Forest Row draws its name from its proximity to the Ashdown Forest, a royal hunting park first enclosed in the 13th century. Forest Row has grown, first with the establishment of a turnpike road and later with the opening of the railway line between East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells in 1866, which closed on the 2nd of January 1967 as a result of the report” The Reshaping of British Railways “in 1963, by East Grinstead resident and British Railways Board Chairman Dr Richard Beeching. The line is now a footpath called the Forest Way.
We head out of Forest Row along the Forest Way, leaving it to past through Upper Parrock to Colemans Hatch Church, passing Shepherd's Gate and enter Ashdown Forest. We take a path South crossing Colemans Hatch Road to Sandy Lane which takes us to Stone Cottage which was the Irish Poet W.B. Yeats home from 1913-1916. One of his most famous poems is “The Second Coming”. The Cottage is located within Ashdown Forest. Afterwards we head through the forest with views to the South and North to reach The Ashdown Forest visitor Centre where we will have our Picnic Lunch.
After Lunch we head Northwards through Broadstone Warren to Highgate on the outskirts of Forest Row, before heading west, crossing the A22, through Kidbrooke Park using a permissible path, past Kidbrooke Farm, crossing the river Medway to the ruins of Brambletye House. The house was once the home of Henry Compton and his second wife, Mary Browne. Henry Compton came into ownership of the older double-moated manor at Brambletye by way of Richard and Edward Sackville, the 3rd and 4th Earls of Dorset respectively.We return via the Forest Way, and through the centre of Forest Row to the start.
Optional drinks in one of the local pubs afterwards.