A ridge of chalk hills, the North Downs lie within two areas of outstanding natural beauty, the Surrey Hills and the Kent Downs.
They are a majestic feature of the landscape wherever you are in Folkestone, rising high above the town and offering spectacular views for anyone willing to tackle the climb.
The North Downs Way follows the crest of the hills, and is a route that has been walked for thousands of years. Walkers are rewarded with views of the Channel and beyond as they enjoy the ancient chalk landscape, so rich in wildflowers and insects.
The Downs have been designated as a site of European importance for wildlife, especially orchids, and are home to the early purple orchid, common spotted orchid and fragrant orchid. Importantly, it is one of the few sites in the country where the late spider orchid can still be found.
In the valleys, you can find the Elham Valley Way, which stretches from Hythe to Canterbury, taking in picturesque villages with welcoming pubs where you can stop for a drink or a bite to eat.