Cowdray Forest

High Street (B2110), near Cowdray Arms Pub

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Parking

There is a dedicated car park which can fit about 15 cars. Be careful driving in as there are some pot holes. what3words: softest.attending.drizzly

Terrain

A mix of flat, wide paths and windy thinner paths with some ups and downs. A few spots near the streams have paths that can drop much steeper, but these can be avoided with the right routes.

Water

A couple of streams that are mostly shallow and not too wide (1-2 metres across).

Poo Bins

No poo bins. There is a sign from the land owners asking people to not leave their poo bags behind.

Local Features

A great mix of different types of woodland. There are some fantastic old trees, including an Ancient Yew which is at least a thousand years old. There's also a pub near the car park called The Cowdrey Arms.

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About My Walk

great for small 20 minute loops or longer up to 2 hour explorations. I really enjoy this walk. Although it's called Cowdray Forest on the map, this is actually Paddockhurst Estate, which is private land that the owners allow the public to walk in. Theres a map at the entrance after the carpark that shows the area.

Different areas have been planted with different types of trees, so you can have quite a varied walk, with some parts being pure pine and coniferous, others being beech and oak, and others being a more wild mix of trees. I walked around the perimeter for this walk so that you can see the area you can walk in, and the edges of the estate are fenced so you know where it stops, but you can zig-zag pretty much through the whole area. Some paths are wide and either grassy or compacted earth, others are narrow, windy woodland trails, some are along the banks of the streams, but throughout this whole area, if it looks like a trail you could follow, you can follow it! I've never had to back-track having hit a dead-end or un-passable obstacle, everywhere leads somewhere.

If it's been raining recently then some paths can get extremely muddy. When getting to the streams you'll often have to descend a steeper slope, some paths are more gradual, others very steep, and if wet then the steeper ones can be treacherous and finding a more gradual path could be advised. There are some really big and old trees here; a few of the huge oaks are easy to find on the main wide, grassy path running horizontal north of the car park. There's another huge tree with a rope swing by the main stream which runs parallel to that further to the north again. On one of the paths down from the carpark there's a nice flat swing hung low between two trees that great for smaller kids too.

There's also an Ancient Yew tree hidden near the western edge, I went to it on the route shown here, it's about 100m before the '3' mark. what3words: truth.cape.jaws and it's really worth seeing, it's at least 1,000 years old. Olive loves having wide, open paths to chase the ball on, as well as narrower windy paths to follow her nose on. She especially loves dropping her ball in the streams on this walk and then either trying to build up the courage to go in and get it, or just woof at me that it needs rescuing! I'm certain this place will become a firm favourite for those who visit.

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