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Hartfield is a small village in the Ashdown Forest, where the stories of Winnie-the-Pooh were born. Josh and I went to Hartfield a few times last autumn, including this one in early September with his grandparents. If you’re looking to go somewhere in East Sussex, Hartfield is worth considering, with treats at Pooh Corner and a walk to Pooh Sticks Bridge. Continue reading and you’ll see why I liked Hartfield so much!
Hartfield Pooh Corner Tea Room
Pooh Corner is a Winnie-the-Pooh-themed tea room. It has both indoor and outdoor seating available. Even though it was a weekday, we made a reservation to avoid any waiting just in case. We also requested an outdoor table during booking to be on the safer side from the COVID-19 risk for Josh’s grandparents.
Tasty Lunch and Tea at Pooh Corner
A lot of dishes on the menu looked tempting and we went for toasties and quiche for mains, followed by cream tea (scone & pot tea). We first thought tea might do just enough but decided to go with cream tea anyway. (I wanted to make the most of this lovely day out with everyone and so treated myself…) Plus, this seemed a better value.
Talking of treating myself, I probably didn’t need honeycomb ice cream on top of all these while the weather was a little chilly too… About this honeycomb ice cream business though, I had a justifiable reason; I tried one at Tintern Abbey in Wales 7 years ago, which was, oh, sublime… Since then, I’ve been desperately missing honeycomb ice cream, but no luck seeing any on menus to this day… I couldn’t help but try one here!
Fortunately, I wasn’t that greedy to add Teddy Bear Toast. It sounded and looked rather fitting to Pooh Corner but we preferred a more proper meal.
Both the toasties and the quiche came in generous portions and were tasty. Our tea from cream tea was served in Pooh-shaped teapots and the scone was delicious. So far so good! The honeycomb ice cream was good too and locally sourced, but this was a lot sweeter and richer than I would’ve liked… Maybe it couldn’t be quite the same as Welsh honeycomb..? So hunting for honeycomb ice cream will still need to go on…
Shop and Museum inside Pooh Corner
After we all enjoyed our much-needed, tasty lunch, I had a quick look inside the tea room. All sorts of Winnie-the-Pooh merchandise were available, as well as a small museum about the Winnie-the-Pooh stories and the life of A. A. Milne, E. H. Shepard and Christopher Robin.
It might be less busy now as more people resumed travelling abroad rather than staycationing, but I think if you want to eat and drink at Pooh Corner, it’s still better to book a table. (Updated on 30/3/2023: the tearoom no longer takes regular table reservations. Afternoon teas need pre-booking by phone). On a subsequent visit to Hartfield in October, I wondered about having lunch here only to find a long queue outside the building. On top of Winnie-the-Pooh fans wanting to do Pooh things (that’s me), Pooh Corner has a really nice ambience to come with families for a day out. It was a honeypot, full of the sweetest honey available in the Ashdown Forest area.
Pooh Corner Information
- Mon~Sat 11:00am ~ 5:00pm
- Sun & Bank holidays 11:00am ~ 4:00pm
- Closed on Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day
- Last order: 45 minutes for hot food & 30 minutes for drinks and cakes before closing time
- Tel: (+44) (0)1892 771155
- Address: High Street, Hartfield, East Sussex TN7 4AE (Google Maps)
- Website: https://www.poohcorner.co.uk/
A Walk to Pooh Sticks Bridge
Pooh Sticks Bridge is where Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin played ‘Poohsticks’, as mentioned in 『The House at Pooh Corner』 (1928). First built in 1907, the bridge’s original name was actually Posingford Bridge. Then after several years of the structure restoration, Christopher Robin Milne renamed it Pooh Sticks Bridge in 1979!
Pooh Sticks Bridge we can now see though, is a replacement after the previous restoration. Worldwide famous Winnie-the-Pooh attracted so many visitors to (old) Pooh Sticks Bridge that it became unsafe. I guess it wasn’t indestructible as the work in the 1970s is said to have stuck to its original style as much as possible. So in the late 1990s, it was dismantled, and a replica bridge came which is what we see now. (Old) Pooh Sticks Bridge had been almost abandoned until a carpenter, Mr Mike Westphal, repaired it with permission of the local parish council. He was the owner of Pooh Sticks Bridge until it sold at auction last October. (You can read the full article here).
Parking for Pooh Sticks Bridge Walk
Putting aside the facts about the history of Pooh Sticks Bridge, we parked our car at Pooh Car Park (Maps) to visit (new) Pooh Sticks Bridge. The bridge isn’t far to walk to from the car park, but there’s a little inclination along the path. (Older family members might appreciate walking poles). Most of the visitors were families with kids while we were there.
Spotting Houses of Pooh’s Friends
Keep your eyes peeled to spot the houses’ of Pooh’s friends on the way to Pooh Sticks Bridge. We saw Owl’s House on our first visit (photos below) but later found that we missed Piglet’s House… This actually could’ve been the case where it had been demolished for some reason as Google reviews suggested. Either way, I was very pleased to spot it in the end on our second attempt next month.
Unlike Piglet’s House, Owl’s House didn’t seem to have the issue of disappearing, possibly being high on the tree trunk helped? It was easier to spot as well… There was a bench along the trail, sit on it and just look at the tree in front, and you’ll see Owl’s House.
Don’t know who’s looking after these houses, but isn’t it sweet to imagine that someone regularly comes for a maintenance check? :>
During this short walk, we also saw multiple Eeyore’s Houses (sort of) and several molehills (evidence of real wildlife!)
Pooh Sticks Game at Pooh Sticks Bridge
At the end of the short walk, after the cute attractions to enjoy, there was this Pooh Sticks Bridge! Obviously, four of us had a go at the Poohsticks game to complete our stroll. 🙂
I suggest anyone who likes Winnie-the-Pooh visit Hartfield in the Ashdown Forest. Warm toasties and a cuppa, followed by saying hi to Piglet and playing Pooh Sticks at Pooh Sticks Bridge… I would happily do this short day trip again!