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Smugglers Trail 2011

Smugglers Trail 2011 near Benenden, Kent

Smugglers Trail 2011
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Hawkhurst Community Partnership

Officially launched on the 26th May, 2011, the Smugglers Trail runs between Goudhurst and the Sussex Coast, via Hawkhurst, and also features some of the dastardly activities of the notorious Hawkhurst Gang.

Four Hawkhurst hostelries associated with smuggling (The Oak & Ivy, The Queens Inn, The Royal Oak and The Great House) all participate in the Smugglers Trail, along with Tudor Court B&B. They each display a porcelain plaque for the outside of their establishments, an information panel and a supply of Trail leaflets.

50,000 Trail leaflets were distributed regionally and in the London area. Over 20 hostelries from Goudhurst, Cranbrook and Hawkhurst down to the Sussex coast at Hastings (together with the Smugglers Adventure at St. Clements Caves) and Rye participate in the Trail

Read about the launch and download a copy of the trail using the link above.

Contact: Yolanda Laybourne, Co-ordinator.



The Hawkhurst Community Partnership’s 'Smugglers Trail' naturally focusses on the exploits of the notorious Hawkhurst Gang.

Four Hawkhurst hostelries associated with smuggling (The Oak & Ivy, The Queens Inn, The Royal Oak and The Great House) are all participating in the Smugglers Trail, along with Tudor Court B&B. They each have a porcelain plaque for the outside of their establishments, an information panel and a supply of Trail leaflets.

50,000 Trail leaflets have also been distributed regionally and in the London area. Over 20 hostelries from Goudhurst, Cranbrook and Hawkhurst down to the Sussex coast at Hastings (including the Smugglers Adventure at S. Clements Caves) and Rye are participating in the Trail

You can download a copy of the Trail leaflet here, then visit each venue, enjoy a drink and perhaps a meal and read more about each hostelries involvement in the dastardly deeds committed by the Hawkhurst Gang

Below are a selection of pictures from the launch of the Trail in 2011.



We were joined by a number of smugglers; they were not invited, but they had guns!!



In fact, they had the special 'Hawkhurst Pistol' commissioned by the Hawkhurst Gang, with a greater range to outshoot Customs Officers. The Pistol was on a very rare outing from Maidstone Museum.



Below you can see an example of the iconic plaques and information boards that will be displayed at each venue, with information specific to that location



We were honoured to be joined at the launch by the Deputy Mayor of Royal Tunbridge Wells Councillor John Smith and his wife Rebecca; the Mayor of Hastings Councillor Kim Forward; Chairman of Hawkhurst Parish Council Keith Brown along with representatives of Kent County Council, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and The South East Regional Towns Partnership.


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