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12 January 2023: BBC finds nearly 32,000 places where paths are blocked in England and Wales

Throughout the day BBC news broadcasts have been reporting the BBC's research disclosing how underfunded local authorities are struggling to deal with obstacles on public rights of way.  You can read the Ramblers' take on this here:

BBC finds nearly 32,000 places where paths are blocked in England and Wales

BBC Radio Kent covered the story and interviewed Kent Area Chairman Colin Sefton.  You can listen to the item here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0gzsgrm

The item starts at around 49:20.

If you encounter footpath problems in Kent, Medway, Bromey or Bexley, please report them in the first instance to the relevant council as described by clicking the Path Problems menu item at the top of this page.  If you have received no meaningful response after six months, please let us know and we will consider whether the issue should be escalated, bearing in mind that whenever and issue is moved up the priority list others have to be moved down.  We may also be able to deploy our own volunteers to deal with problems such as vegetation growth.  If you feel that the council's response is inadequate this will probably because of insufficient funding of the rights of way service and if you live in the council area concerned you could consider raising the matter with your local councillor.

We never have enough volunteers to undertake all the activities we would like in order to protect the interests of walkers in Kent.  If you would like to help, please click on Support Us on the menu bar above for more information.

16 December 2023: Kent Ramblers' 2023 Annual Review Published

The 2023 Annual Review is now available to read online:

High resolution version (38MB)

Low resolutions version for those with slow internet connections (5MB)

All members who have not opted out of paper copies should have received their copies in the post by now.

If you receive a paper copy but would prefer just the on-line version next year, please email your membership number and postcode to nopaper@kentramblers.org.uk.

If you have views on the content of the Annual Review, please email them to info@kentramblers.org.uk.  We would love to know what you would like more of next year, what you would like less of and what you would like that isn't there now.  A lot of effort goes into producing the Annual Review so we really would like to make sure that we are delivering what you want to read.

24 September 2023: Medway Group to take Stall to Wild about Capstone

We will be at Capstone Farm Country Park for the Wild about Capstone celebration of being outdoors and enjoying the natural environment from 11.00am to 3:00pm on Sunday 24 September.  Our volunteers will be offering advice on all aspects of walking and a selection of guidebooks will be on sale.

5 September 2023: White Cliffs Group installs Gate in Memory of Margaret Lubbock and Les Preston

On a warm September day the Memorial Gate in tribute to Margaret Lubbock and Les Preston was installed on path HE334 near Elham to replace the difficult stile for the benefit of all walkers.

Margaret and Les were stalwart volunteers not only in White Cliffs Group but also in the running of Kent Area of the Ramblers for many years until their untimely deaths during the Covid pandemic.  We miss them very much.

There are more details on the White Cliffs website.  The photograph is by Andrew Swarbrick.

7 August 2023: New Guide to Wealdway Published

The Wealdway is one of the South East's finest long-distance walks, crossing Kent and East Sussex from Gravesend to Eastbourne.  The 82-mile route crosses the North Downs, the Greensand ridge, the Medway valley (twice), the High Weald (including Ashdown Forest), the Low Weald and the South Downs.  Few walks offer such a variety of scenery and our new guide helps you appreciate the geology, history and landscape as you pass.

There have been at least five previous guides to the Wealdway but the most recent of these was published in 1999 and has long been out of print.  We hope that our new guide will revive interest in a walk that was largely created by volunteers from Kent and Sussex Ramblers.

To buy a copy, visit our publications page.

White Cliffs Ramblers Walking Week 17 to 23 July 2023

From the 17th to the 23rd of July the White Cliffs Ramblers (WCR) will be hosting a week of walking around the beautiful coast and countryside of East Kent.  The event is open to Ramblerís members and anyone who wishes to join us on a walk.  There will be 2 or 3 walks a day, led and supported by WCR volunteers.  Details of the programme, once it has been finalised, will be available in the walks section on our group website:

www.whitecliffsramblers.org.uk.

There will be no White Cliffs Walking Festival this year.  Unfortunately, many of our dedicated team of volunteers who used to give up a great deal of their time and put in the enormous effort to organise our Festival have decided to take a well-earned rest.  We are in the process of recruiting willing volunteers this year so that the festival can return in the future.

19 March 2023: New Information Board Unveiled at Tonbridge Castle

For perhaps thirty years an information board promoting the Wealdway stood in Tonbridge High Street in front of the castle walls.  Last year it disappeared during an exceptional storm and now we have replaced it with a board promoting not just the Wealdway but also the Eden Valley Walk and the Medway Valley Walk as all three meet at this point.  Today walkers from Tonbridge & Malling Ramblers met to celebrate the new board which was funded from the sale of our walking guides and installed by the Public Rights of Way Team at Kent County Council.

These are wonderful walks and spring is here.  Time to get out into the lovely Kent and Sussex countryside.

19 January 2023: Canterbury Walking Week Announcement

Canterbury Ramblers has published the programme for this year's Canterbury Walking Week which will take place from 23 to 29 April 2023.

Photograph is of Wingham.

14 January 2023: Darent Valley Path Improvement

Thanks to the efforts of one of our Parish Footpath Observers, Rob Archer, improvements to a section of the Darent Valley Path just north of South Darenth were completed recently.  Previously the 100 metre section of the DVP had been narrow, often muddy and not officially recognised as a public right of way.  It has now been widened, its surface improved and recognised as a public right of way by diversion onto it of a path through a nearby garden which had long been unusable.

The line of the Darent Valley Path remains the same.  This long distance route runs from Sevenoaks and Chipstead to the confluence of the Darent with the Thames north of Dartford.  The route is one of those fully described in our guide to Three River Valley Walks in West Kent.

We depend on volunteers like Rob for most of the benefits we bring to walkers in Kent.  If you would like to become one of them, please look at our volunteering page then get in touch.

19 December 2022: Kent Ramblers' 2022 Annual Review Published

The 2022 Annual Review is now available to read online:

Annual Review 2022

All members who have not opted out of paper copies should have received their Annual Review by now.

If you receive a paper copy but would prefer just the on-line version next year, please email your membership number and postcode to nopaper@kentramblers.org.uk.

 

20 October 2022: Opening of New Section of England Coast Path in Kent Announced

Natural England has announced that the 28 mile section of the England Coast Path from Whitstable harbour to Kingsferry bridge will be officially open from 26 October 2022.  As well as historic Whitstable famous for its oysters, the route passes the ancient market town of Faversham, the birdlife-rich marshes at Oare and the picturesque hamlet of Conyer.

Click on map to view enlarged version

We plan to publish a guide to the whole of the coast path route from Ramsgate to Kingsferry bridge plus Sheppey once the rest of the route is open.  If you don't want to wait and would like to help check the draft guide, click here for more information.

10 October 2022: Annual Meeting on Rights of Way Issues

This is a great opportunity for those interested or involved in public rights of way issues in Kent to get together to listen to the experts and mix with like minded people.  This is the first time in more than three years that we have been able to get together in the same room so do please come along - but booking is essential, if possible by 3 October.  For more details, visit lenham/index.htm.

15 September 2022: Get Outside Day

On Sunday 25 September, Ordnance Surveyís annual #GetOutsideDay returns.  To celebrate, Kent Ramblers' groups are inviting everyone to join them for a free taster walk.

The Ramblers is a partner of #GetOutsideDay.  Itís a chance to enjoy the physical, mental and social benefits the outdoors has to offer.  With experienced walk leaders across Britain, the Ramblers has thousands of tried and tested group walks on offer.  A free taster walk is a great opportunity to experience a new route, right on your doorstep.

Read more here...

Photograph: Coast Path between Cliffe and Grain

20 August 2022: Programme for High Weald Walking Festival Published

The High Weald Walking Festival will run from Saturday 10 to Sunday 18 September 2022.  The Festival is a joint effort between the Ramblers and the High Weald AONB Unit with Kent Ramblers' Groups leading a number of the walks.  There is also a programme of self-led walks, many of them taken from our library of walking routes.

The opening ceremony will be held at the Ashdown Forest Visitor Centre where Kent Ramblers will have a stall at which volunteers will be happy to answer all your questions about walking in the Weald and the work of the Ramblers.

For more information visit the Festival web site.

15 August 2022: Secretary of State Announces Decision on Route of Coast Path on South Sheppey

We have long been awaiting the decision of the Secretary of State on three objections to the proposed route of the England Coast Path around the Isle of Sheppey.  One objection related to the route between Sheerness and Leysdown and two objections related to the route between Leysdown and Sheppey Bridge via Harty.  An Inspector visited both sites last November and this week the Secretary of State announced that the two objections on the south shore had not been upheld so that the Coast Path will follow the route originally proposed by Natural England.

We still await a decision on the northern objection and also on an objection relating to a section of path on the Kent mainland just east of Lower Halstow which the Inspector also visited last November.

There is more information about the England Coast Path in Kent here.

27 June 2022: White Cliffs Walking Festival 2022 Programme Published

The programme for this year's White Cliffs Walking Festival is now available.  For more information, please visit the Festival website.

25 January 2022: White Cliffs Walking Festival 2022 Announced

This year's White Cliffs Walking Festival will take place from 25 to 30 August.

Welcome to this beautiful and historic area of Kent recently identified by Lonely Planet as 4th on the list of the world's best regions to visit in 2022.

The White Cliffs walking festival aims to showcase the many varied scenic delights, historical and natural through a variety of walks suitable for all ages and abilities. Everyone welcome. Walks are mostly free. Donations are appreciated.

Visit the website at whitecliffswalkingfestival.org.uk for more information.

 

12 January 2022: New Section of England Coast Path Opened in Kent

The 46 mile stretch of the England Coast Path between Woolwich and Grain was opened on 12 January despite cancellation of the planned ceremony in Woolwich due to Covid restrictions.  Read more on the Ramblers' national site.

The opening of the Ramsgate to Whitstable section has been long delayed by difficulties establishing the route along the edge of Kingsgate golf course.  The reason the Whitstable to Iwade section is not yet open is not clear.  The Sheppey and Iwade to Grain sections are held up pending a decision by the Secretary of State on objections to the line of the route by landowners.

The Coast Path came about thanks to campaigning by the Ramblers and the work of many volunteers such as our own Coastal Access Officer, Ian Wild.  Kent Ramblers has produced a guide to the Camber to Ramsgate section of the path and is working on guides to the rest.

The map below shows the newly opened stretch.  Click on the map for a larger version and click again to magnify further.

15 December 2021: New Annual Review Published

Our 2021 Annual Review is being printed and should reach members between Christmas and the New Year.

The Annual Review is also available to download here:

Higher resolution version (72 MB)

Lower resolution version (13 MB)

If you receive a paper copy but would prefer just the on-line version next year, please email your membership number and postcode to nopaper@kentramblers.org.uk.

26 September 2021: Wealdway40 Celebrations at Tonbridge Castle

The Wealdway 40th anniversary celebrations reached their climax when walkers gathered at Tonbridge Castle to hear speakers including the Mayor of Tonbridge & Malling before setting off on three separate walks incorporating parts of the Wealdway.  Full details of the event can be found at http://www.kentramblers.org.uk/wealdway40 and a gallery of photographs from some of the 26 walks organised as part of the celebration at http://www.kentramblers.org.uk/wealdway40/gallery.

Photograph © Scott Wishart

 

25 August 2021: Wealdway40 Celebrations Commence

The programme of 25 walks to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Wealdway began today with a walk from Mereworth.  The walk was organised by Tonbridge & Malling Ramblers.  Click here for more details including a full list of the walks still to come.

Photograph © Fiona Paterson

16 June 2021: White Cliffs Walking Festival

The festival, organised by the local White Cliffs Ramblers group, is now in its 7th year and is one of the top walking events of the year in the UK.  In 2019 we attracted over 1250 delighted walkers visiting this historical area from the far-flung corners of the UK and abroad.

Centred on the historic towns of Dover, Deal, Sandwich and Folkestone, this festival features 34 walks ranging in length from 2 to 30 miles.  Whatever your walking ability or interest, we offer walks that will tempt you to discover our beautiful coast and nearby countryside.  Immerse yourself walking among Doverís fascinating military fortifications or take in the delightful coastal views. Most walks are free, though a voluntary contribution would be appreciated please.  A few of our special guided walks cost a very modest amount to cover the costs of specialist speakers.

The Festival will take place from Thursday 26 August to Tuesday 31 August 2021.

Visit us or contact the festival through our website www.whitecliffswalkingfestival.org.uk.  Booking in advance is essential, a maximum of 20 on each walk.

5 May 2021: International Recognition for the Ramblers!

The French television channel France 2 contacted Kent Ramblers to request an interview as part of a short report for the evening news.  The report was highlighting the UKís success in reducing the effects of the pandemic and how normal life is now resuming.  As well as recordings in a care home and in a vaccination centre, they wanted footage of a midweek ramble in which an older tranche of the population was involved.
 
As a former teacher of languages, Colin Philpott of our Maidstone Group was happy to discuss the arrangements with the French journalist and suggested they come the next day to White Horse Country Park, near Maidstone.
 
So, on Wednesday 5th May two journalists joined Maidstone Group for the first hour of their ramble along the North Downs. They spoke to three of the Maidstone group and showed group shots of the 25 participants enjoying the beautiful scenery.
 
The report is due to be broadcast on national TV news next week.

19-25 April 2021: Canterbury Walking Week

Canterbury Ramblers and the Canterbury Rings team are planning a new event, Canterbury Walking Week, to take place in April.  Full details are on the Canterbury Rings website.

Photograph: North Downs Way near Wye Crown