<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Kent Life today click here

5 of the best romantic walks to experience in Kent

PUBLISHED: 11:47 19 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:50 19 February 2018

Enjoy a stroll around Knole’s 1,000-acre medieval deer park (photo: National Trust/Joe Hatcher)

Enjoy a stroll around Knole’s 1,000-acre medieval deer park (photo: National Trust/Joe Hatcher)

©National Trust Images/Jo Hatcher

Enjoy these five romantic walking spots in Kent, together they span our glorious county at its finest

1. Scotney Castle

Romance has long been in the air at this ruined 14th-century moated castle which sits on an island upon a lake. Edward Hussey III built the ‘new castle’ (a country house) and the surrounding landscape in the 19th century.

The last member of the Hussey family to live here was Christopher Hussey, who proposed to his wife-to-be, Betty (Wallis Simpson’s niece), in the castle gardens. After they wed in 1936, they inherited Scotney, where they lived until their deaths. This National Trust castle is surrounded by a vast estate, which encompasses 770 acres of ancient parkland and woods containing veteran trees. Explore the fairytale gardens, and enjoy the two-mile trail around the parkland.

Dogs: Welcome on a lead

Scotney Castle

2. Dungeness

One of the biggest shingle landscapes in the world, the Dungeness National Nature Reserve has an enchantingly rugged beauty.

This rare habitat of shingle ridges, built up over 5,000 years, attracts a wealth of wildlife and 600 species of plants; and has such low rainfall that some refer to it as the UK’s only desert. The flatness and size of the landscape creates a seductive sense of seclusion and freedom, and the echoing quality that amplifies sounds has an eerie magic.

Scan the skies for birds of prey, such as Peregrines, Merlins and Marsh harriers; and enjoy the sight of Bewick’s and Whooper swans. You can walk for miles, from the car park opposite the old lighthouse.

Dogs: Allowed on the wider NNR, but not the RSPB area.

Dungeness and Hastings

3. Knole

Stride around the 1,000-acre medieval deer park, before enjoying the showrooms of the house and discovering the romantic history of Knole. The writer and gardener Vita Sackville-West was born here in 1892 and married Harold Nicholson in the private chapel in 1913, before going on to have a series of affairs with women.

Vita dearly loved Knole, but was unable to inherit because it was entailed to the male line. The novel Orlando, Virginia Woolf’s literary dedication to her friend (and former lover) Vita, is in part inspired by Knole; Vita’s son Nigel Nicholson described it as ‘the longest and most charming love-letter in literature’. The original manuscript – inscribed ‘Vita, from Virginia’ – is kept in the house.

Dogs: Welcome on a lead, if they do not bark at the deer.

Walkers in the mist

4. Blean Woods

Enjoy peaceful trails of between 2-13km (1.25-8 miles) amid this RSPB-managed ancient woodland. During winter, keep eyes and ears alert for Goldcrests, Sparrowhawks, Treecreepers, and Long-tailed Tits.

As spring arrives, with it come the Nightingales – these small birds fly annually from Africa to breed in the UK; the male birds arrive first to build a nest, and then set about the business of luring a mate. They famously do this by singing at night (but they also sing during the day); the song is an enchanting series of high and low peels, warbles and rasps.

Nightjars also arrive in spring; these winged romantics are known for their long, mesmeric churring call, which the male birds sound at night to attract the females.

Dogs: Welcome on the White Trail.

Blean Woods

5. Chartwell

Winston Churchill lived here with his wife Clementine and their young family from 1922. Perhaps because of his struggles with depression, the couple were said to have had a very close, devoted relationship and he dearly loved this country home, which provided him with a family sanctum away from public life.

However, Churchill also liked to entertain and relished taking guests on tours of the gardens, most of which he and Clementine created. Explore the house and the studio (where a collection of Churchill’s own paintings are on display) then set off on walks around the estate.

There are several short circuits, but if you fancy a long stroll, there are 8 km (five-mile) and 9.6 km (six-mile) routes that link to Toys Hills.

Dogs: Welcome on leads.

214 kent Chartwell


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Kent Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Kent Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Kent Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Enjoy a delicious lunch after one of these countryside strolls. Kent Life suggests five great pub walks in Kent

Read more
Thursday, March 15, 2018

If you love a bit of birding, then you’ll be in seventh heaven on this walk that meanders through the sand dunes and salt marshes and rich habitats of the Sandwich bird observatory

Read more
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Can you distinguish your Colchesters from your Canterburys and your Margates from your Merseas? Take our quiz to test your knowledge of Essex and Kent!

Read more

Kent Wildlife Trust reflects on the real difference it has made to the natural environment and its impact on the lives of people in Kent in the past 60 years

Read more
March 2018

Centenary celebrations at the National Trust begin this spring with key moments in its history at Westerham and Small Hythe

Read more
March 2018

This town is lucky enough to have an historic castle, a pretty riverside setting, exciting annual events and an ever-increasing number of trendy eateries. It’s time for Tonbridge to show its true colours

Read more
March 2018 town guides

One of the ancient Cinque Ports, this medieval gem of a town is a real treat for history lovers, with plenty of family activities nearby too. Let’s take a generous bite out of life in Sandwich

Read more
March 2018

Let’s clean up our wonderful Kent coast and make 2018 fantastic by avoiding plastic

Read more
Monday, February 19, 2018

Enjoy these five romantic walking spots in Kent, together they span our glorious county at its finest

Read more
Monday, February 5, 2018

Treat your loved one to the gift of time together this year. Whether it’s a special day out, a romantic meal for two or an unforgettable overnight stay, here are a few suggestions to delight your other half

Read more
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Kent Life Food & Drink awards 2016. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Kent's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search