The Kent Downs are well served by an extensive network of Public Rights of Way and permissive access routes – offering a variety of walks for everyone. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll discover when you leave the roads behind.
How to find information on walks
Explore Kent is a terrific resource where you can download circular routes, find guided walks, build your own walk and order walking guides through the online shop. Ideas for days out, information on parks and nature reserves, as well as easy access routes and sites, can be found here.
The North Downs Way is a national trail (142 miles, 227.2 km) starting at Farnham in Surrey and finishing at Dover, which takes in some of the finest aspects of the Kent Downs. When not on top of the scarp, the trail follows the Pilgrims Way - the legendary route that may have been used by Pilgrims on their way to Canterbury. There are many cicrcular walks accessible from the trail and local railway stations, helping you to discover the local landscape, heritage and history of our downland villages.
The Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership has produced a series of leaflets called Train Rides to Ramble, featuring circular walks from downland railway stations such as Wye, Chilham and Charing. You can purchase these booklets through Explore Kent.
The White Cliffs Countryside Partnership has produced a wide range of walking leaflets including the Royal Military Canal, the Magic of Romney Marsh and the Dover Walks Pack. For information on these and many other nature trails and heritage walks in the White Cliffs area, follow the link to their website.
Faversham Food Trails
Each circular walk is studded with great local food and drink offers. The Faversham Food Trails showcase the best of local Kent produce. Walking in Faversham, near Canterbury and Whitstable, promises enjoyment and fun for everyone. Select route information, view an outline map, find out more about them on Facebook and Twitter, try geocaching, download education packs or request information on offers and products.
Ramblers' Groups in Kent
Kent Ramblers offer a full programme of led walks and new members are always very welcome. There are lots of walks to choose from. Whether you like short walks or long walks or would like information on getting started, they can help you. Regular walks are intended mainly for members, but you are welcome to join a Group for two or three walks on a trial basis. As a member you can walk with any Group in Kent or the rest of Britain. There are a team of volunteers monitoring the condition of footpaths and reporting any obstructions. They work with Kent County Council and the neighbouring Local Authorities on rights of way and countryside matters.
Public Rights of Way
Public Rights of Way are paths for walkers, cyclists and horseriders. Like a public road, a public right of way is a highway which anybody may use at any time. Public Rights of Way are maintained and administered by Kent County Council's Public Rights of Way Office. There are four categories of Public Right of Way: footpaths, bridleways, Byways Open to All Traffic (BOAT) and restricted byways. To find out more, who to contact and to report a problem visit their website
The following Ordnance Survey maps cover the Kent Downs AONB:
Explorer Series, scale 1:25,000
Explorer 137 – Ashford
Explorer 138 – Dover, Folkestone & Hythe
Explorer 147 – Sevenoaks & Tonbridge
Explorer 148 – Maidstone and the Medway Towns
Explorer 149 – Sittingbourne and Faversham
Explorer 150 – Canterbury and Isle of Thanet
Explorer 163 – Gravesend & Rochester