Ales of The Trail
We are particularly excited to be launching a collaborative project involving local breweries who have dedicated official beers of the North Downs Way to quench some walkers’ thirst.
The North Downs Way National Trail has teamed up with local breweries in Kent, Medway, and Surrey to create an Ale Trail for walkers to explore along the route. The area has a rich history of hop growing and strong links to the brewing industry stretching back centuries. Today it is home to many outstanding and awardwinning local producers with over ten breweries taking part.
Each brewery has dedicated an ‘Ale of The Trail’ to become an official beer of the North Downs Way. Most ales have a link to the trail either through name, local seashore, is opening up sections of the Kentish coastline we have previously been unable to access and further strengthening Kent’s walking infrastructure.
The North Downs Way is one of only 15 designated National Trails in England and Wales with unique landscapes and a diverse appeal. The trail follows a chalk ridge that winds over hills and grassland, passing through secluded dry valleys, isolated farmsteads and churches, oasts, orchards, ancient woodland and the iconic White Cliffs of Dover.
Measuring 153 miles, the
North Downs Way makes for a great place for a family day out, a short walk, ride, a really good ice cream or a life-changing, long-distance walk.
The North Downs Way was opened in 1978 by the-then Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Donald Coggan, at Wye Downs.
The North Downs Way is one of the best ways to explore and enjoy the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty through which a large section of the trail runs.
To celebrate this milestone year and an exciting future ahead, a programme of free ingredients or links to military or cultural heritage.
All the breweries involved make a contribution to the upkeep of the trail to help keep the route in top shape, maintain signage and keep pathways clear, so each pint sold contributes towards the upkeep of the trail.
North Downs Way Trail Manager, Pete Morris (above) says: “Each year we spend £20,000 on vegetation management to keep the trail open. We have invested more than £150,000 in the last five years resurfacing damaged sections of the trail, so every pint counts!
“Many of our visitors enjoy a pint of local ale as they explore the trail and we’re making it easier for them to support the trail as they do so. Working with our fantastic network of country
‘The charm of the place to me is that almost every field is intersected… by one of more footpaths – I never saw so many walks in any other country. The country is extraordinarily rural and quiet with narrow lanes and high hedges and hardly any ruts. It is really surprising to think that London is only 16 miles off,’ Charles Darwin’
and family events is running throughout 2018 with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. You can find out more at www. kentdowns.org.uk.
So far this year, led walks along the trail have attracted more than 400 walkers to learn more about the historic links and the magnificent protected landscapes of Kent and Surrey Hills.
On a resurgent theme of Pilgrimage, the North Downs
Way is involved in a European Green Pilgrimage Project. This involves learning best practice and policy from internationally established long-distance routes such as the Camino or way of St James to Santiago de Compestella and St Olavs Way to Trondheim in Norway. pubs, inns and farm shops, we will create a map and beer passport for walkers to seek out the different ales and tick them off as they pass along the trail. This is great news for the breweries, pubs and the walkers, and the trail.” Join our team As part of the celebration we are looking to recruit a team of North Downs Way Ambassadors to lead similar walks and events throughout the year. If you, or someone you know is a keen walker and has good knowledge of the trail, we would love to hear from you. Training will take place in Autumn 2018.
Please contact peter.mor[email protected] kentdowns.org for further information.
Pete Morris, North Downs Way Trail Manager