1. Folkstone to Sandgate
Your starting point for this walk is the famous Smokehouse by the harbour in Folkestone where you can tuck into some battered cod, hand-cut chips and fresh mushy peas. This is a real seaside treat that’ll give you enough fuel for the trek ahead. When you’re ready to go, take the boardwalk path along to the Lower Leas Coastal Park. This area has been awarded a Green Flag, meaning it’s one of the best green spaces in the country. From the park, walk along the coast to Sandgate until you reach the castle. There are a few lovely restaurants here too if you want to complete the walk before grabbing a bite to eat.
2. Walmer Castle to Sandown Castle
Built during the reign of King Henry VIII and perched on the picturesque Kent coastline, Walmer Castle is a popular and fascinating tourist attraction – so this walk can also start with a spot of sightseeing. When you’ve finished playing at kings queens with the kids, you can take the coastal path to Walmer Green. Continue further down the coast until you reach Deal and then Sandown. Little remains of Sandown Castle, but it was originally built as an artillery fort by King Henry VIII to protect the northern end of the Downs. You can check out the ruins before heading back on yourself for an extended route.
3. Margate to Broadstairs
Whether you’re glamping on Kent’s coast or simply visiting for the day, there are many ways to enjoy the sea air. A walk from Margate to Broadstairs, for example, is a great way to blow away the cobwebs and get your heart pumping. You’ll also be walking in the steps of Charles Dickens, who used to take regular trips to Kent.
Your route for this walk starts at the Turner Contemporary gallery by the Margate harbour. This is a top tourist attraction, so you might want to leave time to explore some contemporary art first. From the museum, head for the old town, passing through Duke Street, Love Lane, Market Place, and New Cross Street to Hawley Square.
You’ll then want to follow Church Street, then St Peter’s Footpath past Draper’s Windmill, crossing the railway line. Continue toward the Church of St Peter’s-in-Thanet and walk through the churchyard onto the High Street and St Peter’s Road. Here you’ll find some interesting Dickens mosaics. Continue to Crampton Tower and onto the Broadstairs seafront where you will discover the Dickens House Museum.
4. The White Cliffs of Dover
If you’re looking for things to do in Kent, exploring the White Cliffs of Dover is a must. As one of the most iconic landmarks in the UK, the white cliffs are a symbol of hope and wartime defence, with their chalky and flint-streaked appearance being a visual masterpiece. Walking from the edge of Dover to the lighthouse at South Foreland over the chalk clifftops will take you on a four-mile there-and-back walk. En route, you’ll see many fascinating remnants of wartime Britain, including Landon Hole, part of an underground system with a radio command centre, and gun emplacements. While you won’t be stepping foot on the sand, this walk offers exquisite coastal views.
5. Whitstable to Herne Bay
If you’ve never tried cockles and whelks before and fancy checking out some of Kent’s best seafood, don’t miss a trip to the picturesque town of Whitstable. From here, you can enjoy an easy, five-mile walk to Herne Bay using a section of the Saxon Shore Way. The route starts by Whitstable Harbour which is flanked by attractive shingle/sandy beaches. From the harbour, head east past Tankerton Beach with its row of colourful beach huts, and continue past Hampton Pier before reaching Herne Bay Pier. Here, you’ll find an award-winning seafront and a stunning Victorian bandstand as well as gardens, amusement arcades and plenty of play areas for children. As a traditional seaside location, Herne Bay never disappoints.
Coastal walks in Kent are truly delightful and a great way to explore the area’s most natural landscapes. So, why not grab your walking shoes, camera and raincoat (just in case) and enjoy a day out to remember?