The Miners Way Trail
The Miner’s Way Trail winds its way through the picturesque countryside of East Kent, linking together pretty villages, small farmsteads, grand country estates and remains of this areas industrial and mining heritage. Much of this arable landscape, profuse with hedges and woodlands, has not changed since Saxon times and the names of the villages and hamlets you pass on the route are firmly lodged in their Old English origins.
The planned growth of the East Kent coalfield during the early twentieth century would have transformed this area into a hive of industrial activity but the coal here was harder to extract than was imagined. This and other constraints meant that grand vision was never fully realised. Today the remains of the collieries, colliery villages and the East Kent Railway built to service them, still stand as monuments to the vision of the late Victorian businessmen and to the thousands of miners who walked the length of the country to find employment in the fledgling coalfield.
The White Cliffs Countryside Project (WCCP) has developed the Miner’s Way Trail in partnership with Dover Museum as part of the wider Coalfield Heritage Initiative Kent (CHIK) Project. CHIK works to collect and preserve the heritage of the former East Kent coalfield in a virtual archive available online, and through the establishment of a number of community archive groups. The project has also collected oral histories from former miners and their families.
The walking trail follows a circular route covering a distance of approximately 27 miles and may be walked over two or three days. A link route creates two shorter walks of around 14 miles each. There are plenty of pubs, B&Bs, guesthouses etc in the towns and villages along the way where you can stop for lunch or spend the night.
There is an accompanying cycle route click here for details. For details on the Miner's Way Guidebook please click here.