Ashdown Forest

Ashdown Forest Centre Wych Cross East Sussex RH18 5JP

Ashdown Forest doesn’t actually have an awful lot of forest in it – two-thirds of it is high, open heathland – but it's a lovely part of Sussex, no question, criss-crossed by quiet walking trails, and home to deer, sheep, woodlarks, nightjars… and a Bear of Very Little Brain. It was here that A. A. Milne wrote the children’s book classics Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner from his weekend home near the village of Hartfield, basing the characters on his son Christopher Robin’s real-life stuffed toys, and the ‘100 Aker Wood’ on Ashdown Forest itself. Plenty of spots featured in the books can be sought out by Pooh fans, most famously Pooh Bridge, the spot where Pooh Bear invented the game of Pooh Sticks with his good friend Piglet (park at the ‘Pooh’ car park and follow the one-mile path down to the bridge). You can download Pooh walking maps from the Ashdown Forest website, or pick them up from the Ashdown Forest Centre in Wych Cross. End your Pooh pilgrimage at the Pooh Corner shop and tearoom in Hartfield (where real-life Christopher Robin used to buy bullseyes with his Nanny); you can choose from the ‘smackerels’ and ‘strengthening medicines’ on the menu, or pick up a pot of Sussex honey to take home.

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