On this bank holiday in early May, we visited Wilderness Wood with our family. A lovely place in the High Weald of England where you can see beautiful bluebells and have a good time with friends in the forest. Here is a short account of our forestry adventures!
That day we heard about Wilderness Wood
It is always in children’s playgrounds that you learn interesting things.
Especially when chatting to the mums (or dads!).
One of our acquaintances in Burwash (our village in England) told us about Wilderness Wood, west of Heathfield.
On visiting the woodland’s website, we learned that they were holding an event on May 3rd, a bank holiday in England:
Bank Holiday Monday Pizzas!
11:00 am 3:00 pm
Come and enjoy a woodland walk and a delicious pizza from our wood-fired oven, by Cashew Catering. Pizzas served from 11am-3pm. No need to book.
The concept was tempting and we agreed that we had to attend.
It would be our first outing of this kind after the successive confinements we had experienced.
So we suggested to our daughter Aimée’s cousins and their parents that we meet there for a day in the woods.
Our visit to Wilderness Wood
We arrived at the site’s car park at 11 am and by the time we paid the entrance fee to the forest, we were in the Hub.
The friendly person at the reception explained to us where to find the famous bluebells… and above all, advised us to book our pizzas opposite, in the cookhouse, a circular hut topped with a sort of witch’s hat roof.
Once the pizzas were scheduled for 12.45 pm, we started the visit with a walk in the forest.
The start of the walk
The trail is an approximate one hour walk and is marked with A to Z markers to help you find your way around the estate.
You pass by various wooden structures: work yard, cabins for hire, campsites…
The giant swing
At marker G there is a giant swing that impresses young and old alike. Our daughter wanted to go up there before changing her mind once it was her turn. Bravely, she returned later in the day and overcame her fear by taking a few turns.
The forest estate is crisscrossed with paths that invite you to take a walk.
Off the beaten tracks!
We did not hesitate to leave the main trail to take the minor footpaths. These had some nice surprises in store for us: small wooden bridges, makeshift huts, beautiful trees, bucolic landscapes…
A carpet of bluebells
At marker K, we reached the place I had been waiting to see for a long time: a bed of bluebells.
I have never seen so many.
There were also bluebells in other parts of the forest, including a small path off marker V where we saw no walkers.
The bluebells formed a beautiful bluish border to the path winding through the woods.
Pizza time! without forgetting English wine)!
Once back at the Hub, we sat down at a picnic table in time to enjoy our pizzas.
We greatly enjoyed our wood-fired oven pizzas, made on the site by Cashew Catering. The cost was £8 for a Margherita pizza and 50p a topping (inc halloumi, roasted peppers, caramelised onions, jalapeños, sweetcorn). Gluten-free and vegan pizzas are also available.
The winemakers of Beacon Down Vineyard were also offering their wines. Yes! Wine made in South-East England!
This small family-run vineyard is situated west of Heathfield and produces award-winning still and sparkling white and rosé wines. I hope I’ll have the occasion to take part in a tour of the vineyards soon…
A forest not like any other!
The French are always surprised when they learn that you have to pay to enter a forest.
That said, Wilderness Wood is not a forest like any other.
The forest covers 60 acres of ancient woodland and is family-owned.
Activities and Membership
In fact, you can take part in workshops, guided walks, activities throughout the year: tree ID, bee-keeping, wood-carving, songs around the fire, story-telling, floristry and wreath-making and much more…
In addition, it is home to a community of members who looks after the woodland while working, playing, eating, sleeping and celebrating in the wood on a great number of occasions.
Finally, let’s mention the Christmas trees of Wilderness Wood!
The woodland includes a unique Christmas tree plantation.
For decades, families have been coming to Wilderness Wood for their Christmas Trees. It could be to choose trees either from the field or pre-cut from the festive Christmas courtyard. More info on their website.
Find out more!
- At the time of our visit (May 2021), entry fees were £3.00 per person and £10.00 per family. The fees help the team cover the costs of keeping the woodland open. If you want to come regularly or get more involved in the life of the wood, you can become a member. Click here for more info.
- Check out the official website of Wilderness Wood for more information: opening hours, events, how to become a member & more…
- Discover our beautiful English village of Burwash
- Fancy a true bluebells show? Check out our discovery of Brede High Woods
- Our visit to the French market of Heathfield
- Our popular article: What is England in French: A Little Guide
- How to get there? Here’s the Google Map link or just follow the map below: