1 - Enter the churchyard to view the Parish Church of St Thomas; once a much larger building. Inside are some magnificent stained-glass windows worth viewing. Before leaving by the gate opposite The New Inn, look for comedian Spike Milligan’s grave nearby.

Turn right into the High Street and see The Court Hall opposite, one of the oldest buildings in the town, which houses the Museum. Go downhill and around to the left to Strand Gate; then follow the footway to the right of this ancient archway down Strand Hill.

On reaching the main road (A259), turn right. Take extra care on a short stretch without a footway (better facing oncoming traffic than having to cross this busy road twice).

2 - At the sharp left-hand bend, bear right on a minor road. Cross a bridge and turn right through a gate to follow the left-hand bank of the Royal Military Canal. This is also part of the Saxon Shore Way, a coastal route of 160 miles from Gravesend to Hastings.

Follow this for one and a half miles, crossing the second footbridge over the canal. Then bear left over a smaller footbridge and along the path to the left of a stream with the delightful name of Pannel Sewer.

In about 400 yards, the path joins a track. Follow this, but when the track turns sharp left, continue direction over a stile ahead. Follow the stream for a further 800 yards through fields to cross a stile.

3 - Turn right along a minor road for 130 yards, then left along a track towards Little Pannel Farm. Continue uphill, past a house on the right. Where the track bears right towards a metal barn, go straight ahead across a field to the farther top corner.

Go through a field gate and, in a few paces, cross a stile and footbridge on the left. Turn right uphill to cross a stile, and then turn right along a bridleway, going through a field gate into a farmyard.

Follow the bridleway for 550 yards and then turn left along Laurel Lane until reaching the main road (A259) at Icklesham. Cross with care to the footway opposite and turn left.

4 - Just after crossing the entrance to Goldhurst Green, and opposite a lay-by, turn right on a footpath to the right of a house appropriately named The Ramblers (the Robin Hood pub is within sight along the main road if refreshment is required at this point).

Follow the footpath along between board fences, and where it emerges into a housing estate, go straight ahead into Brede Valley Way.

At a T-junction, turn right along the footway and at the end of the road continue on the footpath, left of garages, with back gardens on the right.

Look to the left for a view across the Brede Valley and then, just past a school on the right, the path ahead joins the part of the 1066 Country Walk as indicated by a finger post.

In a further 225 yards, ignoring another footpath on the right, continue ahead along Parsonage Lane.

Follow the lane around a right-hand bend to the main road. (The Queens Head pub is to the left at the bend if refreshment is required.)

5 - Cross the A259 with care into Workhouse Lane and then left at a 1066CW fingerpost. At a junction of paths, the Parish Church is to the left.

The 1066CW continues straight ahead for 300 yards enclosed by fences, then over a stile and turn right on a driveway; however, it may still be closed, as it was on my visit. The alternative is to cross a stile on the right and veer left to go through a gate in the farther left-hand corner of the field on to a driveway.

Go over a stile opposite, by a fingerpost with a 1066CW waymark, and follow the path alongside a fence. Cross another stile and, at the end of the field, go through a gap in the hedge to a minor road.

Turn left and, at a sharp bend, go over a stile on the left. Climb the footpath across the field to the left of Hogg Hill Windmill, now used as a recording studio by Paul McCartney.

6 - Continue straight ahead down to a stile and turn left along a lane. At a sharp bend, go straight ahead over a stile to follow the 1066CW across fields and more stiles.

Where a field boundary turns sharp left, veer diagonally left to a gate and turn right on a lane. In a few paces, turn left over a stile and bear right on the path towards the right of Wickham Manor.

Cross a track with stiles either side and across the middle of the field to a gate at the bottom. Observe the stone arch of New Gate to the right; one of the ancient gateways to Winchelsea.

Veer left uphill across the field to go over a stile by a gate; then cross a bridleway and another stile. Continue diagonally left uphill to a stone stile to the left of the end wall of an ancient building. There is an information board by the stile.

To finish the walk cross the road and turn right along the footway by a stone wall to the lay-bys or bus stops.

If time permits, take a look around at some of the old buildings in this ancient town.

  • Distance/Time: Seven miles/three and a half hours
  • By Car: Use lay-bys (free) near toilets in Monks Walk (off A259), south of the Parish Church
  • By Public Transport: Buses (100) from Hastings and Rye to Winchelsea, alight at New Inn/Parish Church. Timetable information from Traveline: 0871 2002233 or www.traveline.info
  • What’s underfoot: Field paths and tracks which are likely to be muddy, if wet. Quite a lot of stiles; also, some minor roads
  • Thirsty Work: The Ship Inn, Winchelsea
  • So you don’t get lost: OS Explorer Map 125 or Landranger 189, plus a compass for general direction

Click here for a full-sized map of the Winchelsea circular walk