If you recall the Hundred Acre Wood, from the nostalgic Winnie the Pooh series of books and movies, you might remember fantasizing that such a place could exist in the world. As it turns out, the fictional Hundred Acre Wood was inspired by a real place! Even better, you can actually make a pilgrimage to visit it – and many fans do, every year.
Author A.A. Milne first drafted the series after watching his son play in the woods near their home in Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, England. If you start in the village of Nutley and hike the three miles to Ashdown Forest, you will pass through locations such as Gill’s Lap (renamed Galleon’s Lap in the stories) and the Five Hundred Acre Wood.
As you cross the River Medway on a simple footbridge, you can stop and join other tourists in a game of Poohsticks.
While you’re there, a stay at the Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club is in order. The hotel caters to Pooh-enthused tourists by serving “hunny” sandwiches, Kanga cupcakes, and Winnie the Pooh tea.
You might have heard the news that earlier this year, the area suffered a fire that destroyed 15 hectares of the famous forest. Luckily, however, a quick response by the local fire and rescue service spared the majority of the woods from devastation. Rest assured, nature will take its course and the damaged area of the real-life Hundred Acre Wood will surely be restored before long.
If a trip across “the pond” to visit A.A. Milne’s place of inspiration won’t exactly fit into your budget or schedule right now, let us help you create your own backyard retreat. A bit of imagination goes a long way! WIth the right landscaping, you too can enjoy a soothing or adventurous escape that inspires the inner child in you.