Autumn is a truly stunning season as we watch the leaves turn from green to golden yellow and red. As Government guidelines continue to encourage us to stay apart, where better to do this than across some of Kent and Sussex’s most secluded beauty spots.
Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside!
For some of us, when we think of Dungeness, we tend to think of the power stations. But the humble fishing town offers so much more than that, particularly if bird watching is your thing. The Dungeness National Nature Reserve hosts a rich and diverse wildlife in one of the largest shingle landscapes in the world. The populations of plants and animals living at Dungeness are rare, treasured, and delicate. We strongly recommend a visit.
Sandwich Bay is also perfect for those looking for a long, secluded walk. The estate is private, so you’ll need to pay to get in, but the views are awesome and well worth it, especially if you invest in a yearly pass. Dogs are also welcome.
Another beautiful yet little-known spot is Kingsdown, Dover. The area is relatively undeveloped, so ideal to get away from it all. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could take a walk to Deal or St Margaret’s Bay.
Over in East Sussex, Cuckmere Haven Beach, Seaford is a lovely quiet pebble beach which sits at the mouth of the rambling Cuckmere River. This beautiful spot has been used as a location in numerous films including Harry Potter and Robin Hood.
If you go down in the woods today
For those who prefer a wander in the woods, we’re lucky to have such a wide selection on our doorstep across Kent and Sussex. Blean Woods, Canterbury, for example, boasts 1,257 acres of beautiful woodland, and if you’re lucky, you might get to see a few nightingales on one of the many trails.
Meanwhile, Hemsted Forest, Benenden is a great spot for walkers, horse riders and cyclists alike. With approximately 5 miles of hard surface road, it won’t disappoint whatever the weather, and you’ll have plenty of space to social distance, even on a busy day.
Bexhill has one of the few surviving examples of traditional coppiced woodlands left in East Sussex, set in the 87 acres of Highwoods, Bexhill. Highwoods is perfect for pond dipping and tree climbing, so is a real winner with the kids.
Bedgebury Pinetum and Forest, Goudhurst is the perfect day out for the whole family. With numerous play areas and bicycle trails, there really is something for everyone. Despite being a popular destination, with over 12,000 trees almost 2,600 acres to explore, there are plenty of isolated spots to find.
For the perfect weekend ramble, why not visit the village of Adisham, Canterbury. This North Downs Way walk is sure to thrill. Set on the edge of the old coal mining area, you’ll enjoy peaceful woodlands and the stunning views over Barham downs. Loose Village, Maidstone, is known for its beautiful stream and its extraordinary central causeway. There are some quiet walks to discover from here and the kids will love a paddle.
Stepping back in time
If you’re keen to remain outside, but would still love to visit some of your favourite heritage sites, Kent and Sussex has plenty to offer. Knole Park, Sevenoaks is home to the only remaining deer park in Kent, while Emmetts Garden, Sevenoaks, is a heaven for mushroom lovers – just be careful not to touch!
Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Sissinghurst, will be hosting several events this Autumn and Winter, although you can avoid the crowds by exploring the lakes and woodlands beyond the manicured estate. Beautiful countryside trails also surround the historic house, Chartwell, Westerham that used to be home to Sir Winston Churchill.
Scotney Castle, Tunbridge Wells is the ideal place to visit in Autumn. The medieval estate boasts 700 acres of seasonal walks. Meanwhile, Sheffield Park and Garden, Haywards Heath, comprises several acres of beautiful landscaped gardens bordered by historic parkland and woodland.
“Staying apart, together” will continue to be the mantra this Autumn and Winter, so wrap up warm and get ready to explore all the wonders the Garden of England has to enjoy. (Don’t forget that many of the locations mentioned above may still require you to pre-book.)