The historic market town of Sevenoaks is at the centre of Sevenoaks district. Towns and villages that are small in stature but big in personality dot the surrounding hills and grasslands, connected by hedge-lined lanes and a network of walking trails.
To the north rise the North Downs, through which the river Darent flows towards the Thames. The Darent Valley may be tiny, but every inch of its six miles makes its mark, with four riverside villages, ancient Tudor towers, the remains of a moated Norman castle, lavender fields, extraordinary gardens and an excavated Roman villa of international significance. An amazing set of Rail Trails have been published to ensure you can visit the area sustainably. Download the trails from www.darent-valley.org.uk using their trails app.
To Sevenoaks’ south, the Downs give way to the Eden Valley and the northernmost edge of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s a land of oast houses, historic tile-hung homes and villages that wear their Tudor heritage with style.
Explore unforgettable towns and villages
The District’s main towns of Sevenoaks, Westerham, Edenbridge and Swanley each have their own distinct characteristics. In Sevenoaks, you can browse independent boutiques, pick up a perfectly brewed coffee then take a stroll through a 1,000-acre medieval deer park – all within half a mile. Or perhaps download the TrailTale app to access a self-guided tour about the town’s heritage. Westerham is peppered with architectural gems. Delis, quirky shops, traditional pubs and quaint tearooms surround its Green, where you’ll find statues of its most famous former residents – General Wolfe and Winston Churchill.
The medieval buildings, coaching inns and courtyards of Edenbridge make it an excellent starting point for walks along the Eden Valley. In November, the town’s streets come alive as it hosts one of the oldest bonfire celebrations in the country.
With more than 15 attractions and mobility friendly paths spread through its 60 acres, Swanley’s park is brilliant for families. As well as the playground, you’ll find mini golf, boat hire, a bouncy castle zone, a miniature railway and dino karts. Or you can simply feed the ducklings.
Things to see and do
Wherever you are in Sevenoaks district, you’re guaranteed to find a stately home, historic castle or a gorgeous garden nearby.
The network of trails and open spaces across these hills and valleys makes the area ideal walking and cycling territory. Cycle or stroll between Tudor villages, nature reserves and beautiful country parks. You can even take a husky for a hike.
Active types can play a round of golf or, if spectating is more your thing, watch village cricket at one of the country’s most famous cricket grounds. Or you could tour a vineyard.
Of course, you are just as welcome to sit back and take in the same views that inspired the founder of the National Trust!