Walking in Tunbridge Wells
With some of the best landscapes in the country and a fantastic choice of public footpaths, the best way to see the glorious countryside of Kent and Sussex that surrounds Royal Tunbridge Wells is on foot.
By slowing down and absorbing the scenery around you, you’ll gain a new perspective and see so much more.
Here you can roam for miles or take a gentle stroll; walk with the family or wander freely.
Some of the Best Walks in the Kent Countryside
The marked long distance walking routes around Tunbridge Wells are some of the best walks in Kent, an area ideal for walking, rambling, tramping and strolling!
The Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk has 27½ miles (44.3 km) of paths surrounding the town, with link paths to Royal Tunbridge Wells town centre.
This provides a real challenge for those who want to spend several days in the area.
Alternatively, it can be tackled in smaller portions for a more leisurely walk through Kent country.
The trail passes quite a few points of interest along the way, such as Groombridge Place Gardens and the outstanding Chagall windows at All Saints' Church in Tudeley, acting as a good introduction to some of the sights of the Tunbridge Wells area.
Rest assured, there are some refreshing and inviting inns along the way too!
The Wealdway walk runs across the counties of Kent and Sussex across the chalk ridges of the North and South Downs and through the Weald stretching for almost 80 miles (126.8km).
It begins from Old Father Thames, our famous river at Gravesend in North Kent, and wends its way through Royal Tunbridge Wells before finally running out of land at the seaside in Eastbourne, Sussex.
The Sussex Border Path, as its name suggests, runs along the county borders of Kent, West Sussex and East Sussex, over the South Downs towards East Grinstead, passing south of Royal Tunbridge Wells to Bewl Water and Hawkhurst and then finishing on the coast in Rye.
The 150 mile walk meanders through unblemished countryside and quaint villages with inviting and friendly pubs offering good traditional food and beer.
Visit the Inspiration for Winnie The Pooh
True Pooh fans can enjoy a game of Poohsticks on Pooh Bridge near the village of Hartfield, a short 20 minute drive from Royal Tunbridge Wells.
Nearby, Ashdown Forest is the creative birthplace of Hundred Aker Wood in AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh stories.
The Forest is a protected reserve made up of 2,500 acres of rare and threatened heath habitat interwoven with small trails and bridleways to enjoy.
Some of the Best National Trails in the UK
If you are a keen hiker who loves a challenge the National Trails of the North Downs Way and South Downs Way are within easy reach of the Tunbridge Wells area.
Walking sections of these trails make for wonderful days out in the countryside.
Alternatively, stay longer and get out and really explore.
The trails link to an extensive rights of way network across Kent and Sussex.
Local Walks in Tunbridge Wells Countryside
Many of the local walks start from the villages and towns such as Goudhurst, Paddock Wood, Lamberhurst and Cranbrook, with their rich history and heritage they are captivating places to stop and linger.
There’s no rush, so pause, take the time to discover more about our rural villages.
Explore Kent has lots of downloadable walking guides, find their link below. Here is a sample of three in the area.
- The Goudhurst walk (A Walk Through Time) is a ten mile circular route that goes through the village and out through ancient woodland awash with bluebells in the spring. South of the village there are stunning views of the fields, orchards, oast houses and woods.
- The Cranbrook Walk is just three miles and takes you into the Wealden farmlands and up to Sissinghurst.
- The town of Paddock Wood is the starting point for the 5½ mile circular Paddock Wood walk that includes farmland and woodland.
Walking for Everybody
There are shorter routes for those with little legs at Dunorlan Park, Broadwater Warren RSPB Nature Reserve and Hargate Forest. Also find a few short toddler walks on the Explore Kent website.
What will you see and hear down in the woods?
Can you identify that birdsong, plant or leaf?
The Forest Way is an old disused railway track that runs from Groombridge to Forest Row passing through classic Wealden countryside with panoramas of the rolling hills.
There are several circular walks leading off Forest Way into the adjoining countryside and because it is a flat trail it is accessible to all.
For information on walks, countryside and green spaces which are accessible to those using wheelchairs, mobility scooters, pushchairs and buggies, visit accessiblecountryside.org.uk
You set the pace
Did you know that at least 70% of Tunbridge Wells Borough is designated as High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, giving it a unique and protected status?
Walking is a free and healthy activity and there is always something to appreciate in all seasons.
So what are you waiting for?
Grab your walking boots, get out and explore our spectacular countryside.
Further details of all the above routes and other Tunbridge Wells walks, as well as accommodation within easy reach of the routes, can be obtained by contacting the Tourist Information Centre in Royal Tunbridge Wells.
Ordnance Survey maps cover the local area and give details of all the footpaths with public access too.