© National Trust

Wonderful Walking Itineraries

© Explore Kent

Wonderful Walking Itineraries

Best Foot Forward

White Cliffs Country has amazing paths and trails to explore on foot. From the long-distance England Coast Path, North Downs Way and Stour Valley Way, to shorter trails such as the Miners' Way Trail, Bluebird Heritage Trail and Chalk and Channel Way - there really is something for everyone, from the serious rambler to those who prefer things at a more leisurely pace.

Covering 123 square miles and with 20 miles of coastline and beaches, White Cliffs Country offers you the space you crave to explore the great outdoors. 22% of the entire region is designated as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AoNB)’ and 3% of this is designated as Heritage Coast.

Have a look at some ideas for great walking here and feel inspired to plan adventures on foot in White Cliffs Country. Why not mix and match your own itinerary?

  • Great places to start your adventure

    Dover

    With its wealth of history and heritage, Dover greets millions of visitors each year. Enjoy exhilarating cliff top walks on the world-famous White Cliffs of Dover, explore 2000 years of history at Dover Castle or discover the oldest known sea-going vessel, the Bronze Age Boat, exhibited at Dover Museum.

    Start your journey at the Western Heights Nature reserve where you can follow three circular footpaths. The views from the top of the cliffs are breath-taking as you look out on Dover Marina and explore the exterior of the Drop Redoubt. Once complete, follow the footpath down  towards the harbour and stop of at one of the restaurants or cafés for something to eat. The promenade was redesigned and transformed by architects Tonkin Liu and represents sculptural waves. For the walking enthusiast, you can follow signs for the England Coast path up to the National Trust White Cliffs of Dover. From here you can admire the amazing views over the English Channel and continue along the cliffs towards South Foreland Lighthouse and the idyllic village of St Margaret's.  

    Deal

    Why not start the day with a coffee and breakfast from Deal Pier Kitchen? The walk to the end of the pier is special, with great views and a chance to admire the architecture from the end. Very close to Deal Pier is the Timeball Tower, which has interactive displays covering three centuries of signalling, in the fight against smuggling.

    Start your walk and follow the signs along the promenade until you reach Deal Castle. Built by the order of King Henry VIII, Deal Castle is one of the finest Tudor artillery castles in England. A 15 minute and easy walk, takes in the unspoiled seafront, passing another of Henry VIII's artillery fortresses, which later became a stately home for the Lord Wardens of the Cinque Ports. Walmer Castle and Gardens was the former residence of the Iron Duke of Wellington and later of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. You can enjoy lunch overlooking the sea or in their Glasshouse café in the tranquil gardens. A short 10 minute walk leads you to the lovely village of Kingsdown, which is the perfect place to enjoy a great pub lunch.   

    Sandwich

    Once a bustling and prosperous port, Sandwich is now said to be ‘one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in Britain’ and one of the famous Cinque Ports, which were grouped together by Edward the Confessor, for defence purposes. In fact, its street plan hasn’t changed much at all since the Domesday Book was commissioned!

    Follow the town's Historic Trail and start your journey at the 15th Century Guildhall Museum and discover Sandwich's rich history dating back to the Neolithic period. Based in the heart of the town, the museum houses treasures such as the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest. The trail takes in quiet and unspoilt streets, where there are more half-timbered buildings than any other street in England.

    Sandwich's fascinating history continues to unfold with locations like 'The Butts', once used in medieval times as a place to practice archery and 'Gallows Field', a place of execution up until the 1790's.

    Much of the trail follows the tranquil River Stour, which is also home to the River Bus and P22 Gunboat. From the quayside you can follow the trail onto Sandwich Bay or continue along the Rope Walk and head towards Richborough Roman Fort, one of the most symbolically important Roman sites in Britain.  

    Stop in one of the many pubs in Sandwich to grab a drink or a light bite, or enjoy a delicious meal in one of the town’s many restaurants.

    Villages

    White Cliffs Country is dotted with ancient villages - many with beautiful old churches, half-timbered houses and other monuments, which stand to remind us of the remarkable history of this corner of England. To make the most of your visit, there is a downloadable leaflet and Historic Village Information Panels which are usually sited somewhere near the middle of the village.

  • Discover other great trails and walks

    Boost your health and fitness in the great outdoors, breathe fresh coastal air and experience the peace and harmony of the natural environment – here 22% of the entire region is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). White Cliffs Country has its own micro-climate and is one of the warmest and driest climates in the UK. What’s not to love about walking?

    Trails and paths

    For more information on self-guided and guided walks in White Cliffs Country visit www.whitecliffscountry.org.uk/things-to-do/walking.

    Browse our website and find further information on places to stay, places to eat and drink and things to do during your visit.

    Accompanying literature

    Deal Historic Village Trail

    Dover Historic Village Trail

    Sandwich Historic Village Trail

    Days Out map/guide

    Walking and Cycling map/guide

    Explore Kent have an extensive website with a choice of over 400 walks, rides, open spaces and events. To find out more visit www.explorekent.org.

  • Getting around

    Walking is a great way to explore this unique and famous corner of England - home to the majestic White Cliffs of Dover and some of the country’s most amazing historic sites.

    Whether you are looking for a simple weekend walk or the chance to scale a long-distance route, we have some of the most unrivalled views along with great places to stay, eat and drink.

    Why not leave the car behind and make use of public transport options during your trip to White Cliffs Country?

    Trains www.nationalrail.co.uk

    Buses www.stagecoachbus.com

    Kent Connected www.kentconnected.org

    Maps

    Make the most of the area and purchase a detailed map and guidebooks:

    OS Explorer 150

    OS Landranger 179