First Fruit Nature Trail (5-11 miles)
The home of English cherries, from manicured orchards to distant reminders of the area’s industrious brick-making past, you’ll be bowled over by the tranquil beauty of this rich oasis, grazed by sheep and adorned with blossom in spring and abundant fruit in summer.
Your First Fruit trail begins close to the site of the King’s original 105-acre orchards at Osiers Farm and New Gardens, to the west of Station Road. While areas of the expansive orchards planted by the monarch’s fruiterer Richard Harris have been built on, you don’t have to walk far before fruit trees greet you, lining your route through grazed pastures to the picturesque coastal hamlet of Conyer.
The area’s renowned rich soil was once in great demand, not just for agriculture, but also for brick making. At Conyer Creek the remains of this once thriving industry are still in evidence on the waterfront, where bricks were carried to the capital by sailing barge. Today, much of this land has been turned over to wildlife and you can catch fine views of nearby Fowley Island, a natural nature reserve for wetland birds and the occasional seal, and farmland across the water on the Isle of Sheppey.