Reculver Country ParkThe BleanThe Blean is one of the largest andmost distinctive areas of ancientwoodland in England. Enjoy the wideand varied wildlife and learn aboutsome of its history. Blean Woodssurrounds a number of attractivevillages where you can eat and drinkand find businesses selling a range oflocal products.Web: www.theblean.co.ukHambrook MarshesSet in the floodplain of the Great Stourjust outside Canterbury, HambrookMarshes is an area of natural marshland.The site provides visitors the opportunity toexplore an area of natural beauty. Duringthe summer months the marshes bloominto a beautiful wild flower and haymeadow, celebrated every year with theannual Haymaking Festival, where the hayis cut by the traditional method ofscything. Hambrook is the perfect locationfor a picnic.Tel: 01227 844 500Web: www.sekgroup.org.ukReculver Country Park is a uniqueplace with its open grassland, cliffand shoreline and is home to a largeand diverse collection of plants andwildlife. It is internationally importantfor wildlife because it is used eachwinter by thousands of migratorybirds.Web:www.canterbury.gov.uk/countrysidewww.canterbury.co.uk15The rare reedbeds are the largest in theSouth East and attract bearded reedlingsand bitterns. Bird lovers can also seeswallows and sand martins, terns, grebesand kingfishers through the year. The wetgrazing meadows and lagoons attract awide variety of ducks, geese and otherwildlife and you might even spot watervoles, weasels or even an otter. There arebird hides and an observation mound andinterpretation panels linked by footpathsthrough the reserve.Web: www.naturalengland.org.ukCountryside Stodmarsh NationalNature ReserveTraditional Kent oasts and thatched-roofhouses sit amongst historic villages,rolling hills and meadows all of whichtake on a completely different aspect asthe seasons change. For furtherinformation on the district's villages andcountryside, go to:www.canterbury.gov.uk/countryside.
Walking and Cycling The GreatStour WayA walking and cycling route thatfollows the River Great Stour. As wellas providing a safe and traffic-freepath that is accessible for wheelchairusers, it makes it easy to access theKent Downs Area of outstandingNatural Beauty. With Chartham railwaystation nearby, try combining a trainjourney with a cycle ride or walk to orfrom Canterbury. Crab and Winkle WayOriginally a six-mile railway linerunning between Canterbury andWhitstable between 1830 and 1952,some of it was reopened as a cycle andwalking route. It passes throughbeautiful countryside and woodlandsincluding Blean Woods, one of thelargest areas of ancient woodland inEngland and home to a wide range offlowers, butterflies and birds.Oyster Bay TrailA cycle and walking route passingthrough Reculver Country Park, HerneBay and Swalecliffe. It also connectsto the Viking Trail which provides anenjoyable sea-shore cycle route toMargate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs.Along this route you will pass a sea-water lagoon and a working oysterfarm. There are numerous alternative walksand cycle routes to enjoy includingThe Elham Valley Way from Canterburyto the coastal town of Hythe, a circularChartham Walk along the Stour Valleyand part of the North Downs Way anda variety of routes at Grove Ferry. For further information go towww.kent.gov.uk/explorekentCathedral to CoastUndertake your own Pilgrim's Progresson this marvellous 50 mile (80km)circular ride using Regional Routes 16and 17 linking Dover, Canterbury andFolkestone. The route passes along leafylanes and bridleways amid rolling hills,woodland, country villages and hamlets.Good en-route signage enables you tojoin the journey at any point.Web: www.crabandwinkle.orgWeb: www.kent.gov.uk/explorekentWeb: www.kent.gov.uk/explorekentWeb: www.kent.gov.uk/explorekent16www.canterbury.co.uk