Peene Quarry Picnic Site
Commanding spectacular views over Folkestone and the south coast down to Dungeness, Peene Quarry is a great spot for more adventurous walkers.
Located in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (and also part of the Folkestone to Etchinghill Site of Special Scientific Interest), the main feature of Peene Quarry is the large area of chalk grassland atop steep-sided slopes, which has great views over the south coast.
The North Downs Way, which stretches from Farnham in Surrey to Dover, passes through the site.
Formerly a chalk quarry, remnants of the site’s previous working life remain – you can see an old lime kiln alongside the lane beneath the quarry. Fossil collectors can sometimes be found examining the remaining exposed chalk face.
In summer the grassland is now covered with rare flowers and herbs, including cowslip, vetches, thyme, rock rose and a range of orchids. These plants attract butterflies such as the Common and Chalkhill Blues, Blue and Green Hairstreak and Marbled Whites, along with the nationally scarce Adonis Blue. In total, 45 nationally rare or scarce insects are thought to be found here.
Parking is limited – there’s just a small lay-by adjacent to the site entrance – but in summer it’s well worth exploring the pretty nearby village of Peene and hiking up the narrow lanes which lead to the start of the footpath.