Join us on a walk from Hartfield to Chelwood Gate with a bit of history thrown in. Approximately 11 miles, we will be visiting the Ashdown Forest, Pooh Bridge, Hatch Inn, Kings Standing, and The Pale.
Ashdown Forest escaped the turmoil of the Tudor Iron industry, and today, is the biggest public space in southeast England.
Ashdown doesn’t seem like much of a forest, at least not in the densely-wooded sense. However, it was the Normans who introduced the concept to our country and the forest law could apply almost anywhere, and Ashdown was marked out as a hunting forest, the same as the New Forest.
The mix of heath grass and woodland is the perfect hunting ground, and if there’s one thing we know about Henry VIII, it’s that he loved hunting. The forest not only provided good sport but brought him close to the Boleyn daughter’s home. It’s rumoured that Kings Standing was the location of one of Henry’s hunting lodges. Although, given its nae, it was more likely the location of a sort of Tudor grandstand, where spectators could sit in shelter and watch the hunt.
Meet at East Croydon 8:20 for the 8:41 train to East Grinstead. Bring sandwiches and drinks although there is a possibility of stopping at Hatch End Pub, which is a lovely old pub. We can also get an ice cream at Kings Standing.