The Vanguard Way Blog has been started to complement the Vanguard Way official website: The Vanguard Way is a 66 mile, long distance footpath between East Croydon (South London) and the South Coast port of Newhaven.
Primarily we hope to record interesting sightings along the Vanguard Way with an emphasis on flora and fauna and other 'natural' phenomena. To offer a contribution, please email We will be interested to receive details of what has been sighted, where and when, together with a photo if available.

Sunday, 2 August 2020

June 2020
Thanks to everyone who sends us information about the Way. Neil reported concerns about Gardiner Business Park and the closed barrier, and he also alerted us to holly overgrowth with interesting ways to manoeuvre round it. We could apply these ideas to other obstacles!
Thanks to Fay about her information abut the styles in section 4.
Julian contacted us about the Wealdon Round Walk (to be found the ramblers website) from a booklet he had found which mentioned The Vanguard Way as well as The Sussex Border Path and the Greensand Way

July 2020
More information from other walkers. Chris told us that in Section 4 the Wet Wood is part of Hammerswood near the Scout Camp and thanks to John for all his information about potential problems and suggestions about possible improvements to the route.
Thanks to Keith who was at the southern end of the Vanguard Way and reported construction near Newhaven East pier is affecting this part of the route. The Vanguards will be contacting various groups about support they can offer.
Planned changes to the Vanguard Way in Croydon have been delayed. We recognise that we need new signage on parts of the way and new posts will be installed around the Kent & Surrey Golf Club later in the year. We hope other waymark posts will be installed  later.


Cleared under growth thanks to John                                                                             Alison crossed the Greenwich Meridian Line

Congratulations to Barbara and Richard, Fiona and partner (at a great speed in 3.5 days), Alison with lovely photos of her crossing the Meridian Line, Christof and friends, John and last but not least Adrian for the successful completions of The Vanguard Way

Good wishes to Kevin on his planned walk of The Vanguard Way 

Monday, 22 June 2020

Lots of time has passed since our blog was updated but here goes. 
In March David, Clerk of Forest Row Parish Council commented that the Vanguard Way review ‘has been a bright light in an otherwise gloomy picture, and had been very pleased to circulate it to all our Councillors. A great and much appreciated effort, maintaining this splendid amenity, may it go from strength to strength’ . 
In April difficulties began to be reported about the path including an obstructed bridge, and trailing wires, a loose step at a stile near Woldingham, the possible rerouting of FP24 north of High Hurastwood. The new route uses VGW stickers on ESCC discs, where possible.
Later in May we were told that FP 51b immediately south of the railway was currently impassable and leaving an isolated finger post on FP 51a, Neil’s report about the status of a FP through Ludlay Estate and right of way near Lewes Road problems with the area around Edenbridge and Gardiner Business Park. 
In May lots of ramblers were on the trail, several using  OS maps, and centrally what to do about the industrial estate barrier? that blocks a foot path. Thefts from unattended buildings are on the up in the area which might explain the barrier. A small gap for pedestrian access could be created.  
Good suggestions about seeing things on the route including railways and local buildings

Monday, 17 February 2020

Winter 2019/2020

The Winter edition of the Ramblers Walk magazine has an item about the Vanguard Way. We are 8th in Britains top ten trails. The London Loop and the Capital ring are joint 9th.

There are several ramblers who have contacted us with lots of comments and useful information. 
Andrew from Croydon noted the mud around Hasted Mill, temporary fencing around Gills Gap and returning to the route after getting lost. 
Carol is planning her Vanguard way walk and now has details of out website We wish her every success and hope she enjoys the routes. 
Owen has reported obstacles along section 4 including road closures, mud, floods, the kindness of a local postal worker and Raffles (Forest Row as a good point to have lunch)
Best wishes to James from Friends of the South Downs and their planned walk.
Lets hope Jim and Suzanne have an easier time after section 4. We always try to update the directions and thanks to Roger for volunteering to attach some Vanguard way discs

Thursday, 19 December 2019

October and November 2019

Renewing, changing and developing The Vanguard Way is on-going. Challenges in the last couple of months include: the use of permissive paths, gas repairs, fallen or leaning trees, stiles with or without barbed wire, signs and finger posts mislaid, hidden or overgrown, brambles growing everywhere, poor visibility, wet feet, mud, names made-up or real, unexpected detours, ambitions achieved and thwarted and finally finding taxis and pubs all make the Way more interesting

Croydon council are proposing to improve the network of paths in the Borough including The Vanguard Way

The Vanguard Way is mentioned in the latest Martello Magazine. The new editor of the Magazine is keen for walkers to know about and visit the Museum. 
Contact details:

Congratulations to Ed and Sarah who have completed the Vanguards Way between April and November 2019. The route was well marked and very enjoyable in most parts. They found the gpx routes that have been published on the ViewRanger app particularly useful

Charlie from Sussex Coast Series has told us The Vanguard way is in their latest newsletter

Sunday, 17 November 2019

November 2019
Hello all
Good news about The Vanguard Way. Colin has taken part in a podcast, one of a series produced for the Sussex Coast Series of Love Sussex.  Click:
The video is 11m 33s and Colin is featured prominently in this episode and can be seen near the start of the clip after the section in Newhaven, the end of the Vanguard Way. We hope you enjoy the clip. 

Monday, 4 November 2019

October and November 2019
We have two ramblers who have completed the Vanguards Way recently. Congratulations to both John and Jeff 

John completed the final section of the Vanguard way despite the adverse weather conditions of rain, wind and probably storm! John thanks us and makes very positive comments about route directions, waymarking, the use of the ‘helpful and comprehensive’ and the ‘absolutely brilliant’ commentary that developed his knowledge of the surrounding area and, in conjunction with OS Explorer maps, developed his knowledge of what he sees away from the path, which also lets him know where the main road is.

Jeff has been walking The Vanguards Way since 2014, finally completing in 2019. He is also a solo walker and confirmed that the directions were most helpful and that he was unlikely ‘to have undertaken the walk without the detailed directions given on the website’. As he says ‘I am particularly impressed that directions are given for both north to south and south to north, something that most authors omit (not even pointing out potential problems when walking in the ‘wrong’ direction)’.  
On moving back to Kent following a career that became increasingly sedentary, Jeff set out to walk as a way of getting exercise. He came across the Explore Kent programme, in particular the award of a certificate on completion. As he says, it was ‘an incentive to complete the walk, which I felt I needed’.  Since then he says he has looked to complete walks with similar ‘rewards’, including The Capitol Ring and The Vanguard way. Jeff says he is a fair weather walker and since the death of his mother may spend more time exploring other aspects of the Vanguards way. His favourite places were Cuckmere Haven and Ashdown Forest but he will check the walk descriptions before he starts.

The VGW got a good write-up on the My London website on 12 October.  If you wish to read it, click here and scroll down to ‘The Vanguard Way’.  It also provides a link to the route description for Section 1.
From MYLondon

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           East Croydon Station                                                                  Cuckmere Haven

Friday, 18 October 2019

August and September 2019

Whenever we walk or join the Vanguards way there are usually buses and trains to help join up the section of the way. The frequency of these means of transport depends on the day of the week and sometimes the time of the year!
Independent walkers give us information about the condition of the long distance path and we really appreciate this. East Sussex County Council, Highways England and other organizations also give us information about the way and its condition. 
One up-date is about the installation pedestrian refuge to be installed on the A27 at the point where the Vanguard Way crosses to Berwick village.  

Sections 3 & 4 changes are happening around Edenbrigde and Forest Row thanks to East Sussex County Council who have been carrying out repairs to the Vanguard Way (footpath 26a). These include construction of a stone path, reprofiling and ditching, laying of drainage pipes, clearance of a neighbouring wood. We will keep Forest Row (FP 26a) as the signed definitive route of the Vanguard Way as in the route description but the unsigned alternative will be kept as an option. This takes walkers closer to Tablehurst Farm with its cafĂ© and toilets, past historic Tablehurst Manor, and with a magnificent view across the fields surrounding Windmill Cottages.  

Section 8.8 - The public footpath crosses the field towards Ludlay and it is hoped walkers will use the path that turns before the garden and across the prepared path
A long-term resident of Seaford has added this piece of historic information Bishopstone railway station is I believe unique in that it has two wartime pillboxes on its roof. These offered their occupants panoramic views over the sea and would have been a strong deterrent to any approaching forces. In addition, on the western side of Marine Parade, between the A259 and the railway bridge, there was a large underground reservoir of oil. The small brick building, still visible in the field, was a pumping station, to pump the oil to the sea, where it could be ignited, thus setting the sea on fire. This facility was however never used. Desperate measures for desperate times!
Different aspects of the Vanguard Way courtesy of Keith & Linda