The High Weald in Kent and Sussex has an amazing network of footpaths, bridleways and byways to explore – 2,570km in total!
From families with young children to avid ramblers and everyone in-between, this precious landscape has something for everyone to enjoy.
You can explore the area’s ancient woodlands, fields and heaths at your own pace with a range of downloadable self-guided walks, including easy-access routes that are both buggy and wheelchair friendly. If you’re after a challenge, why not take on the iconic 95-mile High Weald Landscape Trail?
In September, join our annual High Weald Walking Festival and choose from a programme of free themed walks led by knowledgeable guides.
The AONB is also home to a number of tranquil nature reserves, owned and managed by the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust, National Trust and local community groups.
Use the interactive map to explore a specific area or choose from the options below.
Self-guided circular walks
We have curated a selection of self-guided circular routes ranging from 1 – 9+ miles, including accessible routes. Many of these walks have developed by the area’s local authorities and have been recently updated.
We have also listed walks within the AONB developed by local community groups, attractions, wildlife organisations and charities. However, as these routes have been developed without local authority involvement, there is no guarantee of standards – they should however meet the basic standards for rights of way.
We always recommend you carry an OS map with you when walking in the countryside.
High Weald Walking Festival
Join us from Saturday 9 – Sunday 17 September and discover the High Weald in all its autumnal glory!
Our annual walking festival is a great way to explore and learn about this special landscape, with something for every age and ability.
Choose from an exciting programme of more than 40 FREE guided walks and talks, with a selection of downloadable self-guided routes for those who prefer to go at their own pace.
The festival is a collaboration between the High Weald AONB Partnership and several local branches of the Ramblers.
High Weald Landscape Trail
Looking for a challenge?
Take on our iconic 145km (90 mile) route that meanders through the AONB from east to west, linking ridge-top villages and historic gardens for which the area is famous.
- Length: 145 kilometres (95 miles)
- Start point: Railway Station, Horsham
- Finish point: Strand Quay, Rye
- Days to complete Trail: 7 days on average
- Highest point: West Hoathly, 183 m (600 ft)
- Explorer maps: 134, 135, 136, 125
Walking in the Weald
The High Weald is a working landscape and many rights of way pass through farmland – you may come across chickens, cattle, sheep, horses – or even alpacas! Please follow the countryside code and be respectful of our hardworking farmers.
Hooray for clay!
The clay paths of the High Weald can be notoriously muddy at all times of year so waterproof boots are recommended unless you’re exploring a country park.
What to wear
Be prepared for changeable weather by carrying waterproofs in a rucksack. Trousers can be useful in providing protection against any high or prickly vegetation or rain-drenched or dewy crops. They can also protect against ticks – find out how to be tick aware here.
Find your way
It’s always best to take an OS map to find your way in the High Weald. Footpaths can become overgrown quickly – or diverted – so we can’t guarantee any of the walks on our website are 100% up to date.
As the High Weald is a large area it is covered by several maps:
Explorer Series, scale 1:25,000, 2 1/2 inches to 1 mile (4cm to 1km )
123 South Downs Way
124 Hastings and Bexhill
125 Romney Marsh
134 Crawley and Horsham
135 Ashdown Forest
136 The Weald
147 Sevenoaks and Tonbridge
Keep yourself and others safe
We ask everyone to act responsibly and enjoy the benefits that nature offers, while giving it the respect it deserves.
You can also support farmers by sticking to the marked footpaths, being careful not to trample on crops, leaving gates as you find them and ensuring we all practice the countryside code values of ‘Respect – Protect – Enjoy’.
Where rights of way leave the road, metal or wooden finger posts, or a stone plinth indicate the way. At other points, such as field boundaries or path junctions, footpaths are marked with short posts or taller finger posts.
In addition to the posts, public rights of way in Kent and East Sussex are usually marked with small coloured arrows to show the status of the path and direction.
In West Sussex the classification of the rights of way is carved in words in the finger post. If the status of a path changes along its length, so does the colour of the arrows or the wording on the finger post. Where a right of way is a promoted path, the arrows are used in conjunction with the route’s own symbol.