East Sussex is home to an impressive number of historic and culturally rich seaside towns, but its inland charms are equally attractive. The glorious South Downs National Park pull in a good number of tourists to the county each year, with good reason. One of the county's most naturally beautiful spots lies in the rural depths, just east of Hayward's Heath, at Ashdown Forest. Fortunately for visitors, the forest is surrounded by exquisite hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs.
From Henry VIII to Winnie the Pooh!
Ashdown Forest is a tranquil area of woodland that rises to 732 feet above sea level, offering spectacular views across the Downs and surrounding woods. In addition to being one of the most beautiful areas in East Sussex, Ashdown Forest also boasts a complex and interesting history.
The forest started life as a hunting ground for deer, created during the Norman conquest of England. Hundreds of years later, the forest remained a favourite hunting ground, frequented by hunters of no lesser stature than Henry VIII.
However, the forest's more endearing modern claim to fame is that it provided the inspiration and setting for A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh stories. Today, it's a popular spot with tourists on the lookout for exquisite walks and special wildlife, and the chance to have a game of Poohsticks from the same bridge where Pooh and his friends allegedly played.
Hotels near Ashdown Forest
Visitors to Ashdown Forest are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding somewhere to stay nearby. Rural hotels in the area include The Bull at The Green, a friendly and intimate hotel situated just outside Hayward's Heath. In the other direction, the larger East Sussex National boasts a range of relaxing facilities, including an indoor pool and sauna.
Other nearby Attractions
Ashdown Forest may be in a peaceful rural location, but that's not to say there isn't plenty to see and do in the surrounding area. The stunning National Trust property of Sheffield Park Garden is a short drive away, as are the famous Sussex Downs. Heading south for the coast, visitors can take their pick of a number of historic seaside resorts. From the Victorian charms of Eastbourne and Hastings to the modern bohemia of Brighton and Hove, there's something to suit every taste.