This short walk through heath and woodland, begins at Friends Clump, one of Ashdown Forest’s iconic ‘clumps’. Clumps of Scots pines were first ordered to be planted here in 1825 by Elizabeth, Countess de la Warr, whose descendants owned the Forest until 1988. In 1973 The Friends of Ashdown Forest decided to commemorate the “Year of the Tree” by planting the Friends’ Clump, which is at the start of this walk. The Clumps are a prominent feature of the Ashdown Forest landscape and serve as useful markers for visitors.
The walk passes Nutley Windmill, a fine example of the oldest post mill design, known since the 12th century. The mill is believed to be about 300 years old, and is occassionally open to visitors. Continuing through trees and then on to open heath, the walk reaches the bottom of Millbrook Valley, once the site of a Saxon iron smelting furnace, before a steep ascent back to the start.
7 miles (AA walk) or 10-and-a-half miles or 2 walks of 6 and 6-and-a-half miles (Fancy Free Walks)
mostly easy walking
good pubs and cafes in Hartfield, ice cream vans often in car parks along route at Gills Lap and King’s Standing
Pooh Corner Shop and tea rooms/garden in Hartfiled
These walks explore the haunts of AA Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and his much-loved friends. The AA walk takes in undulating farmland and dense woodland on its way the fine village of Hartfield and Pooh Bridge for a game of Pooh Sticks. The Fancy Free Walk replicates much of the AA walk but is far more extensive taking in more of the Classic Pooh sights such as Eeyore’s Gloomy Place, Roo’s Sandy Pit and the Enchanted Place, all landmarks in the Pooh stories. Another highlight is a memorial to AA Milne, the author of the stories (at the place where he – and Pooh Bear in the stories – used to sit) and EH Shepard , the illustrator, where there are fine views over heathland.
one fairly steep climb, can be boggy around Eeyore’s Gloomy Place!
ice cream van often in car park
These two walks are classic Ashdown Forest walks in Winnie-the-Pooh Country. This is the part of the forest that features the places that most inspired A A Milne when he wrote the Pooh stories, and is fine heathland with some excellent views. The shorter walk takes in The Enchanted Place and the Sandy Pit and is suitable for younger children, whilst the longer walk descends to the North Pole and Eeyore’s Sad and Gloomy Place. Another highlight is a memorial to AA Milne (at the place where AA Milne used to sit and Pooh bear in the stories) and EH Shepard , the illustrator, to commemorates the stories, which reads:
“and by and by they came to an enchanted place on the very top of the forest called Galleons Lap”
This is walk one in the Exploring Ashdown Forest by Foot series of attractive and informative leaflets.
Pooh Bridge is quite a walk away but only a short drive and is also worth a stop for a game of Pooh Sticks. See Pooh’s Ashdown Forest Walk for details of how to get there and for the option for a longer walk near this part of the Forest.
This website is intended to be a comprehensive guide to walking in Sussex. I have lived in Sussex for over 20 years and walked many of its paths, especially in the Brighton area, the South Downs between Eastbourne and Arundel, and the Ashdown Forest. This is where my focus will inevitably start but this website will cover all areas of the county, and I hope to get to know some new places in doing so. Sussex is a beautiful county to walk in offering a wide choice of walks, and I hope this website encourages you to explore more of the county and get your walking boots on.