Walking in beautiful Ashdown Forest, the home of Winnie the Pooh, great for family time

Walking in beautiful Ashdown Forest, the home of Winnie the Pooh, great for family time

David Hodgkinson

Ashdown Forest

The Ashdown Forest is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest as well as being a Special Protection Area and a Special Area of Conservation!

Ashdown Forest is only half an hour’s drive from Royal Tunbridge Wells but looks very different from its immediate surroundings with its enchanting woodland offering scenic and relaxing walks with your family.

‘Scotland in Sussex’

Ashdown Forest is a high sandy ridge overlooking the High Weald of Kent.  The land was originally managed for the hunting of deer and is now common land.

Curiously, it is not a forest! The name ‘forest’ is a Norman word meaning land governed by ‘forest law’ which assigns harsh penalties of transgression.  It meant the King could hunt no matter who owned the land and the prey’s cover was thus also protected!

It has both heathland and woodland habitats which are home to a wide variety of wildlife.  There are masses of broom and gorse; some areas look quite sparse, an intriguing sight in this fertile region of rolling meadows and woodland, also known as the Garden of England.

Things to do in Ashdown Forest

The Ashdown Forest plays host to a wide variety of activities and events including opportunities to view both historical and art exhibitions alongside guided walks and fun days for all the family. For further information about upcoming events at the Ashdown Forest please visit their Facebook page.

There are many outdoor pursuits to undertake in the area aside from walking – horse riding, llama walks, learning bush skills and fishing as mentioned above. 

The Forest contains the Old Lodge Nature Reserve where one might chance upon a stonechat or a nightjar! Dogs are welcome if kept under control and cleaned up after. The views of the heath, sandstone and scrub from here are expansive.

You can take a walk around the Weir Wood Reservoir and its waving grasslands. You might be lucky enough to see a kingfisher!  Day fishing is allowed at the eastern side of the lake, the western area is a nature reserve. There are toilets, parking and a café at the Fishery.

Other wildlife highlights of the Forest include: fallow and roe deer as well as some muntjac and possibly a few sika; small mammals like voles, butterflies, moths and a multitude of dragonfly species.

Bird species consist of curlew, hen harrier, ring ousel, osprey, treecreeper, sparrowhawk, skylark, meadow pipit, Dartford warbler, willow tit, woodcock, water rail and marsh tit.

See the Ashdown Forest website for plenty more details, especially parking in the right spot to optimise your enjoyment of this unusual wilderness.

AA Milne’s Special Spots

Many visitors come to the Forest in search of a very famous bear and his friends – Winnie the Pooh!

Explore the 100-Aker Wood and have a game on Poohsticks Bridge.  Pooh Corner is a delightful shop stop on the way back to Tunbridge Wells, in the village of Hartfield.  Select souvenirs and gifts then sit down and have a cup of tea in this cute country cottage.

How to get to the Ashdown Forest

Follow the A264 west out of the town, then take the B2110 past Groombridge Place and the Enchanted Forest carrying on through Hartfield to the Forest Centre. This is a good place to start as it has all the information you would need to find out the best place to park and see your favourites.

Parking in the Ashdown Forest

Coach parking is available at Broadstone Car Park – RH18 5JP – only.  Minibuses can park at the Forest Centre aside from these, there are over 40 car parks across the Forest.

Nearest Accommodation to Ashdown Forest in the Tunbridge Wells Region

St Ives Campsite

Burrswood Guest Rooms

Manor Court Farm B&B and camping

Flying Horse Cottage self-catering


External links:

Ashdown Forest

Number of items:

Number of items: 43

, currently showing 1 to 20.

  1. Add Pashley Manor Gardens to your Itinerary

    Pashley Manor Gardens

    Type

    Garden

    Ticehurst, Wadhurst

    At Pashley you will discover 11 acres of beautiful borders and vistas - the culmination of a lifetime of passion for gardening and an admiration of the tradition of the English country garden.

  2. Add Chalybeate Spring to your Itinerary

    Chalybeate Spring

    Type

    Spa

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Visitors came to see and be seen in fashionable Tunbridge Wells, but above all to 'take the waters'.

  3. Add Spa Valley Railway to your Itinerary

    Spa Valley Railway

    Type

    Steam Railway

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Spa Valley Railway takes you on a picturesque railway journey through through the beautiful Wealden countryside from Tunbridge Wells to High Rocks, Groombridge and Eridge

  4. Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk

    Type

    Waymarked Trail

    Tunbridge Wells

    The Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk is a 27.5 mile (44.3km) route that explores the wide variety of fertile and beautiful countryside around Royal Tunbridge Wells, a town within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the borders of Kent and East Sussex.

  5. Add St. Dunstan's Church Cranbrook to your Itinerary

    St. Dunstan's Church Cranbrook

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Cranbrook

    Cathedral of the Weald.

  6. Add The Queen's Hall Theatre to your Itinerary

    The Queen's Hall Theatre

    Type

    Theatre

    Cranbrook

    Providing entertainment in the heart of the Kent Weald.

  7. Add Parish Church of King Charles The Martyr to your Itinerary

    Parish Church of King Charles The Martyr

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The first permanent building in Tunbridge Wells. Stunning plasterwork ceiling by Sir Christopher Wren's Chief Plasterer.

  8. Add Scotney Castle to your Itinerary

    Scotney Castle

    Type

    Garden

    Lamberhurst

    Not one but two houses! Victorian country house and ruined 14th century moated castle set in one of England's most romantic 'picturesque' style gardens.

  9. Add Kino Cinema Hawkhurst to your Itinerary

    Kino Cinema Hawkhurst

    Type

    Cinema

    Hawkhurst

    Kino is the UK's first purely digital cinema with the full HD experience.

  10. Add Weald Sports Centre to your Itinerary

    Weald Sports Centre

    Type

    Leisure / Swimming Pool

    Cranbrook

    High quality sporting facilities to include swimming pool, sports hall, fitness studio, exercise studio and creche.

  11. Add Dunorlan Park to your Itinerary

    Dunorlan Park

    Type

    Parkland / Woodland Garden

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    A glorious local awarding winning park and testament to the Victorian landscaping era. Boating lake and cafe.

  12. Add Assembly Hall Theatre to your Itinerary

    Assembly Hall Theatre

    Type

    Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The Assembly Hall Theatre is a 1,000 seat theatre offering an eclectic programme with everything from family shows to classical music.

  13. Hawkhurst Fish Farm

    Add Hawkhurst Fish Farm to your Itinerary

    Hawkhurst Fish Farm

    Type

    Fish Farm

    Hawkhurst

    Carp fishing for the family with a choice of 7 lakes, cafe and pottery.

  14. Add Cranbrook Union Windmill to your Itinerary

    Cranbrook Union Windmill

    Type

    Windmill

    Cranbrook

    The tallest surviving smock mill in the British Isles, measuring 72 feet to the top of the cap.

  15. Add St. Mary's Church Speldhurst to your Itinerary

    St. Mary's Church Speldhurst

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Tunbridge Wells

    We welcome visitors to our beautiful church.

  16. Add Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest to your Itinerary

    Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest

    Type

    Forest

    Goudhurst

    Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest is a magnificent place for healthy outdoor activities.

  17. Add St. Mary's Church Goudhurst to your Itinerary

    St. Mary's Church Goudhurst

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Cranbrook

    The church on the hill above the village.

  18. Add Sissinghurst Castle Garden to your Itinerary

    Sissinghurst Castle Garden

    Type

    Garden

    Cranbrook

    Famous, stunning gardens set in the remains of a large Elizabethan house amidst the unspoilt Weald countryside.

  19. Bowles Outdoor Centre

    Add Bowles Outdoor Centre to your Itinerary

    Bowles Outdoor Centre

    Type

    Adventure Park / Playground

    Eridge Green

    A residential outdoor centre with accommodation for 94 offering rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, canoeing and outdoor management development courses.

  20. Add Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre to your Itinerary

    Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre

    Type

    Leisure / Swimming Pool

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    A great local resource for those interested in health and fitness, with most facilities available on a pay and play basis.

Search Accommodation

Type:
Area:
Keyword: (OPTIONAL)

Search Things to Do

Type:
Area:
Keyword: (OPTIONAL)

Search What's On

Type:
Area:
Keyword: (OPTIONAL)
Date

Search Food & Drink

Type:
Area:
Keyword: (OPTIONAL)

Search Shopping

Type:
Area:
Keyword: (OPTIONAL)

Search Things to Do

Type:
Area:
Keyword: (OPTIONAL)

Now featuring traveller reviews from TripAdvisor.