Every time we book in at our repeat pet sit on the Ashdown Forest, we make the pilgrimage to see all the Winnie the Pooh sites! No matter how many times we visit with Labradors Ruby and Hattie, we love seeing the sweet nods to the loveable bear throughout the forest, and the places that inspired stories in the books. Whether you’re looking for a way to entertain your little ones, walking your dogs on the forest, or just want to feel like a big kid yourself, we’ve put together all the best spots for a magical Winnie the Pooh walk in the place that inspired A. A. Milne’s 100 Acre Wood!

We’ve plotted a walking route to see all the sights we’ll mention in this post:

Check out the route map here.

Where to park

There are more than 40 car parks dotted around the Ashdown Forest, with Pooh car park being the closest to the Pooh Sticks bridge and Winnie the Pooh’s house. However, if you want to see all the sights in one easy-to-follow route, start by parking at Gills Lap car park. As you’ll see from our route map, from the car park it’s almost a completely straight line from the starting point at the car park to the finishing point at Pooh Corner cafe, and the route is just over 5km (around 1 hour of walking, without stops to take photos and admire the sights!).

It’s worth knowing that, as of 2022, parking charges have been introduced in the car parks on the Ashdown Forest. These charges can be paid by phone, app or card, with cash payments accepted only at the Ashdown Forest visitor centre. See the Conservators of the Ashdown Forest website for up to date parking charges.

For those without their own transport, bus routes run through the forest with stops at both Gills Lap, and Chuck Hatch Lane (a stop that is 3 minutes walk to Pooh car park).

When to visit

If you’re able to, we’d highly recommend visiting during the week. Pooh Sticks bridge in particular becomes incredibly busy on the weekends, especially on a fair weather day, and the 25-30 spaces at Pooh car park fill up quickly. Similarly, Pooh Corner cafe in Hartfield no longer accepts reservations so it’s first come, first served. The Pooh-shaped treats on offer at the cafe are a sweet way to end your walk, so be sure to plan ahead and get out on the forest early to avoid disappointment.

What to see

We’re so excited to share this list with you, as there are TONNES of cute Winnie the Pooh sites to visit on the forest. See below for our map of all the points of interest plotted out for you!

The Enchanted Place. A few minutes from the car park at Gills Lap, you’ll come across a sign for Gills Lap Clump by a small cluster of trees. This was the inspiration for The Enchanted Place in the final chapter of A. A. Milne’s stories of Winnie the Pooh, and visitors have contributed to the magic of this place by building small dens and houses from sticks in amongst the trees. The sign for Gills Lap Clump has a Winnie the Pooh quote on it, reading “I’m rumbly in my tumbly. Time for something sweet”. It’s a charming place to stop for a picnic in Pooh and Christopher Robin’s honour!

The Heffalump Trap. Looking out North-West from The Enchanted Place, you’ll see a tree with a wide canopy protruding from the heathland. This tree was the inspiration for ‘The Heffalump Trap’. Pooh and Piglet were afraid of a monster of their own imagination – an elephant-like creature they called a Heffalump – and in one of the Winnie the Pooh stories they set a trap in order to catch one (to no avail!). There’s a steep drop on the other side of the tree that gives you a good view across the forest. To continue with our walk, retrace your steps and rejoin the path by The Enchanted Place.

Roo’s sandpit and the A. A. Milne memorial. As you walk along the path, you’ll come to a small fenced area another another cluster of trees. Just before you reach it, on the opposite side you’ll see a large basin-like area of land that provided the inspiration for Roo’s sandpit in the Pooh stories, though it can get very marsh-like in wet weather so it’s best to admire it from the path. The fenced area is where you’ll find the memorial plaque to A. A. Milne, the author of the Winnie the Pooh stories, and E. H. Shepard, the illustrator of the books. Whenever we visit the memorial it always feels to us like a very tranquil place – the horseshoe shape of the cluster of trees invites visitors to reflect together. The memorial has a quote from the Pooh stories, reading “And by and by they came to an enchanted place on the very top of the Forest called Galleons Lap”. The viewpoint by the plaque is really special no matter the weather, though on a bright,  sunny day the forest sprawls out in front of you as far as the eye can see, giving visitors the chance to truly appreciate the magic of the forest that was brought to life by the men commemorated here.

Piglet’s House and Owl’s House. On your way down the gently sloping path, you’ll come across your first wooden signs for Pooh bridge before you cross the narrow road to Pooh car park. Continuing down the slope, make sure you look up high in the trees! Just like in the Winnie the Pooh books, you’ll spot Owl’s House – a green door high up on the side of a tree trunk – and beyond it a little balcony with a door on another tree that is Piglet’s House. Take some time to explore in the woods here as, at the base of the tree with Piglet’s balcony, there is a sweet wooden door and a sign, with trinkets left by visitors. We’ve visited a dozen times over a few years, whenever we pet sit for Labradors Ruby and Hattie, and each time there have been different items left by the door – most recently a replica of the giant jars of honey that Winnie the Pooh enjoys!

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Pooh Sticks bridge. One of the most popular Winnie the Pooh sites on the Ashdown Forest, this little wooden bridge has been built for visitors to enjoy the game of ‘Pooh Sticks’ as described in the Winnie the Pooh stories. Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh and the whole gang would enjoy this game when they came to a bridge in the forest. The game works by players each finding a small stick in the woods, dropping them over the side of the bridge into the water in unison, and rushing to the other side of the bridge to see whose stick emerges first – they are the winner! On quieter days we’ve enjoyed endless games of Pooh Sticks – much to the amusement of Hattie and Ruby (who would rather we threw the sticks for them!). There are even little framed signs here with rules for the game, at a height where little ones can read them too. Our top tip for playing Pooh Sticks here is to start gathering sticks during your walk down to the bridge, as once you get there you’ll find any loose sticks have been snapped up by previous visitors!

Winnie the Pooh’s House. A short walk up the hill away from Pooh Sticks bridge, nestled in a small clearing in the hedgerow, is a little tribute to Winnie the Pooh’s house. Our most recent visit was the first time we’d managed to see the House, as for years it seemed to have been taken down. Now the House is back with props replicating Pooh’s dwelling in the books – from his ‘Mr. Sanderz’ sign above the door, to his mail box. Many visitors have left items here like Winnie the Pooh cuddly toys, hand-written letters placed in his mail box, and quite a few jars of honey to satiate the bear’s appetite for a sweet treat! Hattie, a typical Labrador, managed to enjoy a good couple of licks from an open jar before we caught her. This is definitely one of the best spots for a photographic souvenir from your trip to the 100 Acre Wood!

Pooh Corner cafe. If there’s something rumbly in your tumbly, and like Pooh you’re in need of something to eat, heading to Pooh Corner cafe in Hartfield is the perfect way to round off your visit to all the Winnie the Pooh sites on the forest. The cafe menu is abundant, from traditional cream teas with your brew served in a Winnie the Pooh shaped teapot, to Teddy Bear toast cut in the shape of Pooh’s face. There are the usual array of British cafe staples, such as baked potatoes, homemade cakes, hot chocolates and toasties, all served in a sweet, cosy cafe with Pooh-print tablecloths and an overwhelming amount of memorabilia! The adjoining gift shop is absolutely crammed with Winnie the Pooh souvenirs, from vases and photo frames to stationery and stuffed toys. We’ve never managed to visit on a good-weather day, but there’s also outdoor seating in a traditional English garden setting for alfresco dining in sunnier weather. A real treat for fans of the books and films! As we’ve mentioned, the cafe no longer accepts reservations so plan your arrival in advance to avoid a long wait, or not being able to get a seat at all.

Things to note when visiting the 100 Acre Wood

  • The Ashdown Forest is incredibly dog-friendly, and we love spending our days during our house sits with Ruby and Hattie just getting lost along the criss-crossing trails in the forest together. However, there are Exmoor ponies kept in various electric-fenced paddocks across the forest as well as many horse-riders out on the paths – especially on the weekend. Make sure to put your dog on lead when you comes across horses, for everyone’s safety. Aside from this, there are puddles and rivers for your dog to swim in, and a never-ending supply of sticks to chase! The natural beauty of the Ashdown Forest is what attracts so many visitors each year, and as there are no poo bins blotting the horizon, be responsible and take your dog waste with you.
  • The walk from Pooh car park down to Pooh Sticks Bridge is pushchair-friendly, though it can get muddy in the rain, and you’ll have to push the buggy up the hill on your way back. Luckily there are a couple of benches along the slope where you can stop for a rest!
  • If you only want to visit Pooh Sticks Bridge and Winnie the Pooh’s house, it’s best to park at Pooh car park – the bridge is less than 10 minutes walk from here and you’ll see Piglet and Owl’s houses on the way.
  • It can be difficult to see Piglet and Owl’s houses if you don’t know where to look – as you come down the slope, look high up in the trees to your right. Owl’s house is on a tree at the edge of the path, while Piglet’s house is further into the woodland and may be harder to spot – particularly if you visit in Summer when leaves fill the trees and block your view of the trunk. Take some time to do some childlike exploring and head into the woods to find it!
  • Some of the sites require you to use your imagination, such as the Heffalump Trap tree and Roo’s sandpit – they are just the inspiration for the books, after all. If you’re visiting with young children, this is a great opportunity to come up with stories together!

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