Keeping fit on holiday in Canterbury could not be easier. There is no excuse to neglect your fitness for lack of activity choice and accessibility. If you’re an adventurer or like the outdoors then during your visit to the famous city you have some cracking options. Maximise your experience in Canterbury by visiting some of the top scenic tours and trails in the county. Companies organise tours and can arrange an agenda to suit your requirements if you are unsure of any routes or directions yourself. However if you fancy taking charge of your itinerary and venturing alone or with a group of friends or family then here are some top local secret routes and options available for you to select from.
The Oyster Bay Trail
A 6.7 mile route between Whitstable and Reculver. It leads you along the beautiful sea front and passes by Herne Bay. Offering a peaceful linear, traffic calmed cycle, run or walk route in which you can stop and start along the way to capture some photo opportunities. The Reculver country park is renowned for its scenery and is internationally important for its wildlife as a Special Protection Area. Meadows, butterflies and birdlife; can you think of a better picnic spot?
The Crab and Winkle Way
Fancy a challenging climb? This route has some steep hills and leads between Canterbury and Whitstable. Enjoy some traffic free cycling/walking and explore through the East Kent countryside. The route highlights the characteristic Whitstable Harbour, as well as the splendid Blean Woods Nature Reserve.
The University of Kent
The famous European University is spread over fields and has over 6000 students that benefit from 300 acres of glorious campus with views of the Cathedral and City. It is worth a hike up St Stephens hill to explore the grounds and lap in the luxury of what the University of Kent boasts to the public. The Uni has secret path ways, rural country side and there is also a Gym and Sports Centre available for public use and day passes. The Gym will allow you to use the facilities if you fancy engaging in some activities whilst you stay in Canterbury.
Parkrun takes part every Saturday morning at 9am. It is free for everyone! All you need to do is register on the parkrun website, obtain a barcode which can be printed off and come along to take part in the weekly 5k timed run. Get together with the participants after the run and enjoy a coffee and chat to get involved in the local community. It offers a great opportunity to monitor your fitness as well as take part in a local event. The Canterbury Parkrun starts and ends at the University of Kents Pavillion.
Lying between Canterbury, Faversham, Whitstable and Herne Bay. The Blean woods is a large ancient woodland in England spreading over 11 miles. The Big Blean walk is a 25 mile circular route through a remarkable forest with hidden trails and wildlife. Take interest in the conservation and ensure you breathe in every ounce of beauty that this area promotes. Walk, run and explore the hidden gems in Canterbury.
The Great Stour Way
A tranquil traffic free 3 mile journey between Canterbury and Chartham along the lush River Stour. Cycle through the heritage route passing the Chartham Paper mill and Milton Church. Catch a moment to view the birdlife and even spot a kingfisher. You can take a much needed break on a bench placed down along the way or have a picnic on the table carved with river wildlife by the old Elham Valley Railway.
Canterbury is renowned for views, tranquillity and the opportunity for adventure. As well an enjoying your restful break, ensure you don’t miss some of the most famous routes on your holiday which will prove why we are a city for activity as well as a city of culture and heritage.
Sarah Black is a Health and Fitness Instructor at Kent Sport. Her interests include teaching exercise classes including Yoga, Pilates and Spinning. A keen runner who has run around more of Kent than she has driven. Activities and keeping active is always on her agenda and she promotes Kent’s countryside as the leading beauty of anywhere else she has been to in the country!