National Trails website, which has a full list of routes for all abilities. The official route is from Farnham to the White Cliffs of Dover, but wherever you end up, you'll get a full taste of the classic British beauty on offer, as well as the chance to visit no fewer than eight castles, three archbishop's palaces and a variety of stately homes.
A big part of this walk is the Pilgrim's Way to Canterbury, famously captured in Geoffrey Chaucer's iconic Cantebury Tales and the site of tens of thousands of pilgrimages through history.
For centuries, the White Cliffs of Dover have been one of Britain's greatest natural landmarks. Made from chalk, these pale cliffs stand guard over England's southern shoreline, watching over the blue-grey waters of the British Channel.
As it happens, they also make for a wonderful walking trail that tapers off from the aforementioned North Downs. Ambling through the meadows that lie on top of the cliffs gives the perfect opportunity to soak in the sea air and to keep an eye out for the sea life and birdlife that frequent this part of the coast.
Starting at the visitor centre, you can make your way across and down the Langdon Hole, a dip in the cliffs with a stairwell that curls down to the water. Once you're done here, you can continue along the cliff path to Fan Bay which can provide a respite from the sea breeze that blows along the chalk. Your final destination here is the South Foreland Lighthouse, with its own tearoom for a quick bite before you head back.
For those looking for a bit more of a challenge, the Elham Valley Way is a 22.5 mile route that takes you through some of Kent's most attractive in-land scenery. Starting at Canterbury, this hiking trail wends its way down through fields of poppies and ancient forests to Hythe, a picture-perfect coastal town with glorious views across the sea.
If you time your walk on this route just right, you'll be treated to a kaleidoscope of floral beauty, with British classics like bluebells and wild garlic all unfurling to lighten up your hike. By autumn, the trees turn to gold and your way is carpeted by fallen leaves, granting a fairy tale feel to this remarkable corner of the British Isles. Dotted along the route are farmhouses and villages, many with buildings dating as far back as the 17th century for you to discover as you amble.
Hythe itself has a wealth of attractions and delights to discover, including the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, the Royal Military Canal and the remains of two castles at Saltwood and Lympne.