Sussex Day Trip – Milne’s Enchanted Place & The Five Hundred Acre Wood

February 18, 2019

I have gone a little off tangent from our usual interiors related fare here, this isn’t even a design guide to a destination we’ve recently visited, and my son appears (I think) for the first time in a post, but don’t worry I’m not about to start mummy blogging

(I know you usually come here for the wallpaper etc so i’ll leave that role to the experts), but this is such a sweet little adventure to go on from London, and I had so many messages on Instagram when I posted Stories I thought I’d take the start of the half term holidays to pause for a moment on one of our favourite days out of the last year. Tucked away in the Sussex countryside is a tiny little village called Hartfield. If you’ve seen one of the recent films about A.A Milne then you may recognise it as the part of Sussex that Milne lived and wrote the Winnie the Pooh stories from. Just outside of the village, within Ashdown Forest, is the Five Hundred Acre Wood, which the Hundred Acre Wood is based on. This corner of the world is home to the most beautiful English countryside. Rambling through peaks and troughs you will find woodland, streams, wide open space, hills of bracken and if you’re very lucky Piglets door, maybe owls house, or even Eyores gloomy place!

Sussex is our favourite English county, there are so many beautiful spots here which we visit regularly and this is my new favourite of them all. We spent an afternoon here in September with the little person, who was then three, and I can’t wait to go again this spring. The hills around Gills Lap can be quite a climb for short legs but if you have an adventurous sort it’s definitely do-able, and although it is an even bigger climb to The Enchanted Place, the views on a late summer afternoon/ early autumn are so worth it. The enchanted place is where Milne used to sit and think, look out, write and find inspiration from and it is truly magical, the kind of view you could linger on for hours, especially if you don’t have a child in tow! This part of the trail is relatively easy to find by car heading straight out of the village (from the London direction) past the pub and on straight.

If you have kids, or you are a Winnie the Pooh fan, then the Pooh trail is a must. You will find the houses of several of the characters (Piglets door even has a pot of honey on the doormat for Pooh!), my favourite is the collection of twig teepees for Eyore and there’s even a Pooh Sticks Bridge over a stream where you can re-enact your own game. Although there is a Pooh teahouse in the village this isn’t the most established touristy spot (which makes visiting all the more special) so don’t expect to find places signposted for ease. We got a little lost on our journey (all part of the fun apparently), so if you are visiting my best directions go as follows; as you enter Hartfield village (from the London direction) go straight through the first part of the village until you pass the Pooh teashop, then take the first left turning (Jib Jack Hill) if you keep going straight this will turn into Chuck Hatch Rd, after driving for a few minutes you need to take a right down an unmarked turning which leads to the Pooh carpark, it isn’t signposted but there is rather a nice Victorian house on the left just before it! Good luck!

Just on the outskirts of the village is a small and very sweet pub dating back more than five hundred years called The Hatch Inn where we stopped for a lovely Sunday lunch. All in all this is one of the best days out we had as a family last year, we love being amongst nature and the variety of landscapes means if you are an outdoors type there’s something for everyone.

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