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.
Wealdway Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Wealdway Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Wealdway OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Wealdway Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
Near Hailsham, on the eastern side of Arlington Reservoir you'll find the noteworthy Old Oak Inn. This 18th Century oak beam traditional English pub has a good menu and selection of drinks. There's also a splendid garden area where you can sit out and enjoy lunch on fine days. Large family tables for 8 offer outside seating for up to 150 persons with views of the countryside and the adjacent Abbot's Wood. It's the ideal spot to relax in when the sun is shining. You can find the pub in the little village of Arlington on the western fringes of the woods. The postcode for your sat navs is BN26 6SJ.
The Three Daws in Gravesend is one of the must see pubs on the route. The historic riverside inn dates back to the 1400s, making it one of the oldest in the country. As such it's steeped with tales of smugglers, Press Gangs, hauntings and the like. It would have been a popular haunt for seamen as at one time large sailing merchant ships used to anchor off the Three Daws. Today you can enjoy lovely British food in the garden area overlooking the River Thames. It's a splendid spot to relax in on warmer days. You can find them at the start of the walk at the Town Pier with a postcode of DA11 0BJ for your sat navs.
The path skirts the edge of Camer Park near Meopham. There's some nice trails, wide lawns and a pleasant little cafe to stop at here.
In Speldhurst you'll find The George and Dragon, a historic pub of some note. The pub is housed in a building dating back to 1212 which was originally a manor house of some importance. It is thought Kentish Archers were treated to a banquet in the Great Hall on their return from Agincourt in 1415. They serve high quality food which can be enjoyed in the charming interior or outside in the sunny garden. You can find them at postcode TN3 0NN for your sat navs.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Also near Hailsham you will find one of the notable local attractions at Michelham Priory at Upper Dicker. This former Augustine Priory dates from the 13th century and includes some original buildings which are Grade I and Grade II listed. It's a very pretty site with a watermill in the grounds of the priory which has been restored to working order and is open to the public. The historic site is located right on the trail, just outside Hailsham. It's well worthy of some investigation if you have time.
Above:Michelham Priory views. An idyllic setting with with the lovely pond and house on the right.
For more walking ideas in the area see the High Weald Walks and North Downs Walks pages.