Ashdown Forest: Pooh Sticks Bridge and Gills Lap


This was a short walk which I chose to find something interesting for my daughter, Erika. The Ashdown Forest is famous as the place A.A. Milne spent some of his childhood, and it's the landscape which inspired the Winnie the Pooh stories.


We got the train to Tunbridge Wells and a taxi from there to the Gallipot Inn where we had lunch.


This is obviously a popular stopping off point for people going to visit the Pooh Sticks Bridge as they had a custom made map with directions. After leaving the pub, we walked west along the road, and then turned off the main road onto a private road / track which we followed all the way to the famous Pooh Sticks Bridge.


We had picked up some suitable sticks on the way, and of course paused for a bit when we got here for a few games of Pooh Sticks.


From Pooh Sticks Bridge we walked south through the woods, heading towards Gills Lap. Already the sun was getting a bit low in the sky, which made for a nice effect as the wintry light shone through the trees, but made me conscious that daylight was running out!


After crossing over a road, the scenery started to open up a bit, and the woods became more heath like. We had a gradual slope to climb from here for the remainder of the walk, as the winter sun started to set.


As we neared the top of the hill, we passed by a memorial to A.A. Milne, which was also probably the best viewpoint.


We ended the walk at the Gills Lap car park. I'd originally thought we might follow the Vanguard Way back down the hill, but daylight was running out, correspondingly it was getting a bit chilly, and I thought it prudent at this point to just call a taxi and get back to Tunbridge Wells.


Not the best planned of walks in hindsight, but we did have some nice winter views and it's good to be able to say we've visited the original Pooh Sticks bridge!

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