Eastbourne and Wealden’s new Coast & Country Walking Festival will return for a third year this September, featuring a very special Kipling Country walk dedicated to famous author Rudyard Kipling.
Kipling was famously known for his Just So stories and The Jungle Book, which featured later as a film in 1967 before being remastered as a Disney animation earlier this year. The nostalgic walk has been plotted past Kipling’s last home to commemorate 80 years since his death in 1936. The route will then lead walkers through the undulating High Weald countryside to take in views across the Dudwell and Rother Valleys.
Incredibly over 60 different walks have been mapped out for the nine day festival, ranging in ability, offering walkers the chance to see a breath-taking range of sights across the South Downs National Park, Sussex Weald and stunning Eastbourne Coastline.
From uphill climbs and day-long hikes to forest trails and historical tours, there will be something to suit every explorer. Tiny feet are also welcome to take part in some of the trails, and Nordic Walking taster sessions are back for those that want to focus on their health and well-being.
Among the festival diary, there are several walks that include hidden gems and historical landmarks within their route. Circular walk on Ashdown Forest is one of them, which journeys to Nutley Windmill so that walkers can see the last Open Trestle Post Mill in Sussex, one of only 5 left in the entire country. A visit to the significant Airman’s Grave monument is also included in the trek.
Páramo’s Stunning High Weald Circular has its own delights, taking hikers through ancient woodland where traces of the historic Wealden iron industry can be discovered. Old buildings are located in the village of Mayfield where the walk continues, and wild deer can be spotted at Wadhurst Park.
Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet for Tourism and Enterprise, Councillor Margaret Bannister commented, “Eastbourne and Wealden are both home to a significant amount of culture and history, and both areas stand out for their overwhelming beauty. What better way to venture and explore the depths of our local towns, than a Walking Festival!
The Kipling Country walk is very poignant, and is set to be a very significant point of interest on the festival.”
Walkers can also venture on ancient soil in the Venit at Pevenesae walk, which marks exactly 950 years to date, since the arrival of William the Conqueror and the last successful army to invade England. The tour around Pevensey takes walkers on a historical journey through the castle, looking at some of the interesting theories behind the invasion.
“There is so much to see and enjoy in this year’s Coast and Country Walking Festival,” said Councillor Claire Dowling, Wealden Cabinet Member for Public Health and Community Safety. “We hope as many people as possible will take part in the walking festival. The organised walks offer a great way to meet people and make new friends while helping to stay fit and healthy.”
Further voyages across East Sussex include Shepherd’s Trail, which is led by a working shepherd who shares his extensive knowledge of sheepherding and land management, Birling Gap, Seven Sisters and Exceat Circular promising spectacular views of the landscape, and Cliffs and Bottoms! taking walkers on a steep climb across the cliff tops before walking through the Beachy Head Downland.
The Coast & Country Walking Festival is organised by both Eastbourne Borough Council and Wealden District Council, coming to East Sussex 24 September – 2 October.
Many walks are free of charge, however, booking is required on all walks. For more information or to book a place, click here.