Since the start of the second lockdown in the UK we have been increasingly on the lookout for nature spots and living in the countryside has definitely more options than living in big cities. We are incredibly lucky that right on the doorstep we have the outstanding natural beauty of the Ashdown Forest. Although it is not as huge as the forests of Bavaria or Bohemia, for example, it is still one of the biggest forests in the UK and its ecological importance is significant, as it is home to some of the endangered species of Europe.
For those who are not so familiar with the birdlife or conservation aspects, the Ashdown Forest might bring to mind instead the popular children stories about Winnie-the-Pooh and his adventures with his friend Christopher Robin. The author A. A. Milne created these stories for his son, the real-life Christopher-Robin Milne and set them in this magical place. And today you can follow in Winnie-the-Pooh’s footsteps which many families with children do to enjoy outdoor fun and their own little adventures.
As we have two four-legged friends, Tony and Charlie, this place is incredible for our whole family. Dogs are so thrilled when they are in the Ashdown Forest, which is full of new smells and stimuli that only dogs can understand – hahaha! Lucas also enjoyed walking in the forest a lot and it was the place where he took his first proper long ‘hike’, he walked for such a long time! He could go up and down the same forest path a hundred times! He’s going through a phase of enjoying repetitive activities and different types of walking (including falling) and other physical toddler activities. So this place is great for toddlers too, as the terrain is soft and safe for their first steps.
What I love about the Ashdown Forest, especially in the Autumn, is its beautiful colour palette, from light brown to dark terracotta, and interwoven with withered fern leaves. It is also fascinating how the terrain changes and how heathland alternates with forest. You can also see grazing wild ponies and if you are lucky enough some wild protected birds. Or you can spend time in some of the treehouses that were built by kids. We couldn’t have enjoyed the tree houses more when it started to rain heavily!
This place also provides many educational activities for families and children, which are easy to find on the official Ashdown Forest website, where you can also download various maps of hiking trails. So, if you’re looking for a great outdoor area in East Sussex or a natural beauty spot easily in reach of London, the Ashdown Forest is definitely a great choice.