Maidstone Walking Festival

Maidstone Walking Festival

30th Sept - 2nd Oct

Walking

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Whether you're a serious hiker or just wanting to stretch your legs, the South East offers a diverse range of walks to enjoy.  With over 11,000 walking trails, paths and routes to enjoy there are endless discoveries to make along the way.  Head out on foot for some fresh air and exercise and enjoy the 3 million acres of natural beauty in South East England.

The Countryside CodeEnjoy the beautiful South East countryside at every opportunity; it is so good for your wellbeing, great to be out in the fresh air and enjoying some exercise. However, whilst you are out and about remember to follow the Countryside Code.  RESPECT - PROTECT - ENJOY. This code contains advice for the public and landowners, making it easier for visitors to help respect, protect and enjoy the outdoors.

Take a look at some of our favourite top walks in the South East below, or if you want to stretch your legs a little further, our long-distance walks in Berkshire, highlighting the national trails and pilmgrimage routes in this area (more to follow).

Top Walks in South East England

Part of the South Downs Way, this stretch of coastline has featured in many TV shows and adverts. The series of chalk cliffs with its breathtaking views, make it clear why the sisters have become so recognisable. The 13.6 mile walk goes from Seaford to Eastbourne and includes views of the iconic Beachy Head lighthouse and the chance to enjoy the beautiful Cuckmere Haven.  Some shorter self-guided walks are also available if you don't want to walk it all.

This four and a half mile walk takes in the famous Battle Abbey and the 1066 Battlefield, the most famous conflict on English soil.  You can also follow in the footsteps of William the Conqueror on a longer 31-mile walk 1066 Country Walk from Pevensey to Rye - look out for the new sculptures along the way.

Battle Abbey, 1066 Country. Credit National Trust

This 100 mile national trail runs from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in Sussex and has an ascent to 3,800km.  The trail runs entirely within the South Downs National Park (SDNP).  To long?  There are numerous shorter walks starting from Winchester, or in and around West Sussex or take on the coastal walk from Eastbourne to Alfriston (17.5 miles) which can be accessed by walkers only.  

The Isle of Wight coastal path can be spilt into 6 sections and takes you the whole way around the Isle of Wight.  Walks range from 8 - 16 miles and includes incredible scenery and views a plenty.

Discover the beautiful Sussex countryside around Brighton with the Sussex Walk App.  Showcasing 10 walks in and around Brighton, you can experience the beautiful views from Devils Dyke or Ditchling Beacon, explore Brighton's largest park Stanmer Park, or follow in the footsteps of Winnie-the-Pooh at Ashdown Forest.  With a whole host of options from 1 mile up, its a great way to explore the beautiful Sussex countryside.

Explore the historic sites of Portsmouth with this 3km walk along the promenade.  Starting near Clarence Pier and finishing at The Hard, linking many of the cities historic attractions and taking in the Camber, Old Portsmouth and Gunwharf Quays, the route is indicated by a chain motif set into the surface of the pavement making it easy to follow.  Fully accessible and flat.

Millennium Promenade, Old Portsmouth, Hampshire

Starting at Jane Austen's house in Chawton, this 4.5 mile walk takes in the countryside that inspired many of her novels.

This 153 mile path stretches from Farnham in Surrey to Dover in Kent, and runs along a chalf ridge of the North Downs, an Area of Outstanding National Beauty (ANOB) and includes the world-famous White Cliffs of Dover

This 3km waterfront trail links Explosions! The Museum of Naval Firepower with the Royal Navy Submarine Museum and offers panoramic views over Portsmouth Harbour. 

Open only in the spring (13th April until 19th May 2022) at the height of Bluebell season, immerse yourself in a colourful trail of flora and fauna. There's a walk of 2.5 miles and wheelchair accessible 1100m route with mobility scooters available to hire.

Arlington Bluebell Walk, East Sussex

You don't always have to travel right out into the countryside to walk, there are some fantastic places to explore in our towns and cities.  Windsor and the surrounding area benefits from some beautiful large open spaces to walk including Windsor Great Park, Dorney Lake Arboretum and alongside the River Thames.  

The Basing trail a waymarked, circular 7 mile walk leading to the picturesque village of Old Basing near Basingstoke. The village dates from the Saxon times, and the trail includes the chance to see the Civil War site of Basing House; its ruins, surviving buildings and earthworks that still bear the scars of its historic siege.

Take a stroll along the 4 mile route between Turner's Margate and Dickens' Broadstairs, much of which follows an ancient footpath between St Peter's and St John's churches is signposted in both directions. Start at Margate Harbour Arm next to Turner Contemporary Gallery or on Broadstairs promenade outside Dickens House Museum.

View of Broadstairs Beach, Thanet

The second largest hill-fort in the country, with spectacular views in every direction - on a clear day you can see as far as Brighton and the Isle of Wight. Cissbury Ring is located in the South Downs National Park, just north of Worthing, West Sussex and is about a 20 minute walk from the local car park at Storrington Rise.

Walking is a great way to discover a new place, to feel part of the place you are visiting and they don't always need to be in the countryside.  Discover five walks in and around the city of Southampton, from the chance to walk the historic Southampton walls to a 45 min walk on a titantic tour.

Hengistbury Head is a stunning headland perched on the edge of the Bournemouth coastline, its a beautiful place to enjoy a walk.  Enjoy uninterrupted views of the Isle of Wight to the left and the crescent of the Bournemouth and Poole coastline to the right, lots of fresh air and varied flora and fauna. 

Hengistbury Head, South of Christchurch, Bournemouth

This 18 mile coastal trail along a stretch of the East Sussex coastline, connects three award-winning art galleries along the way, the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne, the De La Warr Pavillion and the Hastings Contemporary.

The 21 mile long-distance footpath starts in the beautiful village of Alton (at the railway station) and follows the steep, densely wooded East Hampshire Hangers (a series of steep sided wooded hills) to the market town of Petersfield, then onto Queen Elizabeth Country Park.  The trail can be easily divided up into bite-size sections of around two & four miles, making it ideal for a family adventure or an afternoon stroll.

Fun for all the family, this walk follows alongside the River Medway and is marked with twenty posts with zinc rubbing plaques and information about local wildlife.  Starting from The Old Boat Café, each post is located where you are likely to see these creatures or signs of these creatures. 

Discover the hugh natural basin 'that the Devil scooped up by throwing handfuls of earth at the god Thor' at Hindhead, Surrey, a beautiful wildness with easy access from the A3. 

Walking Festivals

Walk, stroll or saunter your way on along to one of this years walking festivals, which kick off in May in Alton, East Hampshire (1st - 31st May 22) and the Isle of Wight (7th - 15th May 22), North Wessex Downs Walking Festival, Basingstoke (11th June - 26th June 22)  White Cliffs Country (25th - 30th August 22), Eastbourne (16th - 25th September 22), Maidstone (30th September - 2nd October 22) and back to the Isle of Wight (8th - 16th October 22) 

Coastal walks and walking holidays

Click the 'map view' button or browse the list below for a selection of companies that organise self-led hikes or guided walking holidays, tours, paths and national trails, for individuals and groups, in South East England.

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Number of results: 34

, currently showing 1 to 20.

  1. Cobtree Manor Park

    AYLESFORD

    Cobtree Manor Park has over 50 acres of parkland displaying a diverse and maturing collection of trees and shrubs. The Park features a themed play area, along with a sculpture trail, plenty of space for picnics, and a visitor centre and café serving…

  2. Harewoods and Sandhills

    Type

    Type:

    Natural Feature

    Redhill

    Hidden woodlands, lush green meadows, tranquil ponds and an ancient common

  3. Riverside Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Gillingham

    Riverside Country Park is an excellent site for Winter birdwatching.
    Situated alongside the Medway Estuary at Gillingham, the park is made up of many different habitats, including ponds, reedbed and grassland.

  4. Jane Austen Circular Walk

    Type

    Type:

    Walking

    Chawton

    A 4.5-mile circular walk in the heart of Jane Austen country. Start at Jane Austen's House in Chawton and follow in her footsteps across fields and through the village of Farringdon. Jane was inspired by this beautiful countryside to write and…

  5. Buriton Literary Walk Inspired by W H Hudson

    Type

    Type:

    Walking

    Petersfield

    This walk starts in the village of Buriton and explores parts of the South Downs National Park. W H Hudson was an accomplished, self taught field naturalist. His first book was published in 1885 and his twenty-third a year after his death in 1922.…

  6. Queen Elizabeth Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Horndean

    With over 2,000 acres of downland and woodland, Queen Elizabeth Country Park is the ideal place to explore, keep fit and enjoy the great outdoors.

  7. Merry Harriers Llama Trekking

    Type

    Type:

    Experiences

    GODALMING

    Enjoy the unique experience of Llama trekking in the Surrey countryside at the Merry Harriers in Hambledon.

  8. Thames Path National Trail

    Type

    Type:

    Walking Tour

    Oxford

    The Thames Path National Trail is a wonderful way to explore the River Thames. This long distance walking route starts at the source of the river in a field in the Cotswolds and follows the banks of the Thames for 185.2 miles (298km) meandering…

  9. Capstone Farm Country Park

    Type

    Type:

    Country / Royal Park

    Gillingham

    Capstone Farm Country Park is one of Medway's finest green spaces, offering wonderful opportunities for walking, running, cycling and more in 114 hectares of former farmland on the North Downs.

  10. Treasure Trails Hampshire

    Type

    Type:

    Trips & Tours

    Winchester

    Children love them and they are a fun way to get the whole family, young and old, out and about in the fresh air exploring together. Our Trails are for children of all ages, from 5 to 85!

  11. South Downs National Park

    Type

    Type:

    National Park

    The South Downs, now a newly designated National Park are accessible from Worthing. The South Downs Way runs from Winchester to Eastbourne and can be accessed at several points around Worthing or Adur.

  12. Tudor History Tours

    Type

    Type:

    Walking Tour

    Station Parade, Eastbourne

    Unique holidays in Southern England, brought to you by Tudor History Tours, who offer an unrivalled opportunity to bring this period in our nation’s history to life!

  13. Mystery Guide Treasure Hunt Adventures!

    Type

    Type:

    Trips & Tours

    Mystery Guides are interactive, history-themed adventure books, that turn historic city streets into exciting outdoor adventures! Solve the clues, unravel the story, and unmask some of history’s most fiendish villains!

  14. Flora Thompson Circular Walk

    Type

    Type:

    Walking

    Liphook

    Flora Thompson, of Lark Rise and Candleford fame, inspired this circular walk on Weavers Down and Holly Hills near Liphook. Flora Thompson came to Liphook in August 1916, when her husband John was appointed postmaster here. In 1926 they bought a…

  15. City Sightseeing

    Type

    Type:

    Trips & Tours

    Oxford

    Open top bus tours of Oxford and the Historic University. Tickets valid all day. All major sights covered. Live guides.

  16. Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest

    Type

    Type:

    Forest

    CRANBROOK

    The National Pinetum is a world-class collection of dramatic conifers and a beautiful setting for a country walk in all seasons.

  17. South East England Tourist Guides Association

    Type

    Type:

    Sightseeing

    Discover the real South East England. Blue or Green Badge Guides who each have an unrivalled knowledge of the region and take pride in helping visitors explore its unique heritage.

  18. Warnham Nature Reserve

    Type

    Type:

    Nature Reserve

    Horsham

    A haven of peace and beauty within a mile of Horsham, this 92 acre site offers a 17 acre millpond, reedbeds and woodlands which are rich in flora, dragonflies and birdlife. Includes a visitor centre, cafe, two bird hides and free parking.

  19. Thame

    Type

    Type:

    Town

    THAME

    Thame, a thriving market town at the foot of the Chiltern Hills, is just 14 miles from Oxford. Its historic centre has a vibrant High Street; host regular events – from festivals to traditional market days; and features in Midsomer Murders

  20. Leechpool Woods

    Type

    Type:

    Parkland / Woodland Garden

    Horsham

    Leechpool is an ancient woodland covering 53 acres and includes Oak, Ash, Hazel, Hawthorn, Holly, Blackthorn, Sweet Chestnut and Scots Pine.

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