Sussex walk around Abbot’s Wood in Arlington

PUBLISHED: 10:12 30 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:46 30 October 2020

Abbot's Wood in Arlington, near Polegate (Photo by Hazel Sillver)

Abbot's Wood in Arlington, near Polegate (Photo by Hazel Sillver)


Disappear into the ancient oak woodland at Arlington on this short circular stroll

Abbot’s Wood

During the 12th century rule of Henry I, this ancient woodland was gifted to the Abbot of Battle Abbey. The old ditches and banks amongst the trees reveal the wood’s age.

During World War II the oak forest here was felled to provide fuel for munitions manufacture, and thousands of soldiers camped here en route to the D-Day landings in Normandy.

The wood was bought by the Forestry Commission in 1953, and now includes plantations of conifers, as well as many oak trees. The habitat is important for wildlife such as dragonflies, roe deer, dormice, pearl-bordered fritillary butterflies, and the UK’s smallest bird, the goldcrest, which has a yellow or orange stripe on its head.

Come in spring for carpets of bluebells and the sound of nightingales singing, and visit in autumn for fiery falling leaves.

Where to refuel

For a pub lunch or a cream tea, head right out of the car park to find the Old Oak Inn which is marked on the map. The 17th century inn welcomes dogs, and has a bar, restaurant, garden, and play area. The menu includes hearty pub fare, vegetarian dishes, and gluten-free options. Cream teas are served between 2.30pm-5.30pm. Alternatively head left out of the car park to reach Arlington Tea Gardens (BN26 6RU) for light lunches or tea and cake.


• Location: Arlington, Polegate, East Sussex.

• Distance: three miles (4.8km) – one hour to walk.

• Terrain: flat paths, which are muddy and uneven in places.

• Where to park: In the Abbot’s Wood Forestry Commission pay and display car park on. It costs £2.30 to park for two hours. Alternatively, park at the Old Oak Inn (marked Pub on the map; BN26 6SJ) if you intend to eat there afterwards.


1. Take the path that leads out of the top left hand corner of the car park, past the hut. Walk diagonally through pine trees, past picnic tables, onto a wide path that leads into the woods. At the sign, continue straight ahead, now following the yellow arrows for Abbot’s Amble for another mile, until you reach the lake.

2. Upon reaching the lake, head left before the water, over the footbridge. You will meet a wide path – turn right here.

3. Ignore the path that leads left; maintain direction straight ahead.

4. Turn right onto the hard track (Robin Post Lane).

5. At the crossways, head right, past the barrier.

6. At the next crossways, beside the ditch-stream, continue straight ahead towards tall pine trees.

7. Upon meeting another path, head left, once again following the yellow Abbot’s Amble signs, all the way to the car park.


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