On 18th January 1882, AA Milne, the creator and author of Winnie The Pooh, was born and it is on this date annually that we celebrate Winnie The Pooh Day. Yes, today is the national awareness day of our favourite tubby, red t-shirt wearing, honey loving bear! As a lifelong fan of his adventures and loveable nature, I am excited to spend my day eating honey and trying to catch a Heffalump!
Here at the Sykes blog, in honour of Winnie the Pooh day, we are taking a look at the ‘real’ Hundred Acre Wood; Ashdown Forest. An area of outstanding natural beauty as well as an area of special scientific interest, Ashdown Forest covers over 6,500 acres and stretches across Sussex, Kent and Surrey! The Forest and its surrounding areas are full of things to do so the area is the perfect place for a UK getaway. Here are some of the things that you can get up to in and around Ashdown Forest…
Walking in Ashdown Forest
Perhaps one of the best ways to navigate a forest, and experience all of the nature that it has to offer is by putting on a pair of comfortable shoes and going for a walk. Whether you want a leisurely stroll on your own, a family ramble or even if you’d like to join a guided walk; Ashdown Forest is a great place to do it! If getting fit was one of your new year’s resolutions, joining one of the forest’s healthy walks can be a great way of keeping your resolution whilst learning about the beautiful scenery and wildlife you will pass. If a health walk is not your thing, or you’re going to Ashdown Forest with the kids, you might prefer to take a few steps in Winnie the Pooh’s footsteps by picking up a map from Pooh Corner and taking a wander through Winnie and friend’s old haunts.
Art in Ashdown Forest
The Ashdown Forest Centre is mostly used as an information centre for visitors to the forest; however the centre also regularly plays host to exhibitions of local artists or photographers. This means that the centre is the perfect place to go for any art buffs wanting to hide from the elements, should the weather take a turn for the worse. Sometimes items in the exhibitions will be available for sale, so you might even be able to pick up a new focal piece for the living room wall whilst you’re there!
Wildlife in the Forest
Covering such a large expanse of land, it is no surprise that Ashdown Forest is home to a variety of animals. From deer and sheep to snakes and lizards, there are many species that call this forest home. In the thirteenth century, Ashdown Forest was used as a Deer hunting wood, however between then and now the population of Deer in the forest has fluctuated. Bird watchers will be in their element as Ashdown Forest is home to a large number of birds including song thrush and woodlarks as well as migrant species such as tree pipits and the common redstart.
The area of Ashdown Forest plays host to a number of entertainment venues, so if you want to spend your evening with a bit of noise then heading to one of these might be the answer! From Elvis and Take That tribute acts to Opera evenings, the entertainment venues around Ashdown Forest are sure to have an event catering to any taste. If you’re in the area for a celebration, why not dine in luxury on the Bluebell Railway; a Pullmans train carriage offering afternoon teas, Sunday lunches and dining for other special occasions. The train departs from and returns to Sheffield Park station and more information can be seen on their website here.
If Ashdown Forest sounds like the perfect place to spend time on your next cottage holiday, why not take a look at Sykes Cottages selection of holiday cottages in Kent and Sussex and book your holiday cottage today!