Anyhow I got to Tenterden at a respectable starting time of 9.15am and took advantage of a very attractive looking bakery before I started walking. I felt sorted straight away! All I had to worry about now was getting myself the twelve miles back to Rye.
Almost immediately the path left the built up area of Tenterden. I was really surprised how quickly the path took me out into the countryside, although I found the path slightly curious as it was tarmacked for some distance. It was only when I reached the B2082 Rye Road that I realised why. This was the main walking route from the town to the cricket ground and I imagine that someone had decided this was too important a route to have an unmade surface.
|Sitting on the Job|
For the next half mile or so I passed through a couple more woods and the bluebells were still in full bloom, making for that wonderful bluish haze through the woodland floor that is unique to these few short weeks of the year. As I passed through the wood I met another chap who stopped to chat. He was the owner of the wood and was taking advantage of the glorious spring weather to look out for the abundant wildlife living here. He explained to me how he had coppiced his wood over winter to open up some areas to sunlight and increase the biodiversity. His wife was looking for more man-made treasures with her metal detector a little further on. She asked whether I had any treasure that I wanted finding!
I descended into the small valley of the River Tillingham and although the edge of Rye was tantalisingly close I had to follow the meander of the river around to a bridge quite close to the Railway Station where the trail officially ended. By now the weather was very warm and I could see that the crowds had finally come out to enjoy the sunshine. I spent some time admiring the windmill at the end of the trail, which you can stay in if you are so inclined (book at http://www.ryewindmill.co.uk/). Could be a memorable place to stay at the end of the walk! Disappointingly the end of the trail was only marked by a shabby looking marker post but it felt good to be in Rye once again. Of course I have been through here before for hike trips, on the Saxon Shore Way, but there are two other trails that come this way, the 1066 Country Trail and the Sussex Border Path. I feel for sure that both of these will be on my radar one day soon.
The High Weald Landscape Trail is an interesting walk, better to be done in the Spring after the mud has dried up for it would be susceptible to some muddy tracks. Spring will allow you to enjoy the woodland flowers at their best, although autumn might also be a good time for colours in the woods also. It isn’t especially challenging and public transport links are good although a lot of forward planning is required because of the poor frequencies of some of the services.