Our History

The Heart of England Way Association was formed in 1982 by walkers and supporters - and relies on its membership. It has its foundations in Alcester through the local Civic Society, when, in the late 1970s, it proposed a walkers route across Warwickshire. This idea was taken up by a number of rambling clubs and it was developed gradually to the formation of the route we know today.

The Heart of England Way was created to link the Staffordshire Way at Cannock Chase and the Cotswold Way at Chipping Campden. It was later extended southwards to Bourton on the Water. The objective was to form a link in the chain of footpaths from John O'Groats to Lands End.

Today, the Way forms a popular route for End to End challenges and sections of it are frequently put to use for circular walks. The route passes through a surprisingly rural environment, including a large expanse of the Chase, the Arden landscape and the Cotswold escarpment and valleys.

More recently, the Way has been included as part of the European Union Long Distance Path E2. This route runs from Nice in France, the Channel coast, then via Dover, northwards to the Scottish border (why stop there?).

In 1982 the Way was officially recognised as a regional long distance route, and is maintained by the Association.

The principle aim of the Association is to promote both the Heart of England Way and The Arden Way - the former being a 100 mile nationally recognised long distance recreational route for walkers from Cannock Chase to the Cotswolds. The Arden Way is a circular route for walking centre on Henley in Arden in Warwickshire - 26 miles of circular route including a small part of the Heart of England Way.

The Association has a volunteer warden service covering the 126 miles of both routes, including way-marking and checking the route regularly.

Our costs are all met from membership fees and donations.