Blog post

5 Special Locations on the Ashdown Forest

February 3, 2024

I feel so very lucky to have the Ashdown Forest so close by. One of the best things about living here in Uckfield is its location. As though finding ourselves next door to this Outstanding Area of Natural beauty wasn’t enough, of course we have the South Downs and miles of stunning coastline a short drive away. Aren’t we lucky?

Having lived locally now for around 15 years, I still find that I’m constantly discovering new places to explore on the forest. It really is a place full of surprises and natural treasures. I’ve put together a collection of 5 special locations. I am well aware that these are some of the best known spots because I have a sense that locals would rather keep some of the lesser known places quiet. Shh! These are a few that we’re happy to share,

Pooh Sticks Bridge

A literary landmark with worldwide fame. Pooh Sticks Bridge is every bit as magical as it is in the books. Head towards Hartfield, parking at Pooh’s Car Park and you’ll find the start of a pushchair friendly trail that takes you directly to the bridge. Expect a walk of around 20 minutes through ancient woodland where you might spot deer as well as 100 Acre Wood residents. Make sure you collect a few sticks en route for a game of Pooh Sticks before heading back keeping eyes peeled for tiny doorways and pots of ‘hunny’ as you go.

Where to find it – Pooh Car Park, Chuck Hatch Lane, TN7 4DN

Nutley Windmill

Nutley Windmill is one of just 5 remaining open trestle post mills in the entire UK. This incredible piece of history has been around since the times of King Henry VIII and is still fully operational today. If you’d like to visit it is open most Wednesdays from 11am-3pm, and the last Sunday of every month between March and September. A voluntary donation of £2 is suggested.

Where to find it – Crowborough Road, TN22

The Airman’s Grave

On Thursday the 31st of July 1941 a long-range bomber crash landed near Nutley on its return journey home from a raid in Cologne. Sadly, all six crew on board were killed. Whilst the Airman’s Grave is not actually a grave, it stands as a fitting memorial to the brave crew on that flight. Many come to pay their respects on Remembrance Day. It’s a beautiful, thoughtful and emotive place.

Where to find it – Accessible from Duddleswell Car Park opp the tearooms, TN22 3BH

Chelwood Vachery

Chelwood Vachery is an incredible forest oasis just outside of Nutley. You’ll find a maze of landscaped gardens and waterways as well as a fairy-tale folly bridge. The gardens were designed by Gavin Jones in 1925 as an extension of the formal gardens of Chelwood Vachery House, designed by Scottish architect William Flockhart in 1906. Today, we get to enjoy them throughout the seasons. The flora is especially striking in late spring when the rhododendrons start to come out decorating the forest with their vibrant colours. A very special hidden treasure.

Where to find it – Park at Chelwood Gate, RH17 7LG

The A A Milne and E H Sheppard Memorial

In the heart of Pooh Country you’ll find another special spot – the AA Milne and EH Shepherd memorial. Visitors come from all over the world to pay their respects and give thanks to the creators of these enchanting characters. You’ll find the memorial a short walk from Gill’s Lap car park, beyond Roo’s Sandy Pit and the Heffalump Trap. A large stone is dedicated to the author and his illustrator with sweeping views across the forest. One not to miss.

Where to find it – Park at Gill’s Lap car park, TN22 3JD

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