insideKENT Magazine Issue 60 - March 2017 - Page 51

DAYSOUT WEALD WALKS WAY BACK IN THE MISTS OF TIME (IN THE NEOLITHIC PERIOD, WHICH ENDED IN AROUND 2,000 BC TO BE A LITTLE MORE PRECISE), THE AREA WE KNOW AND LOVE AS THE WEALD WAS COVERED IN FOREST. IN FACT, THAT’S WHERE ITS NAME COMES FROM; ‘WEALD’ IS DERIVED FROM THE OLD ENGLISH FOR WOODLAND. The Weald is an area that sits neatly between the North and South Downs and stretches across Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. The High Weald mainly consists of sandstone, and it stretches from East Sussex to West Kent – it is 1,461 km2 with a wonderful 2,395 km of footpaths and bridleways crisscrossing all over it. There are some truly stunning walks to be taken here. Here are some of our favourites, but there are many more besides. BODIAM CASTLE WALK // BODIAM Starting at Bodiam Castle, this is a lovely circular walk that takes in the beautiful Bodiam Castle and takes walkers along the River Rother. It’s an easy walk for all abilities and it takes in the spectacular views of The Weald, the castle, and the Kent and East Sussex Railway too. BARNETT’S WOOD NATURE TRAIL // TUNBRIDGE WELLS Barnett’s Wood is a Local Nature Reserve in Tunbridge Wells. This is where you can get a true idea of what The Weald would have been like before the Neolithic settlers cut down the trees to make room for their habitation and industry. Simply follow the route laid out through the nature reserve and you’ll discover plenty of Wealden beauty. SANDY CROSS WALK // HEATHFIELD Starting at The Runt in Tun in Heathfield, the Sandy Cross Walk is a neat little 1.5-mile stroll through some beautiful Wealden scenery. It takes in part of the famous Cuckoo Trail and because it’s circular, you can enjoy a refreshing lunch or drink at the pub at the end. The walk is partly completed on footpaths, partly on tracks, and partly on pavement. A WALK THROUGH TIME // BENENDEN If you enjoy walking long distances then this is the walk for you. It’s a 10-mile circular walk that starts in the car park in the pretty little village of Benenden. This walk shows you the High Weald of Kent at its very finest, taking in the different landscapes and scenery that we are so lucky to live near to. Along this walk you will follow the High Weald Landscape Trail which takes you across fields, woodland and even orchards. The best views of the Weald can be enjoyed from both St George’s Church in Benenden and on the footpath which takes you back to Cranbrook. ROBERTSBRIDGE WALK // ROBERTSBRIDGE This lovely walk starts in Station Road, Robertsbridge and takes you on a 5-mile circular journey around the area. You’ll be able to enjoy both woodland and farmland, and the views across the valleys are some of the best in the Weald. MARSH GREEN WALK // MARSH GREEN Marsh Green, near Edenbridge, is your starting point for this 3.8-mile circular walk that not only gives you amazing views of the Weald but also takes you near to some fantastic local attractions. These includes Hever Castle and the Eden Valley Museum. 51