- Nearest national cycle network
- The Kent Downs is the only protected landscape that extends into Greater London
- The National Fruit Collection at Brogdale, Faversham, is the largest living museum of orchard fruits grown on one site in the world
- One for James Bond fans – part of Moonraker is set in and around St. Margaret’s Bay and Kingsdown, near Dover
- The protected Roman Snail – also known as the Apple Snail – is our largest snail and can live up to 20 years. It can be found in the Kent Downs but nowhere else in Kent
- Churchill’s much-loved family home in the Kent Downs was Chartwell, now managed by the National Trust
- Jane Austen often stayed with her brother at Godmersham Park and would visit friends at nearby Chilham Castle; it is said that her novel Mansfield Park depicts characters and scenes from the village
- Belmont, near Faversham, houses the finest collection of clocks in England
- Ian Fleming also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, inspired by the racing cars built and raced by Count Louis Zborowski who lived at High Park in Bridge, near Canterbury
A word from the Kent Downs
The rolling farmland and ancient woodland of the Kent Downs has masses to offer. ‘Down in Kent’ really resonates as you head deeper and deeper into this rural landscape rich in wildlife and stunning views. Farming here is thriving, and the undulating landscape is covered in orchards, hedgerows and bluebell woods and some of the richest arrays of orchids and other chalk-loving plants in the country.
The North Downs Way and ancient Pilgrims Way follow this chalk backbone, passing through ancient villages and even the prehistoric Medway Megaliths – you can literally walk back in time!
From pilgrims to hoppers to the White Cliffs of Dover, this has been a thriving place throughout history, whose beauty was said to have inspired many artists and poets. Could Henry Moore’s gently rounded sculpture have been inspired by the view from his window?The great news is that these beautiful natural areas and lovely villages are accessible by a network of footpaths and bridleways, allowing you access into the heart of the countryside. Why not discover the brand new cycle routes? You can now travel on two wheels through Jane Austen country along the beautiful Stour Valley and find yourself in historic Canterbury. What more could you want? Oh yes – there are also plenty of fine pubs and hostelries serving delicious Kentish food and beer along the way! This guide has
Nick Johannsen, Director, Kent Downs Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty
This guide has been created as part of the PROXIMITY initiative, which is made possible by European funding through Interreg Two Seas Interreg Cluster
Videos of features in the Kent Downs
Kent Downs Landscapes
White Cliffs of Dover
Shorne Woods Country Park
Kent Downs AONB, England
Photos. Carousel: Diana Jarvis/Greentraveller. Cliffs photos: Kent Downs AONB. Small photos: all Diana Jarvis/Greentraveller, except places to stay photo: Harriet O'Brien/Greentraveller. Map supplied by the Kent Downs AONB.