Free, weekly one hour walks…
* Nov 2021 update * Almost all of the Health Walks are now up and running. Although the walks do not currently have any Covid restrictions, we encourage everyone to continue to be cautious, to be considerate of other people including the volunteer leaders, other walkers in the group and other users of the footpaths and to maintain a level of careful space and distancing wherever they can.
Please be aware that walks could be cancelled without notice if leaders have to isolate and no cover is available or if Covid restrictions change. Although we will try to make an announcement, due to reduced staff time and the nature of a volunteer-led project, this may not always be possible.
- HEATHFIELD CLOSED: Sorry, these two walks are currently not able to take new walkers due to group size and Covid safety for the volunteer leaders.
More walk details at bottom of page. Bank holidays subject to local arrangement. Well behaved dogs welcome but they must be kept on a short lead to avoid trips and tangles for other walkers. For walks that include rural footpaths or woods, sturdy footwear is advisable.
About health walks…
Walking is one of the easiest ways to begin to build fitness, improve your physical health and boost your mental health. These walks are designed to help people gradually get into a regular walking habit – they are only about an hour and not too difficult, and being with a friendly group helps to keep you motivated and feel encouraged.
The routes are all mapped and checked and try to avoid steep hills and stiles wherever possible. The walks won’t be terribly fast and the leaders will adjust the pace to suit the group.
Health walks are a great way to improve health and wellbeing for everyone, including people who want to start to increase their fitness, people recovering from illness or injury, or people feeling a bit low in confidence.
They are also a very sociable activity and walkers often tell us it is the conversation and friendliness that keeps them coming back week after week. Most of the groups go for a coffee together afterwards to make the most of the company and chat (subject to Covid restrictions).
We have health walks dotted all around East Sussex and you are welcome to join as many as you like. As your fitness grows, you might do several every week – you’ll enjoy new views, meet new people and get even more walking in!
Frequently asked questions…
Can I bring my dog? Well-behaved dogs are welcome but must be kept on a short lead for the safety of the other walkers in the group.
Do I need to book? There’s no need to book, just turn up shortly before the start time.
Do you still walk if it is raining? Yes, a bit of rain doesn’t stop us! But if the weather is dangerous (such as high wind or ice) it will be cancelled and this may only be decided at the last minute.
Do I need to wear special walking boots? For some of the rural footpaths, sturdy footwear is a good idea, especially in winter.
Can you arrange transport? Sorry, no we can’t.
Is it always the same day? Yes, each walk is on a set day so that people can remember and plan.
Can I contact the leaders? No, sorry, we do not share volunteers’ information.
I don’t think I can come every week, is that OK? Of course, there is absolutely no commitment, just come along whenever you like.
What our walkers say…
Here is a selection of the feedback received from our survey in July 2021.
How have the health walks helped activity levels after Covid?
- “Back with friends = more enjoyable.”
- “It’s more enjoyable exercise and being able to socialise.”
- “Just happy to meet my walking friends every week “
- “Slowly regaining motivation and routine. But not yet 100% back to normal, much slower and it is harder.”
- “The health walk restarting has meant we can walk and socialise with a wider group of people. It’s a great group with an excellent leader.”
- “The walks have started again and we can all chat to each other. I think that I am feeling so much better for that.”
- “Walking group gives a regular discipline to get out with friends and exercise.”
- “With the walk groups restarting it gave me the motivation to get outside more and the social side of meeting my group helped me mentally and the regular walks around the park.”
What will help you to stay motivated?
- “Everyone is so friendly and welcoming in the group making it enjoyable and you walk more without realising how much you are doing.”
- “Being part of a group that accommodates my slightly slower walking pace, and the social aspect of meeting new people.”
- “Cheerful and positive group leaders.”
- “The brilliant stewards and organisers.”
- “Getting to know people better & enjoying a shared activity.”
- “Joining in with others.”
- “Keeping fit and enjoying company of the group.”
- “Social interaction is very uplifting.”
- “Friendly, knowledgable & helpful leaders.”
- “Walking (and socialising) in an organised group.”
- “The group is very friendly and the leaders make the group fun and it is a joy to attend.”
Meeting at a different car park each week, this is our largest walking group with up to 70 people each week enjoying a one hour guided walk into the stunning countryside of Ashdown Forest.
Take care: the nature of the area means routes are generally on rugged footpaths which can be uneven in places and can be muddy in winter.
Start points (free car parks):
1st Weds of month: Broadstone car park, Coleman’s Hatch Road; approx postcode: RH18 5JP; What3words: indoors.forms.barstool
2nd Weds of month: Long car park, A22 Wych Cross Road; approx. postcode: RH18 5JN; What3words: pigs.nest.tradition
3rd Weds of month: Box car park, Crowborough Road; approx postcode: TN22 3JA; What3words: paper.animals.reservoir
4th Weds of month: Four Counties car park, B2026 High Road; approx postcode TN22 3JD; What3words: hiking.wheat.tribune
5th Weds (if there is one): Millbrook West car park, A22 Millbrook Hill; approx postcode: TN22 3PJ; What3words: zone.buildings.broad
Beautiful rural routes around rolling 1066 countryside, meeting on the Abbey Green in front of the historic landmark Abbey gates
Take care: can be uneven and slightly steep in places; some routes can get muddy in winter, the leaders will attempt to select the least muddy options.
Parking: Pay and display car parks on Mount Street (TN33 0AR) or Market Street (TN33 0XD). Battle Abbey car park free for English Heritage members.
Public transport: bus stop on Battle High Street; approx half mile from train station.
Sometimes a seafront walk, sometimes a loop into Combe Valley Country Park, sometimes a bit of both, this is a location that offers some delightful contrasts.
Take care: rural footpaths can be uneven and could be muddy in winter; some routes include steps over railway.
Parking: on site parking. Public transport: bus stop nearby.
One of our longest running walks and one of the gentlest – a promenade stroll to the east or a stroll to the west with a loop back round Egerton Park. Nice even surfaces, suitable for everyone, including wheelchairs or scooter or pushchairs. Lots of benches along the way for people who only want to do a little bit of the walk, take a break and rejoin the group as it returns.
Parking: pay and display parking at De La Warr; metered on street parking nearby.
Public transport: bus stop nearby; approx half mile from railway station.
A once a month Saturday walk that takes in some glorious Ashdown Forest views, meeting at the Cats Protection League Visitors’ Centre (RH17 7TT).
Take care: rural footpaths can be uneven in places and can get muddy in winter.
Parking: on site parking. Public transport: bus stops nearby.
A very popular walk with rotating start points to make the most of the local countryside and views:
1st Thursday of month: Chapel Green; approx postcode: TN6 2XZ
2nd Thursday: Jarvis Brook FC; approx postcode: TN6 3HG
3rd Thursday: St Johns car park; approx postcode: TN6 1RU
4th Thursday: Crowborough FC; approx postcode: TN6 3BU
5th Thursday: Goldsmiths Leisure Centre car park; approx postcode: TN6 2TN
Take care: due to local geography, can be a bit steep in places and sturdy footwear is advised.
Eastbourne Hampden Park
Weaving attractive park paths with pretty local streets to make a variety of one hour walks.
Take care: some pavements can be uneven with tree routes; some park sections can be uneven.
Parking: lots of free local parking (BN22 9QR). Public transport: nearby bus stops; approx half mile from railway station.
Enjoying a stunning seafront walk, starting from Princes Park and heading east to the Harbour or west to the Pier. A slightly longer walk than some, but nice and even surfaced prom, suitable for all users, including wheelchairs, scooters and pushchairs.
Parking: pay and display car park opposite (BN22 7LQ). Public transport: nearby bus stops.
Eastbourne Shinewater Park
Surfaced paths all the way round, pretty scenery, skirting the lake although only viewing the water at a few key points. Suitable for all, including wheelchairs, scooters and pushchairs.
Take care: cannot be made shorter, the loop is the loop.
Parking: on street parking (BN23 8EJ). Public transport: nearby bus stops.
A brand new walk set up with the team of volunteers at the new Community Library. A gentle stroll around the local streets and twittens, enjoying the beautiful backdrop of the Downs. Opportunity for coffee or tea at Library after.
Take care: some paths can be slightly uneven.
Parking: on street parking nearby (BN20 9PN). Public transport: bus stop opposite.
*START TIME CHANGE* From 17/02/2022, this walk will start at 9.30am due to leaders’ availability.
Exploring a variety of local walks that start from the War Memorial. Mostly surfaced paths, including the Cuckoo Trail, around the pond, local quiet streets.
Parking: lots of free parking nearby, e.g. South Road car park BN27 2DQ; Vicarage Lane car park BN27 2AX.
Public transport: nearby bus stops.
Hastings Alexandra Park
A beautiful park with exquisite formal planting and mature trees, woodland areas and wide reservoirs with lots of birds. The health walk routes start in the lower park and go into the other sections to make an hour long loop.
Take care: mostly smooth surfaced path but can be slightly uneven in woodland routes and can be slightly steep occasionally.
Parking: plenty of on street parking nearby (TN34 2LD approx). Public transport: bus stops on St Helen’s Road.
Hastings Old Town
Pretty routes through charming streets, delightful twittens, up to the East Hill or West Hill or along the seafront. Lots of beautiful views, attractive architecture and quirky features.
Take care: can include steps, can be a bit steep.
Parking: pay and display car parks nearby: Rock-a-Nore (TN34 3DW) or Pelham Place (TH34 3AD). Public transport: bus stops nearby; 0.7m from Hastings Station.
*SORRY – CLOSED TO NEW WALKERS DUE TO GROUP SIZE & COVID SAFETY FOR VOLUNTEERS*
Lots of pretty routes weaving around the town and into neighbouring countryside, including the Cuckoo Trail.
Take care: can be uneven/slightly steep in places.
Parking: Meet in car park behind Tesco on Station Road (TN21 8LB). Public transport: bus stops on High Street.
Blending routes through the town’s attractive streets with footpaths into the stunning local countryside.
Take care: rural footpaths can be slightly uneven; can be slightly steep in places. Leaders will avoid muddiest routes in winter.
Parking: pay & display car park at The Needlemakers, West Street (BN7 2NZ). Public transport: bus stop nearby.
One of our shorter health walks – routes around the pretty village, using quiet lanes and footpaths to make loops with charming scenery and stunning views, including the delightful Church Wood Nature Reserve and landscapes painted by Turner.
Take care: some rural/woodland footpaths that can be uneven in places.
Parking: limited parking on Church Lane (TN33 9JW). Public transport: bus stop nearby.
One of the shortest and easiest health walks, alternating between two very gentle loops around residential streets, allotments and seafront. There is even some outdoor gym equipment to have a go on!
Take care: path through allotments can be slippery after rain.
Parking: meet in free car park Richmond Road/North Road (BN24 6AY). Public transport: meeting point at bus stop.
A variety of walks away from the station, including the Cuckoo Trail, the rec/meadows, rural footpaths and quiet lanes.
Take care: some paths can be muddy in winter but leaders will try to avoid the trickiest parts.
Parking: two hour free parking at back of station car park (BN26 5AP). Public transport: nearby bus stops; meeting point outside railway station.
A range of delightful walks that include riverside paths, churches with views, rural scenery, quaint Rye streets and even a Castle!
Take care: can be slightly steep; can be uneven; leaders will try to avoid muddiest routes in winter.
Parking: start point is in Gibbet Marsh pay & display car park on Udimore Road (TN31 7DT). Public transport: bus stop nearby; 0.4miles from station.
Seafront walks, walks up towards Seaford Head Nature Reserve, walks around quiet local green spaces. Lovely scenery, points of interest and historical features.
Take care: some routes can be slightly steep, can be uneven with shingle.
Parking: plenty of free on street parking plus Richmond Road car park (BN25 1DB). Public transport: bus stop nearby; approx 0.3miles from station.
Starting in quiet residential streets and exploring footpaths into Combe Valley Countryside Park, including the disused railway line and the Greenway.
Take care: can be slightly uneven in places; can include steps. Leaders will try to avoid muddiest routes in winter.
Parking: some nearby on street parking or large free car park in village centre (TN39 5BA). Public transport: nearby bus stops.
St Leonards Church Wood
Walks around this beautiful local woodland nature reserve, including stunning displays of bluebells in spring.
Take care: woodland footpaths can be uneven with tree roots; some steep sections/steps; will be muddy in winter.
Parking: Church in the Wood car park (TN38 9PB). Public transport: nearby bus stops.
St Leonards Seafront
One of the easiest walks, a nice level prom stroll to the east or west. Enjoy the seafront views, the loop around Grosvenor Gardens, or the trip to the Pier and towards the Old Town. Suitable for all, including wheelchairs, scooters and pushchairs.
Parking: nearby on street parking. Public transport: bus stops nearby; 0.3miles from station.
Please note that walks could be cancelled without notice if restrictions change or if volunteers are not available due to ill health/isolation and we have not been able to arrange cover. Unfortunately, we will not always be able to put notices online due to reduced staff time.
Volunteer health walk leaders…
All of the health walks are led by trained community volunteers. There is a team for each location and at least two leaders each week. Without these amazing volunteers, the scheme would not exist.
If you love walking and would like to help other people to get more active, perhaps you’d like to join the team near you, taking a turn once or twice a month.
No previous experience is required, a friendly and supportive nature is the most important thing. In the first place, it is a great idea is to pop along to a walk, have a chat with the leaders and walkers and get an idea of how the walks work.
Free training is provided, a 90 minute workshop (currently delivered via Zoom) and a one hour demo walk with lots of opportunity for discussion with other new walk leaders. Get in touch if you would like to find out more.
If you would like more details, please contact:
Lorna Neville, Health Walks Coordinator
TCV, Blacklands Business Centre, 11-15 Fearon Road, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 2EP
07740 899 559 / email@example.com
My usual days of work are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.