Do I need to book?
This year (2022) our volunteer walk leaders have a choice of either using a booking system to manage numbers, or operating on a 'turn up and walk' basis, so we will have a mix of bookable and open walks. The programme is now live so you can start planning your week - check out our Guided Walks.
Please follow the Countryside Code:
Respect other people
Consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors
Park carefully so access to gateways and driveways is clear
Leave gates and property as you find them
Follow paths but give way to others where it’s narrow
Protect the natural environment
Leave no trace of your visit, take all your litter home
Don’t have BBQs or fires
Keep dogs under effective control
Dog poo - bag it and bin it
Enjoy the outdoors
Plan ahead, check what facilities are open, be prepared
Follow advice and local signs and obey social distancing measures
What if I get lost?
If you have a smartphone, we recommend you download the free app what3words before setting off on a walk.
It doesn't need internet access to work and instead uses your phone's gps signal to find your location should you require assistance.
Around 80% of the UK's emergency services are currently using this app to help locate people in need of help.
How do I know if a walk is suitable for me or for children?
Check out the Walking Programme page of the website; all walks are clearly graded in terms of length, timing, difficulty and accessibility to help you make a decision.
Children are very welcome on certain walks and must be accompanied by an adult - the Walking Programme clearly shows which are suitable for children.
If you have specific queries about any particular route, please email email@example.com or tweet us @highweald.
How much does it cost?
This year our High Weald Walking Festival walks are all offered free of charge, thanks to the hard work of our volunteers, funding from Ramblers Association local groups and support from the High Weald AONB Partnership.
If you enjoy your walk and feel it enriches your knowledge of the High Weald landscape, a voluntary donation towards the running costs of the Festival and continuing it would be gratefully received - please see How to make a donation.
What do I need to bring?
Make sure you wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the grade and length of walk, including waterproofs. Brambles can grow by 30 cm in a day, so consider wearing lightweight trousers or jeans rather than shorts, depending on your route!
High Weald clay soil is notoriously heavy, particularly after rain – stout walking boots are recommended unless you're exploring a country park.
Refreshments may not be available on your walk so come prepared a bottle of water and/or snacks if required. You may wish to support the local economy by using a nearby cafe, pub or shop before or after your walk.
How can I be tick aware?
Can I bring my dog?
The High Weald Walking festival promotes responsible enjoyment of the countryside for all. However, we have had to organise things in such a way that your four-legged friends will have to be left at home on the majority of guided walks.
Quite a few of the walks simply aren’t suitable for dogs as they have stiles without dog gates or may have livestock in the fields we will be walking in. We often may not know if a farmer has moved livestock until we encounter them,
We have had problems with dogs disrupting walkers in previous years, so we have taken the decision to make the default 'no dogs' unless a particular leader is happy to accommodate them on their walk; when this is the case it will be clearly stated.
We know that some walkers may be disappointed, but as a volunteer-run event we hope you understand.
PLEASE NOTE: If you bring your dog to a walk, you will not be able to participate with your dog – sorry.
HOWEVER, if you choose to take a walk using one of the Self-Guided Walking routes you can, of course, take your dog with you. These routes are available to download from our website from 1 September for the whole month, so check back soon!
Ticks are small spider-like creatures, common in woodland. They can carry bacteria that cause diseases such as Lyme disease. To make sure you're 'tick aware’, see Public Health England's guidance.
When do I need to arrive?
Please be at the meeting point at least 10 minutes before the walk is due to begin as walks will be leaving on time.
Some walks start in rural places where parking is limited.
Please arrive in time to park considerately for the benefit of local residents.
Are there maps of the Festival walks?
We appreciate not everyone can attend the walks they'd like to, or that people might like to revisit their Festival walk with the help of a map.
Much as we'd love to, we don't have the resources to produce maps of all our walks. However, this year we are also offering a selection of downloadable, self-guided walks so you can explore the High Weald at your own pace. These will be release at the beginning of September, so keep your eyes peeled for updates.
If you're looking for routes now, you can also check out our Self Guided Walks page, which is packed with ideas for other walks in the High Weald AONB.
What if the weather's bad?!
We anticipate that walks will only be cancelled in the event of extreme adverse weather conditions. We're a tough lot here in the High Weald!
If the walk was one that required booking, we will email you with as much notice as possible if it is cancelled.