A country forest view in Tunbridge Wells region

A country forest view in Tunbridge Wells region

by Mike Bartlett

Local Woodland & Nature Reserves

We are lucky enough to have numerous nature reserves all around Tunbridge Wells, and the best thing about them is that they are free!  Full of colour and interest at all times of the year, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy a real rural setting in any one of these woodlands.

Broadwater Warren

The Broadwater Warren RSPB reserve is currently being re-established to the former historic open landscape of the Weald allowing the native plants and wildlife to flourish. 

Conifers are being taken out and the new palette of heathland and woodland will provide homes for woodlarks and nightjars, adders, bees and butterflies, dragonflies and frogs.

The reserve is open all year round for visitors, including for your four legged friend.

Come and enjoy the views across the countryside.

Bring your binoculars and see what you can discover!

Hargate Forest

Originally Hargate Forest was part of a medieval hunting forest which included Broadwater Warren above and was one of the four grand hunting forests of the Weald.

Today it is quite safe to walk without being hunted through this Forest via the marked routes of different lengths. Registered as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and maintained by the Woodland Trust, this is a beautiful place to which to escape.

With fantastic views across the High Weald as well, there is wildlife to look out for on your visit all year round.

Small seasonal guided activities are put on for a small fee such as the Autumn Fungi Foray.  Check the What’s On listings right now!

Tudeley Woods

Tudeley Woods and Heathlands RSPB reserve has been restored to reduce the historic effect the Wealden Iron Industry had on the landscape.

Woodland flowers and butterflies can now be found on your walk as well as more than 1000 different species of fungi.

Look out for the stunning bluebells and primroses in the spring.

For the birders among you there are lesser spotted woodpeckers, tree pipits, nightjars, willow tits and woodlarks.

Hemsted Forest

Hemsted Forest, based between Sissinghurst and Benenden in the east of the region, is predominately made up of pine trees. Over recent years it has been replanted with Douglas-fir, apparently not a pine, fir or conifer at all!

Since it is still evergreen, the thick foliage attracts a variety of birds and dormice.

There are easy to walk paths and tracks with hard surfaces for easy access and also used much by cyclists and horse riders.  The site’s postcode is TN17 4AN.

To note: all of the above do not have toilets.

Bedgebury National Pinetum

Here is a national collection of over 10,000 conifer specimens which includes many rare, historically important and endangered trees. 

In the village of Goudhurst, this is a great place for children, pushchairs and wheelchair users thanks to the decked walkways.  Parking is pay on entry.

The Pinetum used to have Britain's tallest cypress, also the tallest tree in the county. Unfortunately 'The Old Man of Kent' as it was known, a silver fir measuring 165ft, had to be felled in 2016 due to old age.

You can go for a 2 hour walk or a 30 min ramble, take your pick and see what wildlife you can spot on the way.

Browse the What’s On listings for the latest goings on, there is nearly always something happening at Bedgebury.

 

External links

Woodland Trust - Hargate Forest

RSPB Nature Reserves 

Forestry Commission - Hemsted Forest

Number of items:

Number of items: 43

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  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Add Pashley Manor Gardens to your Itinerary

    Pashley Manor Gardens

    Type

    Garden

    Ticehurst, Wadhurst

    Pashley is an ideal destination for garden lovers, art and history enthusiasts, keen photographers or those looking for a peaceful and enjoyable day out surrounded by beauty and nature.

  4. 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'.

  5. 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.

  6. Add Putlands Sports & Leisure Centre to your Itinerary

    Putlands Sports & Leisure Centre

    Type

    Sports Ground

    Paddock Wood, Tonbridge

    Purpose built centre provides sports hall, fitness studio, meeting rooms, outdoor tennis courts, football and rugby pitches.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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 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.

  12. Add St Thomas a Becket Church, Capel to your Itinerary

    St Thomas a Becket Church, Capel

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Capel

    Twelfth century church with wallpaintings of the same period - the most extensive in West Kent. They depict various biblical scenes including Cain and Abel and The Last Supper.

  13. 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.

  14. Add Grosvenor and Hilbert Park to your Itinerary

    Grosvenor and Hilbert Park

    Type

    Parkland / Woodland Garden

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Grosvenor and Hilbert is the town's oldest public park and still contains some original historic features, such as the lake and grottoes or 'dripping wells'. There is an exciting and challenging play area which is well worth a visit.

  15. 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.

  16. Add Cranbrook Museum to your Itinerary

    Cranbrook Museum

    Type

    Museum

    Cranbrook

    A 'must' for every visitor to the Weald.

  17. 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.

  18. Add Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre to your Itinerary

    Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre

    Type

    Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Located in a converted Grade A listed church by the noted architect Decimus Burton, Trinity Theatre hosts a varied programme of art exhibitions, theatre, films, dance, opera and music productions.

  19. 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.

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

    St. Dunstan's Church Cranbrook

    Type

    Church / Chapel

    Cranbrook

    Cathedral of the Weald.

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