Ashdown Forest Cycling Tour
Curated by Sussex Modern, this itinerary takes in the best of the Ashdown Forest area. On this journey ensure you bring your own bike to discover iconic heritage railway lines to tasting your way around a local vineyard. Of course you may even need a little longer to do this itinerary as you'll no doubt be stopping to one side and taking in spectacular AONB views...
A trip from East Grinstead to Sheffield Park on Bluebell Railway offers an unforgettable start to your tour of the Ashdown Forest. Bluebell Railway was one of the UK’s first preserved heritage lines, resulting in one of the finest collections of vintage steam locomotives and carriages – many preserved straight out of service from British Railways. The whole Bluebell Railway experience comes wrapped in a warm veil of nostalgia. Meet railway staff in period clothing, see original working signal boxes, and step back in time as you board the vintage carriages. The four stations are pristinely preserved at different historical moments including Victorian, 1930s and 1950s.
Bluebell Vineyard is a Sussex Modern partner offering visitors an authentic experience of English wine production. Relaxed, fun and informative tours take visitors through the art and science behind winemaking. The tours provide a true ‘grape to glass’ experience, with revealing insights into grape growing and winemaking in England. Start with a tour of the beautiful vineyard, seeing where the grapes grow and learning about the myriad vineyard activities taking place throughout the year. A tour of the winery delves into the intricate processes involved in making sparkling wines. And there’s a glass in the Tasting Room with your name on it.
Situated in the picturesque village of Fletching – a 20-minute ride from the vineyard – The Griffin is an iconic country pub with a fabulous garden overlooking the Ouse valley. Inside is a restaurant and bar with a cosy log fire for the winter months. But it’s the summer months when the Griffin comes into its own. The enormous beer garden is the perfect spot to enjoy a gourmet pub lunch from the impressive menu, which changes seasonally and sources many ingredients locally. The food is delicious; the views are simply breathtaking.
After lunch, it’s back to Sheffield Park. Not the railway station this time, but the nearby National Trust site boasting acres of landscaped garden bordered by historic parkland and woodland. The garden is a horticultural work of art formed through centuries of landscape design, with influences of 'Capability' Brown and Humphry Repton. Four lakes form the heart of the garden, with paths circulating through the glades and wooded areas surrounding them. Each owner has left their impression, which can still be seen today in the layout of the lakes, the construction of Pulham Falls, the planting of Palm Walk and the many different tree and shrub species from around the world.
Sheffield Park and Garden
Oast Farm Buxted
Located in Buxted, Oast Farm is a family-run fruit farm, shop and cafe offering farm-grown fruit and top-quality local produce. Pick Your Own is available seasonally for the fruit - check what's on offer at the time you plan to visit. The extensive cafe menu has something for everyone, including vegan, gluten and dairy free options. All food is cooked to order using the produce sold in the shop and sourced from only the best local providers: butchers, bakers, cheesemakers, dairies, smokeries, fishmongers and more. Stop off at Oast Farm for an afternoon booster or to stock up for an al fresco evening meal round the glampfire...
Oast Farm Buxted
Shepherd's huts, yurts, bell tents, gypsy wagons... Wowo is an idyllic water's edge campground with cosy glamping options aplenty. If you're bringing your own tent, follow the special Tipi Trail for woodland camping at its best along the Pellingford Brook. The campground provides a natural camping experience with pits for campfires, surrounding trees, trails and forests for you to explore. Bike-friendly, child-friendly, dog-friendly... Wowo is just really really friendly!
2 All day
Forest Way & Ashdown Forest circular
After a comfy night on the campground, it's time to hit the trail. The Forest Way and Ashdown Forest circular is a fantastic 40-mile round trip taking in glorious views of the High Weald AONB. The Forest Way section is a highlight - a gloriously traffic-free 10-mile ride along an old railway line.