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Tonbridge Ramblers – Wealdway40 – celebrating our heritage

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The Wealdway is a long-distance path running 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 Ridge. Importantly for us, the Wealdway passes through the heart of Tonbridge and Malling and many of our regular Ramblers walks include sections of this path.

September 2021 will mark the 40th anniversary of the Wealdway, a project which was conceived by Meopham and District Footpaths Group, who devised the first section (Gravesend to Tonbridge). The full route was then developed over 10 years by Ramblers groups in Kent, leading to the official opening on 27 September 1981.

Tonbridge & Malling Ramblers, along with eight other Kent walking groups, will host group walks along sections of the Wealdway this September. As with all Ramblers walks, the Wealdway40 walks are open to non-members who would like to try a walk with us, before deciding if they’d like to join Ramblers, Britain’s national walking charity.

Neil Whittall, Chairman of Tonbridge & Malling Ramblers, hopes that the Wealdway40 walks will encourage new and returning walkers to enjoy a guided walk in the wonderful Kent and Sussex countryside. “Walking has been so important for mental and physical health since the start of the pandemic,” said Neil. “Many people have walked local footpaths, including The Wealdway, for the first time. It’s great that nine walking groups across Kent have come together to host over 20 anniversary walks, to draw attention to the path and the benefits of walking with Ramblers, Britain’s national walking charity.”

The Wealdway passes Tonbridge Castle at the Medway bridge in the centre of the town. Here, all are welcome to join us for a short ceremony at 10.00 on Sunday 26 September. Guests will include the Mayor of Tonbridge, Councillor Roger Roud. Following the ceremony, three groups of walkers will set off from Tonbridge Castle on walks of 1.5 miles, 6 miles and 15 miles to complete the day’s festivities.

Full details of how to join one of the Wealdway40 walks can be found at on the Kent Ramblers website.

Wealdway40 walks

Most walks are circular, but some are linear, so please check the details online and contact the leader to clarify if necessary.

Walks are open to non-members but booking may be required – see website.

Walks are subject to updates – see the website for details.

Wednesday 1 September – Haysden to Tonbridge and Powder Mills (5 miles)
Thursday 2 September – Jeskyns Circular from Ifield Court to Henley Down and returning via Cobham (7 miles)
Sunday 5 September – Southborough to Speldhurst circular (5 miles)
Sunday 5 September – One Walk and Two Ways from Yalding (10.5 miles)

Thursday 9 September – St Mary’s Platt to Addington (6 miles)
Sunday 12 September – Southborough to Haysden (5 miles)
Sunday 12 September – Plaxtol to St Mary’s Platt (6.2 miles)
Sunday 12 September – Mereworth Woods and beyond (11.3 miles)

Wednesday 15 September* – Southborough Common via Bidborough down to the Medway and return via Barden Lake and Wealdway (8.5 miles)
Wednesday 15 September* – Ightham and Basted from Borough Green (10.2 miles)
Sunday 19 September – Back to our routes! Includes a visit to the site of the official opening of the Wealdway at Camp Hill in Ashdown Forest (5 miles)
Sunday 19 September – Wealdway loop from Camer Park to Great Buckland, Coomb Hill Farm, Dene Manor, Bramble Hall Farm and back on the Wealdway (5 miles)
Sunday 19 September – A stroll from Pooh Corner near Crowborough (5.5 miles)
Sunday 19 September – Orchards, streams and Hadlow Castle (11 miles)

Tuesday 21 September* – Addington to West Peckham following the Wealdway (8 miles linear)
Wednesday 22 September – Meopham Green to Borough Green via Great Buckland and St Mary’s Platt (10 miles linear)
Wednesday 22 September* – Borough Green to Yalding (15 miles linear walk)
Friday 24 September* – Jeskyns Circular including Ifield Court, Great Buckland, Henley Street and Cobham (10.8 miles)
Sunday 26 September # – A stroll around Tonbridge Park (1.5 miles)
Sunday 26 September* # – Tonbridge to Hadlow (6.3 miles linear)
Sunday 26 September # – Tonbridge to Groombridge and Tunbridge Wells (15 miles linear)

Wednesday 29 September – West Peckham to Hadlow (7 miles)

* Booking required
# Walk will set off after the anniversary ceremony by Tonbridge Castle