High Weald AONB Walks
Use the links to view full route information including elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the High Weald Walk Map>>
|Brede High Woods||4 miles (6.5 km)||This large area of ancient woodland consists of hundreds of acres of walking trails, a variety of wildlife and the pretty Powdermill Reservoir. There's a circular waymarked trail and a number other permissive footpaths to follow through the 262 hectares (647 acres). It's a lovely place for a peaceful stroll with heathland, coppice, ghyll woodland, broadleaf woodland, ponds, springs and streams to enjoy. |
You can start your walk from the car park off Chitcombe Rd at the northern end of the woods. The site is great for wildlife enthusiasts with glow worms, great crested newts, lampreys, dormouse, badgers and fallow deer to look out for. Also keep your eyes peeled for birds including woodcock, nightingales and buzzards.
The attractive woodland includes conifers, spruces, oak, Hornbeam and sweet chestnut coppice. Also look out for bluebells and wood anemones in the spring months.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could head south to Battle and pick up the 1066 Country Walk. The long distance trail will take you through the nearby Battle Great Wood where there are more nice trails to try.
A few miles to the west you will find Vinehall Forest and beyond that the pretty Darwell Reservoir. Here you can enjoy footpaths through Darwell Wood with views across the water. View Full Details>>
|Brighton Way||54 miles (87 km)||A super route though the South Downs from Horley to Brighton. The trail passes Crawley, Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill before finishing on the south coast. The walk has several train stations dotted along the route so you can easily do this one in manageable sections. Highlights include the Ardingly Nature Reserve and reservoir near Balcombe. The walk also climbs Ditchling Beacon where there are fabulous views of the South Downs. View Full Details>>|
|Chailey Common||2 miles (4 km)||This pretty area of common land near Haywards Heath has a series of nice footpaths to try. You can start the walk from the car park on Warrs Hill Lane next to Red House Common. From here there's nice trails heading south west mast the Old Heritage Windmill. You can then continue across the A272 to Pound Common and Chailey Common where there's a nature reserve with wildlife and wildflowers to look out for. You can see lots of Bell and Cross-Leaved Heather with birds such as Nightjar, Stonechat, Yellowhammer and Linnet regular winged visitors. View Full Details>>|
|Diamond Way||60 miles (97 km)||This is a fairly easy walk from West to East Sussex through heathland, farmland and forest. The walk runs from Midhurst to Heathfield and passes through Petworth, Billinghurst, Haywards Heath, Lindfield and Nutley. It was created by the Sussex Ramblers Association to celebrate their 60th anniversary.|
Highlights on the walk include Petworth House and Petworth Park which holds the 'National Trust's finest art collection displayed in a magnificent 17th century mansion within a beautiful 700-acre park'. This can be found on the first leg of the journey from Midhurst to Petworth. The walk also includes pleasant waterside sections along the River Arun near Billinghurst and then along the upper reaches of the River Ouse at Lindfield.
There are also several wooded sections including Flexham Park, Sheffield Forest and a number of other smaller woods dotted along the route. View Full Details>>
|Eden Valley Walk||15 miles (24 km)||Travel through the beautiful Eden Valley and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on this walk through Kent.|
The route starts at Edenbridge and heads towards Hever and the excellent Hever Castle with its double-moated castle and 125 acres of spectacular gardens. You continue east towards Penshurst and the 14th century Penshurst Place. Again there is plenty to see including the State Rooms, Gallery and wonderful gardens.
The final section heads to Tonbridge passing through the Haysden Country Park before finishing at the castle in Tonbridge.
This is a lovely walk through the open fields, woodland and parks of the Eden Valley with the added bonus of some impressive historical architecture. It's waymarked with a yellow disc with the name of the walk and a castle logo. View Full Details>>
|Elham Valley Way||22 miles (35 km)||Explore the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on this delightful walk through Kent.|
The route starts on the coast at Hythe and heads north to Canterbury via Elham and Barham. Highlights on the route include stretches through the seabrook valley near Hythe, ancient woodland (dating from before the 17th century), beautiful orchards and the famous Cathedral at Canterbury at the end of the route. View Full Details>>
|Hastings Circular Walk||6 miles (9.4 km)||This fine circular walk around Hastings visits the coast and countryside to the east of the town. The route runs for about 6 miles with some moderate climbs along the way. It's a varied walk with woodland trails, hill climbs and coastal sections to enjoy.|
The walk starts at the harbour in Hastings and heads east along the Saxon Shore Way long distance footpath. The trail takes you along the coast to Hastings Country Park. Here you'll find 600 acres of parkland and woodland to explore on a number of paths. Features in the park include sandstone cliffs, shady glens covered with gorse and trees, nature trails and picnic areas. It's also great for wildlife with Peregrines, black redstarts and fulmars to look out for.
After passing through the park you continue along Covehurst Bay before turning north toward Fairlight. You then turn west through farmland where you pick up a section of the 1066 Country Walk to take you past Ecclesbourne Reservoir and High Wickham. At Ecclesbourne Glen you can visit the waterfalls and interesting rock formations.
The final section descends past East Hill back to the sea front and the finish point of the walk. View Full Details>>
|Hastings Country Park||3 miles (5 km)||Enjoy over 600 acres of beautiful parkland and coast on this circular route in Hastings. The park is located in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, most of the park has been designated a Special Area of Conservation and a Local Nature Reserve. Peregrines, black redstarts and fulmars can be seen on the coastal cliffs, while Dartford warblers, stonechats and yellowhammers can be seen on the gorse covered hills. |
The route below is most suitable for walkers but National Cycle Network route 2 also runs through the park and is a short cycle from Hastings. See the Eastbourne to Rye Cycle Route for more details. View Full Details>>
|Hastings to Winchelsea Coastal Walk||8 miles (13 km)||This lovely walk follows the Saxon Shore Way and the Royal Military Canal Path from Hastings to Winchelsea. It's an 8 mile route, running along two good waymarked trails with some moderate cliff top climbs along the way. It's a really beautiful part of the country with splendid views of the High Weald from the wonderful cliff tops.|
The walk starts on the seafront in Hastings and heads east to Hastings Country Park. The park is located in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with most of the site designated as a Special Area of Conservation and a Local Nature Reserve. It's a great place for wildlife watching with Peregrines, black redstarts and fulmars on the coastal cliffs, while Dartford warblers, stonechats and yellowhammers can be seen on the gorse covered hills.
After leaving the park you continue to the picturesque Fairlight Cove where there's a nice beach and more stunning cliffs. The route then passes Cliff End where you pick up a flat section along the Royal Military Canal to Winchelsea. View Full Details>>
|Haysden Country Park||3 miles (5.5 km)||Haysden country park is located near Tonbridge in Kent and consists of a number of delightful walking trails. In the park you will find Barden and Haysden lakes while the River Medway also runs through the park. The lakes and river offer great opportunities for wildlife watching with a variety of wildfowl visitors all year round.|
The Eden Valley Walk long distance footpaths runs through the park. You can pick this up and head west to visit the lovely Penshurst Place. There's nice trails to follow around the estate's parkland and woodland with the option of visiting the fine house and gardens. View Full Details>>
|Haywards Heath||9 miles (15 km)||This walk from Haywards Heath visits two of the highlights of the area at Ardingly Reservoir and Wakehurst Place. The walk uses a section of the High Weald Landscape Trail to take you to the lovely lake and the wonderful Botanic Gardens.|
The walk starts in the town centre, near to the train station. From here you head north, passing the golf course before coming to Copyhold Lane. Here you pick up the High Weald Landscape Trail which continues north through River's Wood to Ardingly Reservoir. The 198 acre reservoir is also a nature reserve with a variety of habitats including wetland, reedbed, deciduous woodland, hazel coppice and haymeadow. You can look out for wildlife such as Great crested grebe and kingfishers in this area. There's a nice footpath running along the eastern side of the water which will lead you up to Wakehurst Place which is the country estate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. There are 465 acres to explore on a series of delightful footpaths. Features include beautiful botanic gardens, woodland, lakes, formal gardens and an Elizabethan house. After exploring the park, the walk returns to Haywards Heath on the same paths. View Full Details>>
|High Weald Landscape Trail||94 miles (151 km)||Explore the High Weald AONB on this fabulous 90 mile walk that links the ridge-top villages and historic gardens for which the area is famous. |
The walk starts at the rail station in Horsham, West Sussex, and heads east to Rye in East Sussex.
Walk highlights include
The High Weald AONB website has split the walk into 7 manageable sections as follows:
Horsham to Cuckfield - 23.3km (14.5 miles)
Cuckfield to East Grinstead - 27.4km (17.0 miles)
East Grinstead to Groombridge - 21.0km (13.1 miles)
Groombridge to Matfield - 22.8km (14.1 miles)
Matfield to Rolvenden - 30.6km (19 miles)
Rolvenden to Flackley Ash - 20.0km (12.5 miles)
Flackley Ash to Rye - 7.1km (4.4 miles)
Please see the link below for a series of fantastic pdf guides to the route covering the sections above. View Full Details>>
|Horsham||9 miles (14.5 km)||This fine circular walk around Horsham makes use of three of the walking trails running through the town. You'll follow sections of the Riverside Walk, the High Weald Landscape Trail and the West Sussex Literary Trail to visit some of the highlights of the area. On the way there's waterside paths along the River Arun, a visit to Warnham Nature Reserve and fine views of the surrounding High Weald countryside.|
The walk starts in Horsham Park, just to the west of the train station. Head south through the town and you will soon come to the river. Follow the path round to the west and it will take you up to Warnham Mill Pond and Nature Reserve. It's a lovely spot with a 17 acre millpond, marshes, grassland, reed beds, hedges and woodlands. Look out for a variety of wildlife including heron, wildfowl, three species of Woodpecker and kingfisher.
After exploring the reserve the walk then picks up a section of the West Sussex Literary Trail to take you through the town and back to the park. You then pick up the High Weald Landscape Trail to take you east towards the river. Following the river round will take you past Hornbrook Farm and Chesworth Farm before returning to the finish point at Horsham Park. View Full Details>>
|Nymans Gardens||2 miles (4 km)||Explore the gardens of this delightful estate on this short walk in Handcross, near Haywards Heath. You'll pass through meadows filled with wild flowers and the rock garden planted with alpines. There are also peaceful woodland walks with pools, streams and a Arboretum to enjoy. Access to the woodland walks is free and located behind the car park.|
The house is also fascinating - it was partially destroyed by fire in 1947, but the ruins of the gothic mansion remain. View Full Details>>
|Penshurst Place||3 miles (5 km)||This circular walk takes you around the lovely Penhurst Estate near Tonbridge in Kent. Although there is an admission charge to access the house and gardens you can follow public footpaths through the wider estate's parkland and woodland. There's much to enjoy with fine views of the medieval manor house and the River Medway. There's also several pretty lakes and nice woodland trails in the north eastern section of the park.|
The 14th century house has a fascinating history, having been the birthplace of the great Elizabethan poet, courtier and soldier, Sir Philip Sidney who was a favourite of Elizabeth I. You can explore the house and see fine furniture and portraits. The house is also surrounded by wonderful Grade I listed Gardens with an Arboretum, Trout Lakes, Lake Park and Lancup Well.
The Eden Valley Walk long distance trail runs through the park with this route using a section of the path. You could extend your walk by continuing east along the path and visiting Haysden Country Park just outside Tonbridge. There's nice views of the River Medway and two pretty lakes to enjoy. The trail continues into Tonbridge itself where you can pick up the Wealdway. View Full Details>>
|Rye Circular Walk||7 miles (10.5 km)||This route from Rye uses two of the area's long distance footpaths to create a circular walk around the town. You'll follow sections of the 1066 Country Walk and Saxon Shore Way waymarked trails to visit the lovely Rye Harbour, the ruins of Camber Castle and the nearby town of Winchelsea.|
The route starts near the train station in the town and heads south along the River Brede to the Martello Tower and the nature reserve. Here you will find a wide range of habitats including saltmarsh, lagoons, grazing marsh, shingle and reedbeds. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife including ringed plover, avocet, oystercatcher, redshank, lapwing, and sandwich terns. The path also passes close to the noteworthy Camber Castle. You can visit the interesting ruins of this 16th century Device Fort, built by Henry VIII to protect the Sussex coast against French attack.
The trail bends round to the west to visit the small town of Winchelsea which makes a great place to stop for refreshments at one of the pubs or cafes. In the town you pick up the 1066 Country Walk to take you along Cadborough Cliff back into Rye. The final section crosses the pretty River Tillingham and the Rye Windmill before returning to the town centre. View Full Details>>
|Sheffield Park||1 miles (2 km)||Explore the beautiful Sheffield Park and Gardens on this circular walk near Haywards Heath in Sussex. The gardens were laid out in the 18th century by 'Capability' Brown with four delightful lakes as the centrepiece. There are also a number of peaceful woodland paths and South Park - 265 acres of wide open spaces.|
The Sussex Ouse Valley Way long distance trail passes the park so you could pick this up to extend your walk. The lovely waterside walk follows the River Ouse from its source near Lower Beeding to the coast at Seaford Bay. View Full Details>>
|Southborough Common||1 miles (1.5 km)||Enjoy woodland trails, heathland and pretty streams in this area of common land near Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge. A section of the long distance Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk crosses the common so there is scope for extending your walk into the surrounding countryside. You could follow the trail south west and visit Rusthall Common and Tunbridge Wells Common where there are more nice trails to try. View Full Details>>|
|St Leonard's Forest||2 miles (4 km)||This large area of woodland is located just to the east of Horsham. There are miles of cycling and walking trails to explore with attractive pine woodland, a series of pretty streams and the Whitevane Pond at the north western end of the forest. There are good wide tracks ideal for a mountain bike or hybrid. There's some steep climbs to try with fun descents. For walkers there are miles of easy flat tracks to enjoy. Look out for wildlife including peacocks and wood warblers. View Full Details>>|
|Sussex Border Path||137 miles (220 km)||A fabulous long distance walk following the Sussex county border from Thorney Island in West Sussex to Rye in East Sussex. |
You begin on Thorney Island with a lovely section along the coast from Emsworth. The route then heads through the South Downs to South Harting and Liphook before continuing to Gospel Green, Rudgwick, Gatwick Airport, Horley and East Grinstead. You then head through the beautiful High Weald, passing Groombridge, Bewl Water and Northiam before finishing in Rye. The walk is well waymarked throughout.
Route highlights include a climb to the highest point on the South Downs at Black Down in West Sussex. You'll also visit the lovely Weir Wood Reservoir and the interesting Bodiam Castle. View Full Details>>
|Tonbridge||12 miles (19 km)||This long circular walk explores the parks, woods, commons, rivers and countryside surrounding the market town of Tonbridge in Kent. It makes use of three long distance waymarked trails to visit some of the highlights of the area.|
The walk starts on the River Medway, next to Tonbridge Castle. The castle is one of England's finest examples of a Motte and Bailey Castle and includes a 13th Century Gatehouse. You can tour the castle and learn all about the fascinating history for a fee. The castle grounds are free to enter though.
From the castle you pick up the Eden Valley Walk and head west along the river to Barden Park where you will pass the pretty Barden Lake. The path continues past the lake into Haysden Country Park where there's another large lake and lots of wildfowl to look out for on the water. Here you have the option of continuing west and visiting the lovely Penshurst Place where there's lovely gardens, parkland and woodland to explore.
After visiting Haysden Lake the route then heads south along the Wealdway through Lower Haysden to Bidborough and Southborough Common. Here you'll pass through the common with its woodland trails and pretty streams.
The route then picks up a section of the Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk to take you east and then north through woodland and farmland. The path passes the Grade I listed Jacobean mansion of Somerhill House with its attractive grounds and lake. Other public footpaths then take you around the eastern side of the town before returning you to Tonbridge.
There's lots of good options for continuing your walking in the beautiful High Weald. One favourite is the Medway Valley Walk which starts at Tonbridge Castle and follows the river to Rochester. View Full Details>>
|Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk||27 miles (44 km)||Explore the beautiful countryside around Royal Tunbridge Wells on this circular walk through the High Weald AONB. The walk passes through a series of steep ridges and valleys used by climbers including Eridge Rocks and Harrison's Rocks. Other highlights include the woodland through Eridge park and Groombridge Place with its moated manor house and beautiful gardens. You'll also pass Tunbridge Wells Common and the delightful Dunorlan Park as you pass through the town. The start and finish point for the route is at Southborough Common. View Full Details>>|
|Uckfield||17 miles (27.5 km)||The East Sussex based town of Uckfield has some fine walking trails to follow into the lovely countryside of the High Weald AONB. This long circular walk makes use of the Wealdway and Vanguard Way long distance footpaths to take you on a tour of the countryside, woodland and hills surrounding the town. You'll enjoy fine views from the high points and also pass through a section of the expansive Ashdown Forest. The town is accessible by public transport on the Oxted Line which runs to Uckfield Railway Station.|
The walk starts on the Wealdway which runs just past the eastern edge of the town. Follow the path north through Buxted Park to Furnace Wood before climbing to Camp Hill which stands at a height of nearly 200 metres. Shortly after you come to the Vanguard Way in Ashdown Forest which you can follow south east toward Poundgate.
The trail takes you past Newnham Park Wood to High Hurstwood before passing Buxted and Etchingwood. Soon after you come to the Wealdway which you can follow west back into Uckfield. View Full Details>>
|Wakehurst Place||2 miles (3.5 km)||Located in Haywards Heath, Wakehurst is the country estate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. There are 465 acres to explore on a series of delightful footpaths. The walk will take you to beautiful botanic gardens, woodland, lakes, formal gardens, an Elizabethan house and the Kew Millennium Seed Bank - the largest seed conservation project in the world. The aim of the Millennium Seed Bank is to collect seeds from all of the UK's native flora and conserve seeds from 25% of the world's flora by 2020, in the hope that this will save species from extinction in the wild.|
Wakehurst was the National Trust's most visited property in 2008-2009 (for which admission was charged), with 439,627 visitors. A visit will soon show you why with so many attractions. Highlights include the Southern Hemisphere Garden with 16 beds exhibiting plants from South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The delightful Water Garden is another major attraction with ponds, streams and a variety of water-based garden features.
There are many super options if you wish to continue your walk. The High Weald Landscape Trail runs past the edge of the estate so can picked up quite easily. Ardingly Reservoir is right next to Wakehurst and has a lovely waterside walking path to follow. View Full Details>>
|Wealdway||82 miles (132 km)||Follow the Wealdway from the River Thames at Gravesend to Eastbourne on the Sussex coast. The route crosses the chalk ridges of the North and South Downs and passes through the lovely Weald AONB and the expansive Ashdown Forest. After starting at Gravesend the walk heads through Tonbridge, Royal Tunbridge Wells with its famous Pantiles, Uckfield before finishing at Eastbourne with its splendid views from Beachy Head. View Full Details>>|
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