THE COVER

There’s a feast for your senses await­ing this week­end – and all you need to do is step out­side to en­joy it. Here are eight sea­sonal walks to try

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - What's On - - CONTENT -

Pack up the fam­ily and head into the countr yside for an au­tumn walk – we tell you the best spots to head to

With golden leaves, bronze sky­lines and boun­ti­ful har­vests, it’s time to head out into the coun­try­side and breathe in the breath­tak­ing land­scape.

With hun­dreds of walks avail­able to down­load from the Na­tional Trust’s web­site, there are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to get out­doors and con­nect with na­ture, from brac­ing hikes to gen­tle wood­land walks with a view.

Park­land TRAIL at SCOT­NEY CAS­TLE

Dis­tance: 2 miles (3.2km)

Dif­fi­culty: Mod­er­ate

Take the park­land trail, which loops around the es­tate and keep an eye to your left as you head down­hill for gaps in the golden tree canopies open­ing up views of the bridge by the moat. You can choose to turn right into Kil­ndown Wood be­fore loop­ing back up to Scot­ney’s house.

Paul Mick­lewright, gar­den and es­tate man­ager, says: “The beech av­enue at Kil­ndown is breath­tak­ing and can be vis­ited by fol­low­ing our red walk­ing route.” A de­tour into Scot­ney’s gar­dens at the end will take you past yel­low tulip trees. The 100-year-old purple cut-leaved Ja­panese maples, be­low the Bas­tion, bring vis­i­tors back year af­ter year.

Down­load at: na­tion­al­trust.org.uk/ scot­ney-cas­tle /trails/scot­ney-park­land­trail

IGHTHAM MOTE’S cir­cu­lar walk TO WILMOT HILL

Dis­tance: 4 miles (6.4km)

Dif­fi­culty: Mod­er­ate

Walk the outer edges of the 580acre es­tate, tak­ing in dense, an­cient wood­land and vivid views as you go. The trail sits in an Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty, and come au­tumn, far­reach­ing views mix with the pal­ette of red, yel­low and gold.

Loop­ing back to the 14th cen­tury manor, a turn in the gar­den un­veils more au­tum­nal treats in­clud­ing cer­cidi­phyl­lum japon­icum (tof­fee ap­ple tree) near the North Lake which un­leashes a smell of burnt sugar from late Septem­ber to early Oc­to­ber. Down­load at: na­tion­al­trust.org.uk/ ightham-mote /trails/ightham-motescir­cu­lar -walk-to-wilmot-hill

Oc­tavia HILL cen­te­nary TRAIL EAST at EMMETTS GAR­DEN

Dis­tance: 4 miles (6.4km)

Dif­fi­culty: Easy

Home of Na­tional Trust founder Oc­tavia Hill, a stone seat on the ap­proach to Ide Hill vil­lage com­mem­o­rates a life ded­i­cated to so­cial re­form and the out­doors.

Head along the trail in the wood­land of Toys Hill and Scords Wood, and in Toys Hill ham­let a stun­ning view­point by the well looks over a Wealden won­der­land. The route passes by Emmetts – visit the South Gar­den to see progress in the project to re­store Fred­er­ick Lub­bock’s gar­den gallery and see a col­lec­tion of hardy trees and shrubs in red, pink and or­ange.

Head gar­dener Matt Scott says: “Our exotic tree col­lec­tion comes into its own in au­tumn. The bright red of the winged spin­dle (eu­ony­mus ala­tus) and golden leaves on the Ja­panese maple (acer pa­ma­tum) are a true won­der to see.” Look out for the au­tumn dis­play of fungi dot­ted around the grounds. Down­load at: na­tion­al­trust.org.uk/ toys-hill/trails/ oc­tavia-hill-cen­te­nary­trail-east

SISSINGHURST CAS­TLE GAR­DEN ES­TATE walk

Dis­tance: 3 miles (4.8km)

Dif­fi­culty: Easy

This gen­tle trail takes in the high­lights of Sissinghurst Cas­tle Gar­den’s 450acre wide es­tate where you can see the land­scape that in­spired Vita SackvilleWest’s world fa­mous gar­den.

Pass wildlife in abun­dance and loop through the gar­dens to see a vi­brant pal­ette of fiery reds and golden yel­lows.

Down­load at: na­tion­al­trust.org.uk/ sissinghurst-cas­tle-gar­den/trails/ sissinghurst-cas­tle-es­tate-walk AND JUST OVER THE BOR­DER...

KI­PLING COUN­TRY­SIDE walk at BATE­MAN’S In EAST SUS­SEX

Dis­tance: 2.5 miles (4km)

Dif­fi­culty: Easy

Ven­ture out onto the wider es­tate at the home of Rud­yard Ki­pling and it’s easy to see why it in­spired fairy tales. And the Wild Gar­den has or­na­men­tal trees and shrubs in their finest colours. Head gar­dener, Len Ber­na­mont, says: “The ame­lanchiers and aza­leas are among my favourites in au­tumn.” Down­load at: na­tion­al­trust.org.uk/ bate­mans/trails /bate­mans-kipling­coun­try­side-walk

Pic­ture: Na­tional Trust Images/john Miller

Scot­ney cas­tle

There are plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to get out­doors and con­nect with na­ture

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