Sussex walk around Broadwater Warren Nature Reserve
PUBLISHED: 12:36 05 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:36 05 April 2016
Enjoy bluebells, giant rocks and heathland on this gorgeous circular stroll, with Hazel Sillver
These impressive sandstone boulders, hidden away in the woodland of the High Weald, are around 10m high and extend for 600m. Rare mosses, liverworts, ferns and yew, birch and holly trees grow in the nooks and cracks of this Cretaceous outcrop, which is managed by Sussex Wildlife Trust. Since the Trust removed the rhododendron that was out of control here in the late 1990s, the site has regained its enchantment. In late April and early May, the surrounding oak, alder and hazel woods are carpeted with bluebells. Climbing on the rocks can be dangerous if you are not an experienced, equipped climber.
Just north of Eridge Rocks is Broadwater Warren, a once dreary plantation of conifers that the RSPB is thankfully restoring to pretty heathland and woodland. Wildlife abounds here – keep your eyes peeled for dormice, nightjars, dragonflies and woodlarks. There are 200m of paths suitable for wheelchairs and buggies. To find out about events (such as wildlife walks) held at Broadwater, go to rspb.org.uk.
Where to refuel
For a pub lunch, head to The Huntsman (thehuntsmanpub.com, 01892 864258, TN3 9LE), which serves traditional pub food and allows dogs. To find it, drive south on the A26 and turn right following the sign for Eridge station.
• Location: Eridge Green, near Royal Tunbridge Wells, East Sussex
• Distance: 2¾m (4.4k) – one hour to walk.
• Terrain: Mostly flat; paths can be muddy.
• Where to park: In the Sussex Wildlife Trust car park at Eridge Rocks. Heading north towards Royal Tunbridge Wells on the A26, turn left at Eridge Green into the lane that runs past the church. The car park is on the right after a quarter of a mile.
1 Take the path from the car park that leads into woodland, past rocks on the left. The way divides at a yew tree – bear left. The path leads past an area of open woodland with birch trees and curves around to the right, passing more impressive rocks.
2 Ignore the path leading right and maintain direction.
3 At the crossways, at a large oak tree, maintain direction straight ahead.
4 The path leads between young trees towards another oak tree and an information board – turn left here. Follow the wide path through woodland and then head right at the signpost along a wide muddy path between pine trees.
5 At the signpost follow the white arrow, heading left. Soon you will come to another signpost at a crossways – follow the white arrow right, walking along a straight wide path between pine trees.
6 At the crossways, maintain direction straight ahead. The path soon climbs uphill past an area of felled trees.
7 Go through the gate on the right into the car park and then between the large posts and through another gate. The way divides – head right following the white arrow onto a wide even path that leads into heathland. Ignore all paths that join from the right and left and maintain direction.
8 At the crossways, follow the white arrow right. The path leads through a gate. Walk on the left side of the pond. The path curves around the bottom of the pond (ignore the narrow path that heads east here) and then takes you upslope. Ignore paths that lead left and right and maintain direction.
9 At the signpost, follow the arrow right. After this, you will come to a crossways and another arrow – ignore this arrow and continue straight ahead, maintaining direction towards Eridge Rocks.
10 Ignore the paths leading right. Then at the yew tree, veer left, rejoining the original path, past the rocks and back to the car.
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