View of the Weald from Brenchley

View of the Weald from Brenchley

David Hodgkinson

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 the Tunbridge Wells region 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 the Royal 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 local area.

Rest assured, there are some refreshing and inviting inns along the Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk 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 away.

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.

You only need to walk a section of these trails to make a wonderful day out in the countryside.

Alternatively, stay longer, walk further and really explore. The trails link to an extensive rights of way network across Kent and Sussex.

Local Walks in the Countryside

Many of the local walks start from the villages and towns such as Goudhurst, Horsmonden, 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 four in the area.

  1. 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.
     
  2. The Cranbrook Walk is just three miles and takes you into the Wealden farmlands and up to Sissinghurst.
     
  3. The town of Paddock Wood is the starting point for the 5½ mile circular Paddock Wood walk that includes farmland and woodland.
     
  4. Horsmonden is the walk to do in Spring through the apple orchards to admire the most beautiful deluge of blossom!

Walking for Everybody

Walking the Tunbridge Wells Common and Rusthall Common trails are the perfect way to discover the amazing wildlife and plants that live on the doorstep.

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 local walks, as well as accommodation within easy reach of the routes, can be obtained by contacting the Tourist Information Centre.

Ordnance Survey maps cover the local area and give details of all the footpaths with public access too.

External Links

Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk
Ashdown Forest
The Wealdway
The Sussex Border Path
North Downs Way and South Downs Way
Explore Kent
Forest Way
RSPB Broadwater Warren

Further Recommendations

Local woodland and nature reserves
Tours and sightseeing

Number of items:

Number of items: 59

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  1. Add Assembly Hall Theatre to your Itinerary

    Assembly Hall Theatre

    Type

    Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The Assembly Hall Theatre is a 1,000 seat theatre offering an eclectic programme with everything from family shows to classical music.

  2. Add Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre to your Itinerary

    Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre

    Type

    Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Located in a converted Grade A listed church by the noted architect Decimus Burton, Trinity Theatre hosts a varied programme of art exhibitions, theatre, films, dance, opera and music productions.

  3. Add The Forum to your Itinerary

    The Forum

    Type

    Event Venue

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    From spring water dispensary to nationally acclaimed live music venue in Royal Tunbridge Wells!

  4. Add Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre to your Itinerary

    Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre

    Type

    Leisure / Swimming Pool

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    A great local resource for those interested in health and fitness, with most facilities available on a pay and play basis.

  5. Add Weald Sports Centre to your Itinerary

    Weald Sports Centre

    Type

    Leisure / Swimming Pool

    Cranbrook

    High quality sporting facilities to include swimming pool, sports hall, fitness studio, exercise studio and creche.

  6. Add Putlands Sports & Leisure Centre to your Itinerary

    Putlands Sports & Leisure Centre

    Type

    Sports Ground

    Paddock Wood, Tonbridge

    Purpose built centre provides sports hall, fitness studio, meeting rooms, outdoor tennis courts, football and rugby pitches.

  7. Add Parish Church of King Charles The Martyr to your Itinerary

    Parish Church of King Charles The Martyr

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The first permanent building in Tunbridge Wells. Stunning plasterwork ceiling by Sir Christopher Wren's Chief Plasterer.

  8. Add St. Dunstan's Church Cranbrook to your Itinerary

    St. Dunstan's Church Cranbrook

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Cranbrook

    Cathedral of the Weald.

  9. Add St. Mary's Church Speldhurst to your Itinerary

    St. Mary's Church Speldhurst

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Tunbridge Wells

    We welcome visitors to our beautiful church.

  10. Add St. Mary's Church Goudhurst to your Itinerary

    St. Mary's Church Goudhurst

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Cranbrook

    The church on the hill above the village.

  11. Add The Queen's Hall Theatre to your Itinerary

    The Queen's Hall Theatre

    Type

    Theatre

    Cranbrook

    Providing entertainment in the heart of the Kent Weald.

  12. Add High Rocks to your Itinerary

    High Rocks

    Type

    Natural Feature

    Tunbridge Wells

    Acres of breathtaking sandstone rocks interlinked with bridges provide a scenic walk in a tranquil woodland setting.

  13. Add St Thomas a Becket Church, Capel to your Itinerary

    St Thomas a Becket Church, Capel

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Capel

    Twelfth century church with wallpaintings of the same period - the most extensive in West Kent. They depict various biblical scenes including Cain and Abel and The Last Supper.

  14. Add St. Mary's Church Lamberhurst to your Itinerary

    St. Mary's Church Lamberhurst

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

  15. Add Cranbrook Union Windmill to your Itinerary

    Cranbrook Union Windmill

    Type

    Windmill

    Cranbrook

    The tallest surviving smock mill in the British Isles, measuring 72 feet to the top of the cap.

  16. Hollywood Bowl

    Hollywood Bowl

    Type

    Bowling

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Bowl on one of the 24 lanes, have a drink from the bar, play at the American Pool Pit, dine out and experience the latest in arcade technology as well as Virtual Reality.

  17. Add Gulliver's Play Cafe to your Itinerary

    Gulliver's Play Cafe

    Type

    Adventure Park / Playground

    Cranbrook

    Gulliver’s Play Café makes fresh food for kids and grown-ups that will tantalise your tastebuds. It’s a place to play, relax, meet and make memories!

  18. Clue Cracker

    Add Clue Cracker to your Itinerary

    Clue Cracker

    Type

    Activity Centre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    7 July 2020 update: open - please book in advance

    Escape room puzzles for all the family

  19. Add Tunbridge Wells Museum, The Amelia, at Royal Victoria Place to your Itinerary

    Tunbridge Wells Museum, The Amelia, at Royal Victoria Place

    Type

    Museum

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Whilst the 1950s building is closed for redevelopment some collections are displayed in the Library’s temporary premises at Royal Victoria Place shopping centre (level 1, opposite Fenwick and Muffin Break).

  20. Add Fenton's Curling Rink to your Itinerary

    Fenton's Curling Rink

    Type

    Sports Ground

    Near Kippings Cross, Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The only curling rink in England.

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