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Winter Walks

Mary Sewell
13th January 2023

You don't have to be an experienced rambler to enjoy the benefits of walking!

If you’re keen to get out and explore the great outdoors, Medway has some wonderful landscapes, features and open spaces for avid walkers and adventurous families.

This blog features a selection of countryside parks and nature reserves that are enjoyable to visit all year. You don't have to be an experienced rambler to enjoy the benefits of walking and to help to dust off the cobwebs.

Capstone Farm Country Park

Capstone Farm Country Park

Capstone Farm Country Park is one of Medway's finest green spaces, offering wonderful opportunities for walking, running, cycling and much more. As you walk around the former farmland on the North Downs, you feel a million miles from the nearby urban areas of Medway.

The park has children’s play areas, marked trim trails, mountain bike tracks, bridal ways and a network of footpaths, as well as a café and a fishing lake. It’s packed with ancient woodland, old orchards, meadows and hedgerows.

Winners of the Green Flag Award 2021/22.

Riverside Country Park

Riverside is one of Medway's beautiful country parks and an ideal location for a walk, run or cycle.

The park covers 100 hectares alongside the Medway Estuary, including Motney Hill and Berengrave Local Nature Reserve.

There are various habitats within the park, including mudflats and salt marsh, ponds and reed-beds, grassland and scrub, which provide a haven for wildlife.

The estuary has special protection as part of the Medway Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is internationally important for wintering birds that thrive on the mudflats. The salt marshes have a specialised ecology and act as high tide roost sites.

Winners of Green Flag Award 2021/22

Riverside Country Park

Northward Hill Reserve

RSPB Northward Hill Reserve

Medway and its marshlands are an important area for birds and attracts visiting bird watching enthusiasts keen to observe heron, marsh harriers, lapwing, little egrets, nightingales and more. 

The wood has the largest heronry in the UK, with more than 150 pairs of grey heron nesting in the treetops and almost 50 pairs of little egrets.

The reserve overlooking the Thames Estuary is a working farm with cows and sheep, surrounded by scrubland that's rich in nightingales and whitethroats. There's also a lovely bluebell wood and a large rookery.

Nashenden Down

If stunning views are your thing, Kent Wildlife Trust’s Nashenden Down reserve near Borstal won’t disappoint.

Just look how happy these four-legged visitors are in its 55 hectares of former arable land that is now bustling with nature, wild flowers and grazing animals.

The site is free to access and includes a 3.5km marked circular walk. It can be reached via the North Downs Way footpath.

Nashenden Down

Saxon Shore Way - Way Finder

Hoo Peninsula – North Kent Marshes/Saxon Shore Way

Enjoy a walk in the North Kent Marshes that inspired Charles Dickens, one of the most important natural wetlands in northern Europe.

Sandwiched between the Thames and the Medway, Hoo has long been a strategic location for defence, and walkers can explore its de-commissioned power stations and derelict military forts, as well as its marshlands rich in wildlife.

On Discover Britain’s short walk from the village of Upnor, you can explore the changing face of the river and its marshlands that also attracted painters including Turner and Hogarth. Or why not see Explore Kent's guide for a Hoo Peninsula Walk. Alternatively explore more of the Saxon Shore Way, which runs through Medway's marshland on its ancient route from Gravesend to East Sussex.

Ranscombe Farm Reserve

Whether it be enjoying carpets of bluebells in the spring, summer picnics in a sun-filled glade, or autumn walks in misty woodland, Ranscombe can offer it all. And if you enjoy wild flowers, the reserve is famous for them…

This 230-hectare reserve on the stunning North Downs has 10km of footpaths to explore across ancient farmland, pockets of chalk grassland and coppice woods with stunning views across the Medway Gap and Luddesdown valley.

The site is famous for its extremely unusual collection of rare wild plants, especially arable wildflowers and orchids.

Ranscombe Farm Reserve

More Information

Fenn Bell Zoo & Pub

If you enjoy wildlife and nature, a visit to Fenn Bell Zoo is a must. Medway's first licensed zoo provides homes for rescued animals. The zoo also has a pub attached to it that serves a range of hot and cold food, snacks, and drinks. Throughout January and February, a special offer applies to admission to the zoo of only £2.50 per person. 

Self-Catering 

If you're looking for a place to stay in a rural location, then why not choose one of the self-catering providers featured below.

Plan your Visit

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