High Weald AONB

Posted: 2009-07-06

High Weald AONB

The High Weald AONB (Area of of Outstanding Natural Beauty) stretches from the marshes of Kent, westward to Hampshire. It is roughly 125 miles long and 30 miles wide, and it takes in a beautiful landscape that has been described as the finest surviving medieval landscape in Europe.

In this area of oddly shaped fields, low hills, heath, woodland, and sunken lanes you will find more than 30 historic attractions including manor houses and stately homes, castles, and historic gardens. There are also 3 steam-driven heritage railways that provide an alternative way to see the area.

Even better, go under your own power on one of the 14 cycle routes, 3 long disance paths, or a multitude of shorter walking trails, many created centuries ago by Saxon drovers moving herds of pigs. The 3 major long distance paths are  the High Weald Landscape Trail (90 miles from Horsham to Rye), 1066 Walk (30 miles from Rye to Pevensey Castle), and the Weald Way (80 miles from Gravesend to Eastbourne).

This is also an area of vineyards and orchards, and Ashdown Forest, the largest area of open access heath and woodland in the south east of England, located on the highest ridge of the AONB.

The major towns in the Weald are Horsham, Tunbridge Wells, Battle, Winchelsea, Rye, and Tenterden, but there are also a multitude of beautiful little villages and hamlets to explore.

The major historic attractions include Battle Abbey, Bayham Abbey, Chiddingstone Castle, Groombridge Place, Hever Castle, Bodiam Castle, Scotney Castle, and Sissinghurst Castle Gardens.

A group of popular visitor attractions near Royal Tunbridge Wells have teamed up to form the Seven Wonders of the Weald. Included in the Seven Wonders are Siissingurst Castle, Bedgebury, Bewl Water, Finchcocks, Lamberhurst Vineyard, Marle Place, Scotney Castle, and Merriments Garden. The 'Wonders' offer a special Seven Wonders Pass, a family discount card which costs 25 and is valid for a whole year. Click for more details of the Seven Wonders Pass.

The best place to learn about the High Weald is the official website for the area at http://www.highweald.org


Heritage Traveller

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