Foraging and wine tasting for festival

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The Coast and Country Walking Festival kicks off this month, offering more than 50 organised walks in Eastbourne and Wealden.

The nine-day festival is aimed at walkers of varying ages, abilities and interests.

Visitors can venture into the stunning Sussex countryside which surrounds much of Eastbourne and the Wealden area. From wild forest food foraging, navigation techniques, wine tasting and a celebration of ‘Mad Jack’ Fuller’s life, there is a walk to suit everyone.

The festival runs from September 26 to October 4 and covers routes around Eastbourne and the breath-taking South Downs National Park, the enchanting High Weald of Sussex and Ashdown Forest.

The festival offers most of the walks for free and visitors can look forward to numerous Nordic walks for people of different experience levels; including a Nordic walk to the Long Man of Wilmington, a Nordic walking taster session on easier terrain in Forest Row and an energetic exploration of the Seven Sisters from East Dean to Birling Gap for more advanced Nordic walkers.

Cllr Gill Mattock, deputy leader of Eastbourne Borough Council and keen rambler, said, “The festival really emphasises the variety of walks and activities on offer on Eastbourne’s coast and the surrounding countryside.

“The festival’s programme offers historical, literary, Nordic and walks of many more kinds with all walks aiming to promote an active and healthy lifestyle whilst showing off the enchanting natural beauty of the Sussex countryside in Autumn.”

A Forest Foray brings a wild food walk through the woods of Hailsham and Arlington, foraging for fungi, fruits, nuts and medicinal plants, whilst a photographic walk along the Cuckoo Trail allows both camera aces and novices to capture the interesting scenery on the former railway line in Hailsham.

Sparkling wine lovers can enjoy bubbly on the move on a Fizz on Foot tour exploring nine miles of countryside starting and finishing in the village of Alfriston with a glass of English sparkling wine

Real ale drinkers will love the Two Brewery’s Tour; a 15 mile scenic walk to East Dean and Litlington, encompassing tours and tastings at both Beachy Head Brewery and Long Man Brewery.

Less experienced walkers can have a go at navigating the South Downs, with expert tuition from a trained mountain leader.

A complete guide to the Coast and Country Walking Festival is available from the Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre free of charge.

The festival is organised by Eastbourne Borough Council and Wealden District Council with support from the South Downs National Park Authority.

To book call 01323 443275 or book online at www.sussex
walkingfestival.org.uk

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