Ashdown Forest is a large area of open heathland at the north end of East & West Sussex. It is located on a ridge of sandstone and the soil is quite sandy.
It was originally a Royal Hunting area similar to the New Forest, and despite its being called a forest, originally it was mostly open heath.
The land is open to all, and most of it is available for the public to access. There are numerous car parks scattered around so that even on a busy day it should be possible to find somewhere to park.
At the northeast corner is the village of Hartfield. Here you will find Pooh Corner, a delightful shop selling Winnie the Pooh items (see seprate review). And just outside the village is Pooh Bridge where Pooh and his friends played Pooh Sticks.
Another place of interest, particular to children, is Ashdown Forest Llama park, also reviewed seperately.
There are several good pubs and restaurants in the area if you wish to have a drink or a meal.
One thing to watch out for is the deer. On one short stretch of road between Coleman’s Hatch and Chuck Hatch (such quaint names!) I must have seen a dozen deer. One actually stood beside the road and looked at me and for a few minutes we just stared at each other. Unfortunately the camera was in the boot of the car!
If you’re a first time visitor then I would suggest popping into the visitor centre on Coleman’s Hatch Road. This is also where the only public toilets are apart from the ones in the garden centre at Wych Cross.
Ice cream vans are regulary spotted at Long, Gill’s Lap and King Standing car parks, and they may visit some of the others.
I’ve spent many hours in this area and I hope you enjoy it as well – it’s not possible to list all of the attractions in this review. Come and visit.
Check out my review of Ashdown Forest – I am Steaders – on Qype