Published: 08:11, 15 January 2020
| Updated: 09:12, 15 January 2020
Forget staying in the warm and dry - it's time to get out in the wilds of Kent with our guide to get out and about across the county this January. Just make sure you wrap up.
BEDGEBURY PINETUM, GOUDHURST
Open all year, Bedgebury is the perfect place for healthy outdoor activity. The National Pinetum is home to a world-leading collection of conifers and is a perfect setting for peaceful walks and picnics. It also has miles of family cycling and mountain-biking, three walking trails, and running trails, as well as Go Ape tree top adventure, and an adventure play trail. There's also space for horse riding and dogs are welcome, plus there's a café with views across the pinetum. Young visitors may even spot a Gruffalo hiding in the woods. Entry is free though there is a charge for parking. There will be harvesting operations to late January so look out for diversions and safety signage. Details at forestryengland.uk/bedgebury
RSPB RESERVE, DUNGENESS
Do you love birds and want to know more about them? The RSPB has several reserves across the county, and Dungeness reserve is a unique site, set back from the sea, boasting miles of open shingle, fresh water pits, wet grassland and stunning wildflower meadows - plus a wide range of birds to spot. On Saturday, January 18, Birdwatching for Beginners runs from 11am to 1pm, is a walk around the reserve with a friendly guide with expert knowledge on all things feather. Head along with your binoculars, though you can also hire them from the visitor centre for a small fee. The cost is £7 for adults and £3.50 for children. Details and to book go to rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events
CHARTWELL ART TRAIL
You can learn about art and history and also get some fresh air at the National Trust site, once home of Sir Winston Churchill, with the outdoor art trail which is celebrating the role painting and landscape played in his life. Eight copies of Chartwell paintings are around the grounds at the viewpoints Churchill painted plus two large viewfinders framing the landscape. It runs until Sunday, February 23. Details at nationaltrust.org.uk/chartwell or call 01732 868381.
WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER
On a winter's day make sure you wrap up warm as it'll be pretty blowy on the top of the iconic White Cliffs of Dover. The breathtaking views change throughout the year but the view out to see is a permanent reminder of where you are, and the scale of what you're standing on. There's plenty of parking, plus a visitors' centre with tea rooms to warm up in, and the chance to take a leisurely stroll, or a more challenging walk, with or without your dog. You'll look down on the busy Port of Dover and see ferries come in and out and, if you're feeling adventurous, you could walk as far as South Foreland Lighthouse. Details at nationaltrust.org.uk/the-white-cliffs-of-dover
BETTESHANGER COUNTRY PARK, DEAL
The 121 hectare site on the former Betteshanger Colliery near Deal lends itself to as much outdoor activity as you can take in.
The site, which is open daily from 8am to 4.30pm, has cycle hire also available from 9.30am daily. The 100+ strong fleet of the latest bicycles including a wide range of child carrying attachments, is checked and serviced regularly, and you'll find a bike that's the perfect fir for you at the cycle hire hut next to the cafe. A deposit will be needed to take a bike out and cycle helmets must be worn in the park. You can hire them for £2. Cycle hire is £6 for the first hour. There are plenty of cycle trails to try. To find out more go to the website at betteshanger-park.co.uk/things-to-do/
As you drive towards Tankerton beach, you'll see it stretched out before you. From the attractive Marine Parade promenade, grassy banks gently slope down to a shingle beach with pretty wooden huts and an established sailing club. At low tide there's a long walk that will take you right out to sea. Even with a few layers, Tankerton's distinctive grassy area makes a perfect sport for a family picnic or trip out with the dog and family.