Deer Fence at Withyham
The deer farm have installed fencing and gates that enable them to move the deer between fields without endangering the public. The footpath is approximately 10 metres wide along this stretch and fencing has been installed to provide a deer race of around 8 metres width and a separate walkway of 2 metres. The deer race is open and available to the public at all times unless the deer are in transit. At times when the deer are to be moved the gates to the deer race are closed and locked shut to prevent walkers from entering this section. The gates to the separate walkway remain unlocked at all times allowing walkers to continue along the footpath along the narrower strip and have the way markers on them.
These are the landscapes that inspired artists, poets and writers such as William Morris, Siegfried Sassoon and Henry James.
The High Weald Landscape Trail covers 90 miles (145km) and takes approximately seven days to complete.
However, much of the route can be enjoyed in short sections and you can take advantage of public rights of way to create your own circular walks to explore a particular area in greater depth.
Indulge in botanical and architectural delights
Take note of the changing architecture in the villages as you travel along the route. In the west, there are distinctive sandstone buildings, while in the east, the harsher outlines of stone are replaced by the softer shapes created by white weatherboarding.
Nature at its best
Wooded hillsides and valleys provide displays of bluebells in spring and fine autumn colour, while the orchards of the lower lands are ablaze with blossom in early summer, and filled with the rich scent of ripe fruit just a few months later.
The hallmarks of the High Weald are its rolling hills with dramatic sandstone outcrops, small irregular fields, wooded valleys with fast flowing streams and patches of historic heathland. Scattered farmsteads are linked by sunken country lanes and paths. The distinctive and varied environments provide fine habitats for wildlife including many rare species.
An area rich in natural resources
One of the key natural resources of the Weald is iron ore. Local clays provided the materials for building furnaces while extensive woodland provided fuel for the fires.
Iron has been smelted here for more than 2,000 years leaving many traces on the landscape. These include the relatively recent hammer ponds associated with former foundries in many Wealden villages.
Local water has also been a key ingredient in the production of High Weald beers taking advantage of the ideal conditions for growing hops to increase the flavour.
Many of the delightful public houses and ancient inns to be discovered along the High Weald Landscape Trail serve local ales. Be sure not to miss the delightful pub in Brenchley which also houses the butchers and post office, just one of the many delightful places to eat along the route that is resplendent in village history, heritage and charm.
Unfortunately the guide for the High Weald Landscape Trail is out of stock, so why not loan a copy from Kent Libraries.
Alternatively you can follow the route using an OS Explorer Map.