Fun in the forest
Fun in the forest
This route through the Ashdown Forest around Fairwarp uses sections of the Wealdway, a long-distance trail
Deirdre Huston

Our circular trail begins in the South Chase and uses sections of the Wealdway, a long-distance trail. Navigation on open access woodland paths can be tricky, but the Ashdown Forest is something special. Although this short circuit circles around the village of Fairwarp, paths can feel secluded. Amble beneath towering Scots pines and meander through mixed woodland strewn with rocks, spring flowers or leaf litter.

The name of Furnace Wood is a clue to the erstwhile prosperity of the iron industry in this area. At its height, many High Weald inhabitants were involved, perhaps digging ore, cutting wood or transporting raw materials and products. At places such as nearby Quarry Wood, valuable Wealden clay was dug up in the search for iron ore and both needed transporting: iron ore to a furnace and clay to a brickworks. Ancient iron ore tracks were widened by the passage of frequent horse-drawn carts and sunken Perrymans Lane was one such route into Fairwarp.

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April 2020