For a small person who keeps asking ‘Where’s Christopher Robin?’ (and I have no idea why as we only started reading Winnie-the-Pooh after this question)…a trip to visit ‘Pooh Country‘ was an excellent way to spend a morning with the Grandparents. Fortunately for us, said Grandparents live a stone’s (or stick’s) throw away from the Ashdown Forest, the inspiration for A.A.Milne’s hundred acre wood (the home of Winnie-the-Pooh).
First we went to the tea shop at Pooh Corner, a dedicated one stop shop for Pooh aficionados, in the pretty Sussex village of Hartfield. Satisfied after a round of toasted teacakes and coffee, we prised Little G from all the Pooh-phernalia (fortunately without tears, though there seemed to be plenty around us as sobbing children begged for souvenirs. We indulged in a bottle of bubbles, possibly one of the cheaper mementos). From here, we drove the short distance to the dedicated car park from where you have a jolly walk down to the Poohsticks Bridge.
We scouted for sticks along the path (as we had been recommended to do, as funnily enough there aren’t many right by the bridge). We said ‘hello’ to other exploring families, ponies and their riders, found proper toadstools (but no pixies) and made friends at the bridge with a Taiwanese student who was waiting for someone to play Poohsticks with. We obliged, she won. Without her, Little G kept winning. We had a lot of fun and giggles rushing from one side of the bridge to the other to see whose stick came out first. It was such a magical setting and so pretty in the woods, that I think this was one of my favourite trips out with Little G, ever.
A few tips for enjoying a trip to Poohsticks Bridge:
- With small children, visiting the shop first is good as it sets the scene, provides a loo and refreshments and also provides a map so you know exactly how to get to all the key Pooh locations like The Enchanted Place.
- Take snacks…even though we had the teacakes first, we were suddenly very hungry after all that excitement.
- Find a good pub for a drink afterwards. We went to The Hatch Inn…a wonderful pub in Coleman’s Hatch which dates from 1420. Good beer, juice and great crisps! A garden (where we opened our bubbles to much delight), wooden beams and candles on the tables. The food did look pricey though.
- Wear wellies! We also borrowed a rather fab ‘off road’ style buggy. Even though Little G prefers walking, it was good to have and she liked the idea of it as was so different to her usual one, which would not have coped with mud or manure! Also the walk back to the car park is up hill…
- And finally Grandpa’s prized stick that he planned on winning with (though more of a log)…sunk. So as Granny B pointed out ‘in this case, small is beautiful’…those small sticks are the winners folks! We’ll remember that for next time…now, has anyone seen Christopher Robin?
Where: Pooh Corner, High Street, Hartfield, East Sussex, TN7 4AE Telephone: 01892 770456