Local Area Information


Kent has a natural advantage with two areas of outstanding natural beauty covering a third of the county.

Unwind, in the Kent Downs. Covering 878 sq km - nearly a quarter of the county - from the chalky White Cliffs of Dover to the London and Surrey borders, this nationally important landscape is alive with flowers, rare orchids and butterflies. And those wide, open views really liberate mind and soul.

Discover the open, dramatic landscape of Romney Marsh and don’t forget the iconic White Cliffs countryside. Explore the historic landscape of the High Weald, the other Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with it's rolling hills and flower meadows.

The landscape of East Kent is wonderfully diverse one, rich in its arable land, fruit growing, horticulture and wildlife. Natural East Kent (NEK) is a long term initiative to support the sustainable regeneration of rural and coastal East Kent communities through the area’s natural environment and heritage.

And there are so many activities to blow away the cobwebs from walking, cycling and horse riding that there is nothing quite like exploring outdoor Kent.

Country Parks & Nature Reserves

Sometimes the most revitalising activity is simply to let time drift by. Flying a kite, pausing to notice the many aromas of wild flowers and the cheeky antics of birds, sitting with a picnic in a bluebell wood - stock up with scrumptious bread, cheese, preserves and fruit at the county’s farmers’ markets. There’s ample opportunity for all of these activities at 80 country parks, picnic sites and nature reserves across Kent.


Surprisingly, Kent offers you more ancient woodlands to explore than anywhere else - a stirring glimpse of what the original wildwood could have been like that covered the UK after the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago. The Blean, near Faversham, embraces the largest ancient woodlands in the southeast, including mature oak. Have your binoculars ready to spot birds aplenty from sparrowhawks to mallards.

The mixed woodland at Oldbury Hill features a mysterious Iron Age fort, while in 40-acre Wildwood, Herne Bay, you can play I-spy for 50 different species of creatures from otters to beavers. Or try counting the 10,000-plus tree specimens at Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest, near Goudhurst, the finest collection of conifers in the world. The trees, amid lakes and valleys, entice with all-season beauty and in winter become a veritable wonderland.

Take the time to enjoy one of nature’s most spectacular spring scenes - Kent’s May bluebells. There are lots of locations around the county where you can admire beautiful displays of the flowers. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for creatures great and small - Kent's woodland is home to a vast array of wildlife.

Kent Country Breaks

Rural Kent offers a wealth of activities to anyone who wants to visit and stay in the beautiful countryside. Whether you are looking for gentle strolls around pretty villages, energetic cycle rides or horse riding through beautiful open countryside; there really is something for everyone. For holiday ideas or inspiration for days out, visit the Rural Ways website.

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