Pooh Corner and Pooh Sticks Bridge are a must visit for any Disney lover, both are hidden gems and just over an hour from London! Winnie the Pooh is one of Britain’s most loved children’s characters. The “silly, willy, nilly old bear” and his friends had already been in the hearts of thousands of children years before Disney discovered it and worked its magic on the popular story. With the generation who grew up with the Disney version now reaching adulthood film studios have released a handful of live action films about Christopher Robin and his relationship with his special bear, proving he is now more popular than ever. As most people will be aware, Christopher Robin was a real child and his father, A.A.Milne, made up the stories based on his childhood stuffed animals. All the locations in the book were based on real places Christopher Robin would play in around the area near where they lived. It is surprising given this that these places are not more well known. If you are heading out to try and follow in the footsteps of this famous boy and his bear then you must head straight to the Pooh Corner cafe and shop before heading out to hunt the original Pooh spots!
Pooh Corner is situated in Hartfield which is the epitome of a traditional English village. There is no parking on the premises itself but parking in the village is free. The gorgeous looking cottage-turned-cafe is the perfect place to stop for a small smackerel or two! The adjacent garden is filled with beautiful flowers and quaint tables so it’s a great place to sit if the weather is on your side. It is plagued by wasps however, with the amount of honey and cream being served this isn’t so surprising so we decided to eat inside to try and avoid the hassle.
Inside the building is perfectly themed, Pooh is on everything from the tablecloths, to the cups, to the plates and upon the walls is all manner of Pooh-related objects! The menu is, of course, Pooh theme also and very reasonably priced. Myself and Haydy went for a sandwich and creme tea with jam whilst Hayley choose the toast (pooh shaped of course) with honey. Service was a little slow as it was busy but the food was worth the wait. Unfortunately, the wasps just couldn’t be kept outside so this did cast a dark cloud on the meal somewhat as it is hard to relax when you have a wasp or five after your scone.
After finishing our meal we headed into the shop which sells all manner of Pooh-related items. I bought a certificate to commemorate my visit, a Pooh Corner pin and a map of the area for our trip to Pooh Stick Bridge which shows the location of all the areas in Ashdown Forest that appear in the Pooh stories. Along with my two-course meal everything came to less than £10!
Having purchased our map we drove to our next location, Pooh Stick Bridge. The nearest car park is a 15-minute walk from the bridge and is very small and as such, it was full when we drove in. We instead parked at the next car park along the road which was a 45-minute walk to the bridge, however, there is no footpath from this car park to the area where the bridge is located so you will be walking down the side of a fast road with no pavement. I wouldn’t recommend doing this with children so be prepared to wait in the smaller carpark for a space.
The woods are peaceful and quiet apart from the bridge which has a steady stream of visitors. It was exactly as you would imagine from reading the books apart from its lack of water (we visited during a hot summer) and abundance of sticks from everyone playing Pooh Sticks. We gave it a go but with these conditions, our sticks didn’t get far! You will also notice on your way from the car park a strange hut-like structure made from tree branches which looks suspiciously like Eeyore’s house…
If you want more of a walk take a look at the Ashdown Forest guide where you can get a full walking guide of the famous Pooh locations which will take around 3 hours in total.
Did you know that Pooh Corner and Pooh Sticks Bridge were real places? When was the last time you played Pooh Sticks?
Want to find more day trips from London? Check out my UK Travel section.