Thursday, 5 January 2012

Wet and muddy in Ashdown Forest

On new year's day we always go for a walk and this new year's day was no exception. So although it was pouring with rain, we ventured out into Ashdown Forest.

It wasn't raining when we set off so we didn't take anything remotely waterproof with us. Agh! But luckily we had wellies in the boot of the car, and a battered old umbrella.

The forest is enormous - 6500 acres if that means anything to you! Making it the biggest free public space in the south-east.

It was the inspiration for AA Milne's Hundred Acre Wood in the Winne the Pooh stories. It's made up of forest and heathland, and it might very well be my favourite place in this part of the UK.

I have to admit I am normally a bit disappointed when I go for 'country' walks around Sevenoaks because you still seem so close to civilisation. You can still hear traffic and it never feels completely peaceful.

But Ashdown Forest is totally different - the views are stunning and there is no traffic noise at all (until you get closer to the car parks).

There is a pushchair-friendly walk, but we took our baby carrier and went on one of the steeper climbs.

Although the path was very clear, we managed to take a wrong turn and got a bit lost. Panic.

We soon found our way back to the path and the circular walk we took from the Forest Centre took us about an hour and a half.

It was very, very, very muddy. Calum lost one of his wellies in a big puddle (twice) and there was lots of slipping and sliding. So if with very little ones I'd recommend waiting until it's a bit drier.

Five no price tag stars for Ashdown Forest though. Even in the pouring rain. I can't wait till the spring to try it again!

Ashdown Forest
Forest Centre
Colemans Hatch Road
RH18 5JP

Free parking

Walking maps

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