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We're working with project partners across the UK and France to develop new and exciting sustainable tourism experiences that bring our wonderful routes and trails together with expert local guides and nearby businesses.

What is the EXPERIENCE Project?

The North Downs Way National Trail are delighted to be working on the EXPERIENCE project alongside Kent Downs AONB and co-funded by the European Union European and Regional Development Fund. We’re aiming to bring together incredible local businesses and outdoor activities in Kent and Surrey with our wonderful routes and trails to create new sustainable tourism itineraries. We hope this will encourage locals and visitors to discover the many special spaces, wonderful walks, knowledgeable locals and eco-friendly businesses that want to welcome you to explore the wonderful countryside around us.

You’ll soon be able to take part in amazing local activities like learning to make beer or gin with local ingredients, practice meditation in a vineyard, take a micropig for a walk, or hear all about our local history with our expert guides. Sign-up for updates by completing our survey to be among the first to #findyourspace and EXPERIENCE more outdoor in some of our favourite places in Kent and Surrey when restrictions allow.

What is Sustainable Tourism?

The EXPERIENCE approach is based on the principle of sustainable tourism. As well as generating economic prosperity, the project aims to bring benefits to the environment and communities, and to mitigate any impact of increased visitor numbers. The project will achieve this by enhancing protected habitats, using low-carbon options, e.g. solar and automated lighting and heating, using local suppliers to reduce food miles and opting for recycled materials for signs and surfaces. Revenue generated in the regions will be fed back into the local economy to protect and maintain its historical and cultural attractions.

How can I get involved?

Whilst we’re in lockdown please ensure you stay home as much as possible and only venture out within your local area until the guidelines change. In the meantime we’re developing our itineraries and exciting new experiences based on the below themes so when restrictions allow we’ll be ready. We would be so grateful if you could complete our online survey to learn more about your favourites or you can click on the EXPERIENCE themes below, developed by Kent Downs AONB, to receive more information about this project.

  • Food & Drink – Discover new tastes and treats from wonderful artisans across the county.
  • Wellbeing – Escape for some rest and relaxation in some Kent and Surrey’s most beautiful places.
  • Outdoor Activities – Blow away the cobwebs in our gorgeous woodlands, grasslands and coastline.
  • Wildlife & Animals – Learn more about the nature and animals around you, perfect for little and big ones!
  • Inspirational Journeys – Follow our guides to visit Kent’s best views, hidden gems and secret history.
  • Family Fun – Reconnect with the outdoors and your favourite people with family focussed activities.
  • Arts & Crafts – Find your inner artist and share in the passion and knowledge of local experts.
  • Farming & Nature – Visit a local farm, boost your nature knowledge, learn new skills and make memories.
  • Pilgrimage – Tread in the footsteps of Pilgrims as we take you on a journey of self-discovery.
  • Culture & Heritage – Learn about Kent’s heritage and visit some of the iconic locations that shaped our county.

So whether you’re a local, tourist or just on a business trip to Kent or Surrey there is loads for you to get involved with, we can’t wait to share more of our exciting EXPERIENCE news!

Do you know a business who wants help to diversify?

Find out more about the Countryside Experience Development Programme run by Kent Downs AONB.