Walking is the most popular activity that takes place on the Forest.
You are entitled to walk anywhere on the common land at any time and walking is the very best way to see the Forest and appreciate the unique heathland landscape and its wildlife. The "common land" is that area managed by the Conservators and is best identified by the Forest Map and Guide which can be downloaded below in .pdf format or obtained from the Visitor Centre (priced £2.50).
The Official Map of Ashdown Forest 2019 (£3.00 Donation) DOWNLOAD
The map shows all of the car parks, each of the individual mapped walks (that can downloaded and also be obtained from the Forest Centre) and many points of interest. There is also a series of walks leaflets, each walk is roughly two miles and they can be joined together to make longer walks for the more adventurous.
If you don't have a map, it is generally safe to assume that if you walk out from any Forest car-park you will remain on the Forest until you come to a boundary fence. A notable exception is the grazing enclosure fence but it is usually clear that the land on the other side of the fence is a continuation of the common land.
The Forest offers the visitor wide open spaces, far-reaching views, deep-sided rushing ghylls and tranquil wooded areas. Each season brings its delights from the scent of the heather in full bloom on a hot summer's day to the mysterious misty days of autumn and winter. Walk away from the car parks and you could easily walk for hours without seeing another person!
There are numerous paths, fire breaks and rides criss-crossing the 2500 hectares (10 square miles) of heathland and woodland for visitors to explore and enjoy. The terrain is mostly rough so not everywhere is suitable for prams or wheelchairs and there are some steep climbs and slopes. After rain the Forest can be very muddy and slippery.
ROYAL ASHDOWN FOREST GOLF CLUB
The Golf Course is for the primary use of golfers, although there are designated walking areas on the golf course. Walkers should look both ways at all times and should wait if they see someone about to take a shot, because the golfer will be looking down at the ball and may not see you. The likelihood of them not seeing you is increased if they're playing on their own. Once you've seen that the ball has landed out of harm's way then it's safe to cross.