Great places to start your adventure
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.
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 3 centuries of signalling 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 unspoilt 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.
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.
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, breath fresh coastal air and help protect the 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
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.
Visit our website for further information, including places to stay, eat, drink and things to do during your visit.
Deal Historic Village Trail
Dover Historic Village Trail
Sandwich Historic Village Trail
Days Out map/guide
Walking and Cycling map/guide