As parents across the land will know, persuading their children to leave their screens and Wi-Fi connections and instead go on a family-friendly walk, could be difficult… Some might say impossible. But with the ongoing pandemic, getting everyone out in the fresh air, away from others, is the right thing to do. So where to go?
You may need to try some inducements to coax them out – call it a Welly Walk (works wonders on little ones who love to wear wellingtons), construct an obstacle course and time them round it (kids love a bit of competition). Set up a scavenger hunt, hunt for conkers or arrange a litter pick using a mechanical litter picker. Across Kent there are plenty of family-friendly walks where children can engage, follow animal tracks, learn, solve puzzles and even find treasure – where they can have a lot of fun and get fresh air and exercise in the process.
So, sensible footwear on, appropriate clothing for the weather, picnic or things to eat, (a dog, if you have one) plus today’s most essential walking accessory – a smart phone, and the family will be ready for an adventure – even if the child/children are still protesting. Oh, and binoculars – kids get a thrill from looking at things close-up and faraway at the same time. Binoculars are a potential deal makers if negotiations to Brexit from the Wi-Fi for a few hours are not going well.
Kids love interaction, discovery, competition and finding treasure so GoMunkee recommends Treasure Trails where, using maps and clues, the whole family can follow the trail, solve the puzzles and see the sights. With Covid safety measures in place, this is one way to get out and have fun in a new setting.
For young detectives and budding spies to adults who never really grew up, Treasure Trails provide challenges from mind-twisting clues to fascinating fascinating stories. From tracking down spies to solving murders and discovering hidden treasure, the trails are highly addictive (even for parents!) These adventurous sorties are the perfect antidotes to screen-gazing.
In Kent, there are walkable routes around Canterbury, Whitstable, Herne Bay, Faversham, Maidstone, Deal, Broadstairs, Chatham, Rochester, Rye, Royal Tunbridge Wells and Winchelsea suitable for the whole family. These are downloadable, so you don’t need to come into contact with anyone.
Why not take part in the world’s largest treasure hunt – Geocaching? Using the GPS on your phone, your kids can help the whole family navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and try to find the geocache container hidden at that location – under rocks, in a tree, behind a gate post… More to the point, what will be hidden in that geocache?
As an indication of just how how big this geocaching caper is, there are 2311 geocaches to be found in and around Folkestone alone. Family-friendly walks, climbs and explorations with the added bonus of treasure. What are you waiting for?
Hunt for fossils on the Kent coast
Kent is spoilt for choice when it comes to hunting for fossils. These are the ultimate treasure hunt finds. Explore the jurassic mud at The Warren in Folkestone for ammonites, or trawl the beach at Beltinge near Herne Bay at low tide for fossilised sharks’ teeth. Take a bucket, blunt knife and a little hammer.
Helpful Link: discoveringfossils.co.uk
Join the Woodland Trust's Nature Detectives
Explore, imagine, play, discover – sensory boxes, nature crafts, simple spotter sheets, magical fairy doors, messy mud pies, fun scavenger hunts, bluebell walks, den building, wildlife tracking – what more could the kids want? Activities for children of all ages. Find woodland near you on the Woodland Trust Website
Family-Friendly Walks - Routes of Interest
Download from www.explorekent.org child-friendly maps for some delightful family walks in Kent – along rivers, through woods where children can discover ponds, explore the coastline, learn about history and architecture, find wild-flowers, and spot farm animals, wild animals and birds – get those binoculars out.
- Clowes Wood Easy Access Trail, Chestfield – 3.2 miles
- East Peckham River Walk, The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood – 3 miles
- Hadlow Easy Access Trail, Hadlow (between King’s Hill and Tonbridge) – 1.2 miles
- Ham Street Woods Access Trail, near Ashford – 0.5 miles
- Lympne– a safari in Kent – 2.5 miles (where you can actually see giraffes)
- Minnis Bay to Reculver– 3.7 miles (or 7.4 miles if you walk back)
- Rochester Walk– 3 miles
If you want to walk somewhere beautiful and tried and tested, why not try the National Trust? Here’s a link to Downloadable Walks In Kent.
More Kent Walks:
GoMunkee would love to receive recommendations and links to any other walks in Kent you’ve enjoyed with children. firstname.lastname@example.org