6 of the most romantic walks in Kent
PUBLISHED: 12:29 13 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:29 13 February 2017
© National Trust Images/John Miller
Take it easy with one of our winter walks or trips to the seaside
Walk the White Cliffs of Dover
For many of us, nothing represents Kent quite like the famous White Cliffs of Dover. Cared for by the National Trust, the magnificent chalk cliffs have plenty of footpaths and even on the coldest day there is a romantic feel. Stroll out to South Foreland Lighthouse and on clear days you may even see France across the Channel. After your bracing walk, pop into the Trust’s visitor centre for a hot drink and watch the boats go in and out of the harbour.
Make your way to Margate
Thanks to the superb Turner Contemporary art gallery and some much-needed regeneration in the old town, a day trip to Margate is a real treat. There are some reliable old favourites – a walk on the sandy beach, a coffee on the seafront and a game in the arcades – but also some incredibly trendy new independent shops and many cool and quirky restaurants to choose from. Enjoy Dreamland’s vintage fairground rides and explore the mysterious Shell Grotto, an underground passageway with around 4.6 million shells in its walls.
Explore Bedgebury Forest
Couples with a love of the outdoors could head to Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest near Goudhurst. Set in an evergreen forest, with miles of paths for walking, trails for cycling and even a Go Ape! climbing adventure area, there is certainly plenty to do. If you haven’t got a bike or you don’t feel like bringing yours with you, hire one from the on-site Quench Cycles. And when you’ve had enough fresh air, pop into the lakeside café for a coffee and a warming meal.
Unwind in Whitstable
Whitstable is an old favourite when it comes to romantic days out. Think bracing winter walks beside the sea, cosy cafés and eclectic shopping. And of course Whitstable is famous for oysters, so treat your partner to some fresh seafood at one of the local stalls or at one of the excellent local restaurants, such as the Royal Native Oyster Stores and Wheeler’s Oyster Bar. For the more energetic, walk or ride your bikes along the Oyster Bay Trail, from Whitstable to Herne Bay.
Wander around Bewl
A long walk in February can be a rewarding, if chilly, affair. With its new facilities and improved paths, Bewl Water offers a 12-and-a-half mile route around the reservoir year-round but you don’t have to do the whole thing. There’s also the option of gliding across the water on the new Bewl Belle water taxi and walking back. After your walk or cycle, go for a snack in the café or a delicious meal in the new Boat House Bistro.
For somewhere completely different, there is nothing that quite matches a walk in Dungeness. With a very alien feel to its windswept landscape, it is perhaps not everyone’s first port of call for a spot of romance. But a visit to this promontory, where our green county seems to disintegrate into what has been called England’s only desert, is an intense experience. The nature reserve here, in the shadow of a power station, is extraordinary, with rare plants and birds at every turn. One of the largest expanses of shingle in the world, this unique place is a favourite with walkers and photographers.