|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>>|
|Standen House||1 miles (2 km)||Explore the gardens, parkland and woodland surrounding this 19th century National Trust house. The Standen Estate covers 100 acres with good footpaths taking you around the grounds and into the adjacent Rockingshill Wood. In the woods you'll find a number of ponds and pretty bluebells in the spring. There's a beautiful hillside garden and a kitchen garden. Flora includes rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas and herbaceous borders. There's also nice views across the Sussex countryside and the Philip Webb designed house which has a superb collection of Arts and Crafts interiors, with Morris & Co designs. |
The High Weald Landscape Trail passes the estate so you can pick this up to extend your walk. If you head south you'll soon come to Weir Wood Reservoir. There's a splendid footpath running around the perimeter of the reservoir with great views across the water and a nature reserve at the western end.
If you head west along the High Weald Landscape Trail you can explore Minepit Wood with its nice woodland trails and pretty lake.
If you head east you can pick up the Forest Way. The cycling and walking route runs from East Grinstead to Groombridge along a disused railway line. 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>>
|Ardingly Reservoir||5 miles (8 km)||This 198 acre reservoir and nature reserve has a lovely waterside walking path ideal for an easy stroll. The walk starts at the parking lot at the southern end of the reservoir and take you along the eastern side of the water to the village of Balcombe before returning to the start point. As a nature reserve you will pass through a variety of habitats including wetland, reedbed, deciduous woodland, hazel coppice and haymeadow. Look out for Great crested grebe and kingfishers as you make your way round the reservoir. 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>>
|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>>
|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>>
|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>>|
|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
- St. Leonard's Forest - located at the western end of the Wealden Forest Ridge running from Horsham to Tonbridge, the forest is part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- Borde Hill Garden - located near Hayward's Heath Borde Hill features over 200 acres of garden, park and woodlands accompanied by spectacular views across the Sussex High Weald
- Wakehurst Place - owned by the National Trust Wakehurst Place is located near Ardingly. It comprises a late 16th century country house and a mainly 20th century garden, managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens
- Stone Farm Rocks - located near East Grinstead you will find this series of sandstone crags which is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
- Standen House - National Trust owned Arts and Crafts family home with Morris & Co. interiors, set in a beautiful hillside garden
- Harrison's Rocks - popular with rock climbers this sandstone crag is located approximately 1.5 km south of the village of Groombridge in the county of East Sussex.
- Union Mill - Grade I listed smock mill in Cranbrook, Kent, England which has been restored to working order. It is the tallest smock mill in the United Kingdom.
- Rye Castle - this 13th century castle houses a museum which includes locally-made medieval pottery, an embroidery depicting many aspects of Rye life and history, medieval artifacts, activities and town maps.
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>>
|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>>
|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>>
|Harrow Weald Common||2 miles (2.5 km)||This area of common land in Harrow has some nice footpaths to try. There's 18 hectares to explore with woodland, heath and pasture. The common has a car park off Old Redding Road where you can pick ip the trails. Head west and you will soon come to Gilberts Lake and Gilberts Orchard. You'll also pass Grim's Dyke, an ancient earthwork which runs for three miles between the common and Pinner Green. From the high points in the park there are nice views of Central London and the Chilterns. The Harrow viewpoint on Old Redding is a popular spot and a great place to soak in the extensive views.|
The common is also great for interesting flora and fauna. Look out for magnificent redwoods, rhododendrons and marsh plants like yellow iris and willow scrub. Keep you eyes peeled for wildlife such as red fox, muntjac deer and a variety of butterflies in the summer months.
The London Loop passes through the common so there is scope for extending your walk. If you head east you can visit Bentley Priory and Stanmore Common where there are more good walking trails to try. Heading west will take you to Oxhey Woods where there is a fine sculpture trail. 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.
To extend your walking in the area you could pick up the Rye to Hastings Walk and visit the beautiful Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. 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>>
|Tunbridge Wells Common||1 miles (2 km)||Explore this large green space on this pleasant walk in Tunbridge Wells. The common is criss-crossed with lots of nice walking trails and a cycle path. On the common you'll find woodland, heathland, ponds and a variety of wildlife. Look out for roe deer, voles, lizards and grass snakes. Around the ponds you can see frogs, toads, newts and dragonflies. |
The area is also well known for its sandstone outcrops and the Wellington Rocks where there are nice views over the cricket ground below.
The common is located next to The Pantiles just to the north of Tunbridge Wells West Rail Station.
It's easy to extend your walking in this lovely area. You can pick up the Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk which explores the countryside, nature reserves and woodland surrounding the town. If you head north west you will soon come to Rusthall Common where there are more interesting shaped rocks such as Toad Rock and Loaf Rock. Also nearby is the splendid Broadwater Warren RSPB nature reserve. The reserve has miles of well laid out footpaths and a boardwalk through wet woodland to try.
Just to the east of the common is the splendid Dunorlan Park. The large public park has a pretty lake, wide open lawns and wonderful views of the surrounding countryside of the Weald.
For cyclists National Route 18 can be picked up from the western edge of the common. You can follow it west towards Friezland Wood, High Rocks and Groombridge. View Full Details>>
|Ranmore Common||4 miles (6 km)||This circular walk explores Ranmore Common in the North Downs. It is an excellent area for walking with miles of good footpaths taking you through woodland and open downland, with great views of the Surrey Hills.|
The walk starts from the Denbies Hillside car park and follows the North Downs Way across grassy chalk downland where you will see various types of orchids growing in the summer months. You then pick up bridleways through the common where you will find sheltered woodland trails and some climbs with great viewpoints. The bridleways are also great for cyclists.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could head east along the North Downs Way to the nearby Box Hill Country Park. Here you will find more great walking trails with panoramic views of the western Weald and a riverside path along the River Mole.
On the edge of the common you will find the National Trust owned Denbies Hillside where there are waymarked trails with great views over the North Downs from the high points. View Full Details>>
|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>>
|Bewl Water||12 miles (20 km)||This is a walking and cycling route around the beautiful Bewl Water reservoir near Lamberhurst. The route runs alongside the reservoir for most of the way though there is an inland section on quiet country lanes around Tolhurst. It runs for about 12.5 miles with great views of the High Weald AONB. |
Bike hire is available during the summer months from the Boat House Bistro.
The area is also great for wildlife watching with Goldcrests, Long Tailed Tits, Wagtails, Skylarks and Lapwings in the woodland. Also look out for Kingfishers, Herons and the Great Crested Grebe on the water.
Please note the route is not always open for cyclists during the winter months - please check the Bewl Water website before setting off. 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>>|
|Leith Hill||4 miles (6 km)||Climb to the highest point in the South East on this challenging walk in the Surrey Hills AONB. Leith Hill is located near Dorking and is also the highest point on the Greensand Ridge. On the summit of Leith Hill is an 18th century Gothic tower, with panoramic views northwards to London and south to the English Channel. The area is run by the National Trust so the tower has been restored and contains a viewing point with a telescope and refreshments at the Tower servery. There are also self guided trails through woodland, farmland and parkland.|
The walk begins at the car park on the western side of the hill and takes you to the high point on the Greensand Way long distance footpath. You then head towards Coldharbour and Whiteberry Hill, crossing Wotton Common, before returning to the car park.
If you'd like to continue your walking in the area then you could head to the nearby village of Holmbury St Mary and climb Holmbury Hill for great views over the Weald of Sussex.
You could also try our circular walk around Abinger Common and Wotton Common. There's miles of good woodland trails, ponds and streams to enjoy here. View Full Details>>
|New Lipchis Way||37 miles (60 km)||This is an exceptionally lovely walking trail that runs from Liphook, in Hampshire, to East Head at the entrance to Chichester Harbour. The path takes you through some of the loveliest parts of West Sussex including greensand ridges,
Wealden river valleys, heathlands, high chalk downland and then finally the coastal plain at Chichester.|
The first section of the walk runs from Liphook to Midhurst, passing through Woolbeding Common before a waterside section along the River Rother takes you to Midhurst.
From Midhurst you continue south through countryside and woodland to Singleton where you will find the fascinating Weald & Downland Open Air Museum. The museum covers 50 acres, with around 50 historic buildings dating from the thirteenth to nineteenth centuries, along with gardens, farm animals, walks and a lake.
The next section then takes you to Chichester, and includes a climb to the top of St Roche's hill where you can enjoy splendid views of the South Downs. Soon after you join a short easy section along a dismantled railway line through Lavant and onto the beautiful cathedral city of Chichester.
The final section then takes you along the Chichester Ship Canal and the Chichester Channel to West Wittering with splendid views of Chichester Harbour as you go. View Full Details>>
|Greensand Way||107 miles (173 km)||The Greensand Way runs from Haslemere in Surrey to Hamstreet in Kent following the ridge of greensand rock that crosses the two counties. The route takes in two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty - the Surrey Hills and the Kent Downs - as well as numerous Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Highlights include
View Full Details>>
- Gibbet hill - Located at Hindhead, Surrey it is the second highest point in Surrey after Leith Hill. It commands a panoramic view of the beautiful North Downs. The view to the north overlooks the Devil's Punch Bowl , Thursley, Hankley Common, Crooksbury Hill, and the Hog's Back towards Godalming and Guildford. To the east lies the Sussex Weald. To the south, the hills of Haslemere and Blackdown can be seen, with some sections of the South Downs.
- Thursley National Nature Reserve has miles of footpaths through heathland and woodland with a huge variety of wildlife.
- Leith Hill (video below) -the highest point in the South East with fabulous views of the Surrey countryside. It is located near Dorking and is also the highest point on the Greensand Ridge. On the summit of Leith Hill is an 18th century Gothic tower, with panoramic views northwards to London and the English Channel to the south.
- Holmbury Hill - one of the high points of the walk, this hill in Holbury St Mary, commands fine views over the Surrey Hills AONB.
- Winterfold Forest - the trail passes through this expansive wood, popular with mountain bikers.
- Knole Park - Knole House in Sevenoaks is surrounded by a deer park, ancient woodland, dry heathland, acid grassland and wood pasture.
- Riverhill Himalayan Gardens - these delighful gardens have nice footpaths taking you to a walled garden with Himalayan-inspired grass-sculpted terraces and a large pond with fountains. It is located just to the south of Knole Park near Sevenoaks.
- Igtham Mote - this medieval moated manor house in Sevenoaks is surrouned by woodland, gardens and parkland.
- Chartwell House - the family home and garden of Sir Winston Churchill in Westerham, Kent
- Toys Hill - wonderful viewpoint with views over the Weald of Kent. The area has strong connections with Octavia Hill, the founder of the National Trust.
- Linton Park - large 18th-century country house in Linton, Kent with beautiful gardens and views of the Weald. The estate is private property and is not open to the public, but the Greensand Way crosses the parkland east-west to the north of the house and a public footpath crosses the southern parkland close to the park lake.
- Crossing the River Medway on The Twyford Bridge, Yalding, Kent
- A series of magnificent houses, gardens and parks, which have been built along the ridge.
|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>>
|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>>|