Difference between revisions of "Ashdown Forest"
Revision as of 19:23, 7 May 2007
Flora and fauna
Ashdown Forest covers 14,000 acres of lowland heathland which has never been under the plough and so provides a unique habitat for many species of flora and fauna.
There are several hundred deer, mainly Roe and Fallow and including small numbers of Muntjac and Sika, living happily in the woodland areas. Nightjar and Stonechat, Skylark and Meadow Pipit, Dartford Warbler and Woodcock are among the birds which enjoy the gorse and heather habitat. Many rare species of butterfly, moth and dragonfly are also to be seen, as are adders and a small number of grass snakes.
The whole area is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (OANB)
Summer is the warmest time and best for walking cycling etc; winter months can be cold and a little damp.
From Kent/Medway Area:
Roads allow full access to all attractions in Ashdown Forest, although it is worth getting a map (AA or RAC for driving) if you are planning to go walking, horse riding or cycling (cycling is not allowed inside Ashdown Forest on paths, since (wealthly) horse riders find tyre tracks might hurt their horses) however is fully allowed on roads; it is worth getting an OS (Ordnance Survey) map; (Royal Tunbridge Wells, East Grinstead, Haywards Heath & Crowborough. Scale 1:25 000 (4 cm to 1 km, 2½ inches to 1 mile)) would be fine, costing usually under £8.00
As for public transport it is fairly limited, buses go from East Grinstead to Uckfield, East Grinstead to Tunbrige wells and beyond. From Uckfield thier are regular buses to Tunbridge Wells, via Crowborough. Uckfield, Crowborough, Tunbridge Wells and East Grinstead all have routes to London (as do smaller stations, ask at the desk) jorneys vary from 1hr 20 to 50 minutes.
A detailed map is avaliable; 
The area in and around Ashdown Forest is rich in the diversity of places to visit, from East Grinstead in the north to Uckfield in the south, Crowborough in the east and Haywards Heath in the west, and the whole of Ashdown Forest itself in between. The four towns themselves, although very different in character, each offers a wide range of shopping, cafes, restaurants and pubs, and each has a leisure centre with swimming pool.
Just off the A22 are two of the foremost attractions of the area - the Ashdown Forest Centre, where you can learn everything about the Forest, and the Ashdown Forest Llama Park. The A275, which forks off the A22 just south of Wych Cross, will take you to three more treats – Heaven Farm, with its farm museum, craft shop and tearoom, Sheffield Park Garden (National Trust) and the Bluebell Railway.
To the north, in East Grinstead, with fast links to London and just outside the town, Standen, an Arts and Crafts house by Philip Webb, owned by the National Trust.
On the east side of the area, just off the A26, is Barnsgate Manor vineyard with its tearoom and restaurant, its giftshop selling Barnsgate wines and its magnificent views. A little farther south, off the A272, is Wilderness Wood, a working woodland with fascinating walks, picnic and barbecue areas and a teashop. Along with wood ‘workshops’ in the looking after of the forest. It is open most days
Just beyond the Forest boundary, in the north east of the forest, is Groombridge Place Gardens and the Enchanted Forest. A few miles away, on the outskirts of the village of Hartfield, is Bolebroke Castle.
Ashdown Forest is part of the 'High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beatuty' this area extending from Horsham (in the West) to Rye in the East caries with it outstanding countryside, beautiful buildings and an interesting past. Thare are 31 United Kingdom Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Pooh Bear One of the Forest's more famous inhabitants, Christopher Milne wrote that "Pooh's Forest and Ashdown Forest are identical". many of the sites described in the stories can be recognised on the Forest although their names have been altered. For example, the Five Hundred Acre Wood became the 100 Aker Wood and Gills Lap became Galleons Leap. The North Pole and the Gloomy Place are in Wrens Warren Valley while the name, Enchanted Place, is applied to a memorial to Milne and Shepard. Hartfield is 'Pooh Central' with walks and other ativities centred around Pooh Bear.
There are various unusual places in Ashdown Forest; Unusual Places in Ashdown Forest
Anything required can be purchased in one of the larger towns and petrol stations are sprinkled around.
Eat and Drink
You need not travel far within the Ashdown Forest area to find excellent provision for the hungry, the thirsty and the merely peckish. Everything from the humble pint in a friendly local pub to the finest cuisine in a world class restaurant can be found in Ashdown forest.
Pubs and Inns of Ashdown Forest: Restaurants are also in abundance, often attached to pubs, with separate areas, food varies in quality and price; however it is rarely of poor quality
Many pubs have restaurant areas on them; thus they will appear on the list below again:
Tea Rooms; an English tradition, expect high quality food and friendly staff;
If eating out isn't what you want but you still want to get a flavour fo the area visit local farm shops and farmers markets;
Farm Shop - Deerview Products an AFTA Member at Newick tel:01825 721365
Locally grazed meat - Nightingale Farm an AFTA Member at Hartfield tel:01342 825827
There are also numerous Bed and Breakfasts; these provide exactly what they say, the establishments may vary in size from a small hotel to one or two rooms.
Camping is not allowed inside Ashdown Forest, however there is one camping site in the local area:
Some paths may be muddy in the winter; in the summer there are some snakes (adders are the only poisonous ones, however rarely attack humans, dogs can be killed by Adder Venom)
Often there are deep pools, which can be nice to swim in (from this area's idilic industiral past), but children should always be accompanied, monsters from the deep are rare.
Some paths may lead abruptly onto (often fast) roads; for your childrens and pets safety keep listening out for cars and if in any doubt keep more adventurous animals on a lead.
In the summer months the whole forest is at risk from wildfires, please do not smoke (for your own health and the forest's) and Do not light fires.
Please note, much of this information has been copied from the Ashdown Forest Tourism Site; however I (and Wikitravel and its users) have permission to use this informaiton