Ashdown Forest, East Sussex

Sometimes you discover a place on your doorstep that is simply magical. Ashdown Forest is just that and Emma and I went there last week as our ‘something new’ for the week. It took us about 40 minutes drive to get there from Brighton and as we drove over, I felt a million miles away from city life. It’s hard to imagine that you are even in the same county as it feels so deep in the countryside. Often after a long week of commuting and working hard, getting away to a bit of peace and quiet is just what we need – and we found the perfect place.

Our first stop was to head toward Winnie The Pooh Corner, in Hartfield, a beautiful and quaint village. Emma has just fallen in love with all things Winnie The Pooh after her Nanny gave her a book with 10 bees buzzing for the honey and then it counts down all the way to 1 bee. She loves it and has also started recognising all characters, so when she saw the figurines in the window at Pooh Corner, she was in heaven. We managed to arrive around lunchtime, so I thought it was a great idea to have some lunch first and the tearoom there is very sweet. It’s small but serves lovely sandwiches with really affordable kids sandwiches (plus Pom Bears – win!). Emma was itching to ramble around after the car journey but we just about made it through lunch.

After lunch, we had a look in the shop; I averted a bit of a tantrum at Emma not being able to take everything home with her. Next stop was to drive 7 miles along the road to Ashdown Forest itself for a real explore in the woods. Amidst the minor navigation problems that I usually have on car journeys, I managed to get myself into a little mess! I drove into the car park which was very rural and as I parked up the car, I drove into a ditch. I completely panicked as the wheels were spinning when I tried to get out, so we had to ask the information centre to tow us out. I’ll never know if the guy was just being nice at saying “oh don’t worry, it happens all the time”…

As we entered the woods, we had a ramble around and spotted a little den made of sticks, which I thought Emma would love but I think it was a bit dark and dingy for her. She spotted a long log that was wedged into the ground and climbed up for a bit of gymnastics. I’ve really noticed that with Emma at the moment, she is a fantastic climber and so strong, even if it makes me nervous to watch. She walked slowly along the log, and then explored the stumps of old trees too. The sun started to go down and she was so happy having a look at everything and jumping in the mud.

Emma soon spotted that there was a green area beyond the trees, so she ran quickly over to it, which had the sun beating down on it for those last moments of sunshine in the day. She had a good run around, even though the ground was quite wet from lots of rain recently and here we could see over the Sussex Downs. It was really beautiful and you got a real sense of how high we were. It was soon enough time to go home though and I carried Emma to the car as her legs were getting tired. As we reached the car, she ran back towards the forest obviously so a sign that it was an afternoon up to her standards.

Ashdown Forest is located on the A22 via the M23 from Brighton and is well known as being the home of Winnie The Pooh.



  1. February 25, 2017 / 7:12 am

    Wow looks like a fantastic place x great that it’s not too far away either. It’s amazing what a bit of fresh does for us xxx

  2. February 25, 2017 / 11:59 am

    I love this post!
    I went there as a child and found it absolutely magical. I persuaded hubby that we should go there in Autumn 2015 and we did. I still loved the Pooh Corner shop and we went to the poohsticks bridge – there were so many excited children, it was magical!
    I can’t wait to take my little one there when she’s older.

  3. February 28, 2017 / 5:10 am

    What a beautiful adventure! I found an amazing lil cafe hidden behind the supermarket I do my weekly shopping at. It had a out door area with a lil park and fun childrens activities ! I wish i found it sooner! #dreamteam

  4. February 28, 2017 / 5:56 am

    This looks so awesome!! If I ever make it across the pond, I’m stopping in there! #DreamTeam

  5. February 28, 2017 / 6:44 am

    Ahh what a lovely day out (we won’t mention the, ahem, imcident!!) Glad you’re ok xx #DreamTeam

  6. February 28, 2017 / 7:13 am

    I love the idea of ‘something new’ road trips. I’ve been wanting to do this with my little one once we get his sleep schedule under control and we’re not so exhausted. Looks like a lot of fun! #dreamteam

  7. February 28, 2017 / 7:23 am

    We don’t live far from here and have a friend who lives on Hartfield high street. It’s such a lovely place to explore. I used to take the girls to the playground there, as it’s pretty good. Lovely photos 🙂 Alison x #DreamTeam

  8. February 28, 2017 / 8:34 am

    Ooh sounds lovely! Another place to add to the list!! And if I’d been driving, I would’ve ended up in the ditch too!! #DreamTeam

  9. Stacey Oakes
    February 28, 2017 / 9:03 am

    No way I never knew the WTP stories originated from here. I love trips to the forest, we have a bluebell wood next to us which is magical in may #dreamteam

  10. February 28, 2017 / 9:18 am

    Oh god I’m sorry but I did laugh at the ditch!! Hilarious!! What a gorgeous place that looks though and your photos are, as always, beautiful! #dreamteam

  11. February 28, 2017 / 9:20 am

    Oh what a truly wonderful thing to have done! You’re so right about how good it feels to get out of the hustle bustle sometimes. Oh and wow to it being home to Winnie the Pooh! Beautiful photos lovely #DreamTeam

  12. February 28, 2017 / 9:21 am

    Ahh looks like a lovey place, lucky you to live so close. Your photos are gorgeous! #DreamTeam

  13. February 28, 2017 / 9:21 am

    Ahh looks like a lovey place, lucky you to live so close. Your photos are gorgeous! #DreamTeam

  14. February 28, 2017 / 10:50 am

    I always take for granted some of the wonderful places on my doorstep, particularly the beaches in nearby north Wales #dreamteam

  15. February 28, 2017 / 11:01 am

    What a lovely day out, and some lovely photos. We need to try and get out and about and find some new places now Freddie is starting to walk x

  16. RawMum
    February 28, 2017 / 11:37 am

    Love Winnie the Pooh and getting out and about in an area with a story is fabulous. Have you heard of geocaching? It’s another great way to find cool places with stories. It’s a worldwide treasure hunt that kids (and adults) really love.

  17. February 28, 2017 / 12:10 pm

    I love her wellies! It’s so nice to explore a new place that’s right on your doorstep. I know what you mean about the climbing making you nervous – the Popple loves to climb all over everything, including really inappropriate things like tables. #DreamTeam

  18. February 28, 2017 / 12:54 pm

    What a gorgeous place, this is somewhere we definitely need to take our girls! #DreamTeam

  19. February 28, 2017 / 12:58 pm

    Every time I see these majestic photos from across the pond I want to move immediately.


  20. February 28, 2017 / 12:58 pm

    Every time I see these majestic photos from across the pond I want to move immediately.


  21. February 28, 2017 / 2:06 pm

    How awful getting stuck in the car park, thank goodness there was someone around to help. Apart from that, it sounds like a magical day out #dreamteam

  22. February 28, 2017 / 2:09 pm

    Wow! Your photos are gorgeous! I love going outside with my daughter, she is 9 now but we have so much fun. Thanks so much for sharing such a special time with us. #dreamteam

  23. February 28, 2017 / 2:50 pm

    I’m a big Winnie the Pooh fan, but I didn’t know that Ashdown Forest is his historic home. I think you’ve got some gorgeous photos here! I would totally be the mum who drives into a ditch too so don’t worry about it 🙂 #DreamTeam

  24. February 28, 2017 / 3:23 pm

    That looks so beautiful – and gorgeous photos too! I can’t wait for the weather to improve so we can visit some woodlands!! #dreamteam

  25. February 28, 2017 / 4:30 pm

    Looks a lovely place to visit, especially love the look of the little cafe and shop. Shame it’s a bit far for us to visit from Bristol, but definitely somewhere to bear in mind if we are ever nearby. Thanks. #DreamTeam

  26. February 28, 2017 / 5:27 pm

    Ohhh.. I love the puddle jumping boots! So pretty. Looks like you had fun. #dreamteam

  27. February 28, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    What a fun place! Wish I wasn’t so far away! Great pictures, too.

  28. February 28, 2017 / 6:22 pm

    I’m only just discovering winnie the pooh as my mummy is reading it to me. We’d love to visit the Winnie The Pooh Corner in Hatfield x #DreamTeam

  29. February 28, 2017 / 6:42 pm

    I love this!! I thinnk im gonna have to go here when Ben is bigger #dreamteam

  30. February 28, 2017 / 6:50 pm

    It looks like such a great place.
    I must try and explore a little further afield near me and see what’s out there.



  31. February 28, 2017 / 7:04 pm

    Oh wow. You’re a good mom. I love the way you choose to always do something fun for her on your days together. I think I need to step up my game!

  32. February 28, 2017 / 7:46 pm

    I love days like that – when you get out to somewhere so peaceful and rural like that it seems like everything in the world is okay. Its amazing what the great outdoors and fresh air can do to your mood and peace of mind. I love how you do ‘Something new for the week’ I feel guilty that i usually say that when I’m giving the boys Turkey Twizzlers or something lol! I think we definitely need to get out more and stop blaming the weather for not going further afield! xx #Dreamteam

  33. February 28, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    Wow what a beautiful place! #dreamteam

  34. February 28, 2017 / 8:40 pm

    I’ve never been there but it sounds lovely. Love the photos in your post too. Hope you’ve recovered form the incident? I had one like that too a number of years ago!

  35. February 28, 2017 / 9:21 pm

    This sounds like a really lovely day. I always find these something magical about forests x

  36. February 28, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    I”m a huge Pooh fan!! Winnie the Pooh corner looks amazing! Sounds like another lovely day – minus the ditch – I wouldn’t worry I’m forever reversing into bins over our lawn! #DreamTeam

  37. February 28, 2017 / 11:38 pm

    This looks fantastic and I great day out. Shame it’s a little too far away for us to visit. Lovely pictures, especially love Emma’s wellies! #dreamteam

  38. March 1, 2017 / 7:49 am

    We’ve been to Ashdown Forest and Pooh Corner! A lovely place! #Dreamteam

  39. March 1, 2017 / 8:26 am

    Lovely day out I love winning the pooh #dreamteam

  40. March 1, 2017 / 12:11 pm

    I would love any store named Pooh corner and I don’t have a young child. The child in me would want to go and play there. #dreamteam

  41. March 1, 2017 / 12:39 pm

    We love the Ashdown Forest and the Pooh Shop. There’s a lovely tea room over the road too. (Or there was, we haven’t been for a while).

  42. March 1, 2017 / 3:15 pm

    Sorry to read you had to get rescued. It sounds like a lovely place.#DreamTeam

  43. March 1, 2017 / 4:00 pm

    Wow! I’m a massive Winnie The Pooh fan – and I’m afraid that I too may have had a small tantrum if I wasn’t allowed to have all of the things in the shop! I would love to visit here. Such a shame we live so far away! Looks like you had a lovely time though. Gorgeous pics. xx #DreamTeam

  44. March 1, 2017 / 4:19 pm

    Look at Pooh Corner! That looks lovely. We used to visit a cafe called Pooh Corner when we visited Weymouth, Dorset, Was a lovely cafe! #DreamTeam

  45. March 1, 2017 / 4:26 pm

    I love these little trips out you two are having. What a lovely idea. Something I would love to start doing with my little one before school starts in September and takes over! #DreamTeam

  46. March 1, 2017 / 8:32 pm

    Oh I love that pooh corner looks like really nice place

  47. March 1, 2017 / 8:56 pm

    Ohh that looks like a wonderful place. And you’ve got some gorgeous photos too! Thanks for hosting #dreamteam

  48. March 1, 2017 / 9:12 pm

    Love Ashdown Forest! Went many times as a child and have taken my daughter since but we must visit again this Summer, my son will love running around there. #DreamTeam

  49. March 1, 2017 / 9:53 pm

    What a beautiful place and you’re so lucky to have it so close. Always feels great to get out and away from our normal surroundings. #dreamteam

  50. March 1, 2017 / 10:11 pm

    This place looks amazing, I would
    Love to visit pooh’s corner sometime!

  51. March 2, 2017 / 6:05 am

    Ah this looks like such a lovely place for a family walk! I love her wellies! #dreamteam

  52. March 2, 2017 / 10:11 am

    Sounds lovely, what a sweet Winnie the Pooh Cafe! Beautiful photos. Sorry to hear about the ditch incident, I would have panicked too! Thanks for sharing. #DreamTeam

  53. March 2, 2017 / 12:06 pm

    Sounds like a lovely day out and I love the sound of Pooh corner! Might have to make a visit! #Dreamteam

  54. March 2, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    What a perfect place to spend some special time together #DreamTeam

  55. March 3, 2017 / 12:29 am

    Bridget, I love that you regularly take Emma on these lovely mother-daughter adventures! And *I* get to see places I’d never find on my own, even if I were there.

  56. March 3, 2017 / 11:02 am

    Oh wow this looks awesome. Clem is just getting into Winnie the Pooh so we will definitely have to take her here. She loves being outdoors as well. x #dreamteam

  57. March 3, 2017 / 3:44 pm

    This looks like a beautiful day Bridie, and I love the look of the little Pooh cafe. Emma looks really happy too being outside, and in the sunshine. Thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  58. March 3, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    Looks like a lovely place for a visit! We pop to Brighton quite often so might trek a bit further on next time #DreamTeam

  59. March 6, 2017 / 5:42 pm

    Aww sounds a lovely day. I lov finding new tea rooms and places to explore. My daughter doesn’t walk far so I always end up carrying her at the beach or in the woods! #DreamTeam

  60. March 7, 2017 / 8:01 am

    Sounds like a lovely day out. Too bad about the ditch but it was sorted quickly. Being outdoors and exploring for a child is a fantastic experience #dreamteam

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