Wealdway 40th Anniversary
Ramblers groups in Kent and Sussex will mark the 40th
anniversary of the opening of the
Wealdway long distance
path with a series of Wealdway40 walks in September
2021. Each walk will incorporate a part of the
Wealdway route. Members and non-members are
invited to book to join one or more of these walks.
Events will culminate with a commemoration at Tonbridge
Castle on Sunday 26 September.
All walks associated with Wealdway40 are listed
below. Please follow the specific booking
instructions for each walk.
For all other enquiries regarding this event please
About the Wealdway
Wealdway runs for 82 miles north-south across Kent and
Sussex from Gravesend to Eastbourne. It crosses
not just the fine scenery of the High and Low Wealds but
also the North Downs, the South Downs and the Greensand
High Weald is arguably the finest walking country in
the South East with its characteristic sandstone
outcrops and perhaps the best preserved mediaeval
landscape in northern Europe. A mixture of small
farms, arable fields, pasture and woodland cut by
steep-sided ghylls makes every walk a delight, marred
only slightly in winter by the glorious Wealden mud.
The ancient timbered buildings, especially the
eponymous Wealden Hall House, add much to the landscape,
as do the furnace and hammer ponds that are relics of
the Tudor iron industry.
of the Wealdway
and District Footpaths Group proposed the idea of a
long-distance path from the Thames to the English
Channel. The group designed the first section from
Gravesend to Tonbridge.
Tunbridge Wells Ramblers member,
the late Geoff King, then volunteered to take on the
task of establishing the remainder of the route, aided
by a steering group. Nine years later, on 27 September
1981, the finished route – including hundreds of stiles,
waymarks and reinstated neglected paths – was opened by
the late Lord Derek Barber of Tewkesbury, then Chairman
of the Countryside Commission. 500 walkers and
representatives of walking organisations from 17
European countries attended the opening ceremony at Camp
Hill in Ashdown Forest.