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The Southeast of England has some of the most accessible areas for outdoor activities. Within reach of London but far from the crowds you can find rolling chalk downs, ancient forests, lush river valleys and grasslands, it is beautiful English countryside at its best.

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The undulating Surrey Hills, a short hop by train from the capital, are a top destination for road and mountain biking, with Box Hill forming part of the route for the 2012 Olympic cycle road race. Further south coastal Sussex, and its seaside towns of Worthing, Eastbourne and eclectic Brighton, are perfect places to indulge in adrenaline-fuelled watersports with kite surfing and wakeboarding particularly popular. A short ferry ride across The Solent takes you to the Isle of Wight, most famous for hosting the world's biggest sailing regatta, Skandia Cowes week. But there are plenty of activities on offer besides yachting. Try your hand (or feet) at walking along the coastline, or take to the waves windsurfing or kitesurfing, or for something different try tree climbing. To the east of London the rolling landscape, rivers and country lanes of Essex are best explored by bike or on foot. Five official cycle routes will guide you through charming villages and historic towns. Closer to the capital at the Lee Valley White Water Centre you can discover the thrill of white water rafting at the London 2012 Olympic watersports venue. Finally, why not explore Kent, the garden of England, with its wealden forests and wide sandy beaches on horseback? Kent has over 30 off-road TROT routes for riders on farm and forestry land.

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