Kent Downs and coast walking holiday

Description of Kent Downs and coast walking holiday

A short walking break which includes the White Cliffs of Dover. The walks combine unspoilt rolling green hills, ancient villages and breathtaking coastal landscapes, with considerable historical and literary interest. Flexible routes allow time for visiting the many places of interest in the area and, in the summer months, for swimming on the nearby beach.

Our aim, is to make your short walking break as memorable as possible in countryside you will never forget, combining fresh air with exercise, tranquility and beauty, and insight into this area’s history and culture. Our carefully-crafted walks will leave you refreshed, relaxed and restored.

Our clients return year after year to this destination, and they always have a wonderful time.


• expertly-crafted self-guided walks in some of Kent’s most beautiful downland
• peace of mind knowing that routes have been thoroughly researched by the founders of the company, and tested by numerous walkers, so you can be sure you will not get lost! We include a marked-up Ordnance Survey map in your pack with a waterproof map case
• routes through tranquil and beautiful scenery, well away from the crowds
• printed commentaries highlighting features of special interest to provide insight into the area’s history, culture and natural environment
• the freedom to walk at your own pace, linger as long as you like over lunch, visit places of interest on the way
• a stylish and comfortable hotel
• excellent food with good country pubs for lunch
• an enhanced sense of well-being following a few revitalising days of peace, fresh air, exercise, scenic beauty and close contact with nature. You will return home feeling refreshed, relaxed and restored

What to Expect

Grading of Walks: the routes are suitable for anyone of average fitness, able to walk between 4 and 9 miles for between 2 and 4 hours with a break for lunch. The walks are organised in two loops so that you have the choice of walking only in the morning or afternoon or all day; the choice is yours.

Accommodation: The White Cliffs Hotel, St Margaret’s-at-Cliffe. The White Cliffs Hotel, originally an historic Kentish weather-boarded inn, nestles in the heart of St Margaret’s village, a short distance from the sea and 4 miles North-East of Dover. The restaurant has been awarded an AA rosette for its cuisine and the hotel is recommended by Johansens, Best Loved and Alastair Sawday. It has a stylish contemporary relaxed feel and in the summer months you will be able to relax in the sun in the rose-filled walled garden. You can enjoy the spa facilities at Wallett’s Court (1 mile away): indoor pool, sauna, steam room.

Travel Information

By rail: From London Victoria to Dover Priory, one train an hour (journey time 1 hour, 34 minutes) or two trains an hour from London Charing Cross to Dover Priory (journey time 1 hour 50 minutes) with onward travel by taxi (4 miles).

By road: Total mileage from central London: 76 miles (1.45 hours). Ample car parking at the hotel.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Arrival, a read of your walking notes followed by dinner in the hotel’s acclaimed and award-winning Bay Restaurant.
Day 2:The Vale of Elham awaits you, one of the loveliest of vales, set in the unspoilt East Kent hills, an area of outstanding beauty with sweeping downland slopes and extensive views. Here we have centred our two loop walks around the delightful downland village of Elham itself, lined with wonderful old timber-framed buildings; this enables you to lunch at a remarkable 15th C Inn, once the HQ of the Duke of Wellington and a refuge for King Charles II. The first 4-mile loop takes you to the east of the village through a landscape that is shallow, green and gentle, the Nailbourne stream intermittently flowing through it. Then, after an excellent lunch you can if you wish continue walking to explore the western side of the valley with its coombes, ancient hamlets and farmsteads and little valleys moulded from the downs themselves. Finish with a walk around the village itself, perhaps visiting the church or enjoying a cream tea at the teashop. (8 miles; Easy)
Day 3:The White Cliffs of Dover, gateway to England, an iconic image maybe, but did you know that this heritage coastline has some of the best coastal cliff walking imaginable? In summer you can see clouds of butterflies dancing over a multi-coloured carpet of flowers while skylarks sing overhead and Exmoor ponies graze freely. You’ll see the distant port of Dover and a seascape dotted with ferries, cargo ships, fishing boats, pleasure craft and, on the horizon, you can even see France, only 21 miles away! Visit the lighthouse for more spectacular views, perhaps stop at the Bluebird Cafe for refreshment. And there’s more to come: the beautiful Pines Garden complete with lakes and waterfalls, a fascinating little museum and poignant Dover Patrol Memorial. An ancient church, the homes of Noel Coward and Ian Fleming - all packed into this one wonderful day out. These walks are also arranged as two loops, both starting from St Margaret’s, providing an option if required to walk just one loop. (9 miles; easy)

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Kent Downs and coast walking holiday


Walking is the least carbon intensive way to travel and ensures that the environmental impact of our walking clients is kept to a minimum. Where it is necessary to travel by means other than on foot, we encourage the use of public transport; if that is unavailable we recommend local transport companies to reach the start of the walk. We aim to balance the environmental impact of travelling with the benefits that sustainable tourism brings to the local rural economy. We accommodate our walkers in a small hotel which is family run and central to the life of the village. They employ local people and prepare meals from locally grown produce as far as possible.

In our small home office we recycle paper, cardboard, ink cartridges and printed material. We purchase recycled printer cartridges, paper, envelopes, labels, pens, toilet tissue, bin liners. We turn off printers, photocopiers, computers, battery chargers and transformers at the end of each day and avoid ‘screen savers’, use energy-efficient bulbs and low-energy appliances. We cut CO2 emissions by keeping thermostats at the lowest comfortable setting. We do not use tumble dryers nor take disposable plastic bottles to the countryside, instead promoting the use of water bottles manufactured by companies like Sigg.

We keep our customers informed electronically via email, electronic newsletters and our website. We encourage clients to remit their payments electronically via PayPal or by bank transfer.


We endeavour to balance the environmental impact of travelling with the benefits that sustainable tourism brings to the local economy. In choosing to lunch at local restaurants we are patronising establishments which employ staff from the local rural community.

We choose the best walks available and one does not start directly from the hotel. Therefore provision has to be made to transport people to and from the start of the walks. To achieve this we employ local minibus and taxi companies. Over the years we bring repeat business to them.

Bringing people to a new region, arranging their accommodation and food, transporting them from place to place, walking the ancient footpaths, visiting their pubs and teaching through carefully-researched commentaries something about the area’s rich history, culture and folk law, has the effect of giving people a sense of community with the place. People often return on their own or with friends, visit the same pubs and renew their sense of being at one with the beautiful local countryside.


This carefully-researched and crafted walking holiday in a special landscape of the UK, promotes appreciation, respect and enjoyment of the countryside through informative commentaries. These commentaries relate to history, rural life and traditions, flora and fauna, geology and literature.

We walk in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We describe the views to be seen from the high points and our walkers always enjoy seeing the distant route they took earlier in the walk. We always explain something of the history of the area we are visiting and introduce into the walks topics of a literary nature such as poems, references to writers associated with an area and examples of the soothing power of nature.

We share knowledge about features of architectural interest and geological interest. For example, we may explain about the chalk downland turf or archeological features such as barrows and earthworks and explain how the land we see today has been shaped by the past. Or we may explain about a national trail, its history and its significance today. We include references to the economic importance of, for example, chalk, hardwood, coppices.

2 Reviews of Kent Downs and coast walking holiday

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 21 Feb 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The coastal path (Dover - Sandwich in our package) offers spectacular views of sea and countryside, whatever the weather, and serves up little gems of both recent and ancient history along the way.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Ensure that you will have enough time to take in all the scenery and explore the historical sites. There are many very good local shops, cafes, restaurants (eg Whits of Walmer, the Cliffe) and pubs as well. Our tour operator organised our package perfectly. Lenox House B&B was very welcoming, comfortable, and friendly and is excellently located to explore the area.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Choosing a local B&B, local shops, bakeries, and restaurants certainly benefitted the local economy. Keeping to designated walking paths, respecting nature when walking, and staying local to reduce mileage driven contributed something, we hope, to minimising environmental impact.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We were very happy with our walking holiday. Even with the rain, the countryside and coastline remained beautiful. The walks were well-measured, in terms of distances, point of interest, and types of countryside to be seen. The country paths were well tended and well marked. The walking guides provided were up to date, so recourse to the maps wasn't really necessary - except out of habit and curiosity. All the other aspects of the package (incl. accommodation, taxi transfer) were excellent as well. We will certainly recommend Responsible Travel and our tour operator to friends who are thinking of similar holiday breaks.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you so much for your review David. We are delighted to know that you and your family had such a good time on the Kent Coast and thank you for your recommendations. It was a pleasure working with you and we send you and your family our best wishes.

Reviewed on 02 Oct 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The Cotswolds are beautiful!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Read the map carefully, bring a compass

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, restaurants, local brews (i.e. beer) are tasty

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Very good holiday, hope to return and do more.

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