Five beautiful places to visit in the Weald this autumn.
The River Rother
Wending along 35 miles, the River Rother flows through Kent and Sussex. Along the banks there are plenty of walks to enjoy and beautiful views to spot. If you trail the public footpaths from Tenterden, you’ll follow the river through Smallhythe, Rolvenden and eventually find yourself at the Kent/Sussex border between Newenden and Northiam. Here you can hire boats, spot steam trains or just simply watch the world go by.
This year celebrates 90 years of Bedgebury’s National Pinetum tree collection, and the wonderful display of autumn colours never fails to disappoint. The 320 acre pinetum in Goudhurst contains over 12,000 trees and shrubs, many of them rare.
As well as following nature trails, cycling and strolling by the lakes, visitors looking for something a little more exhilarating can also swing from the treetops at Go Ape. www.forestry.gov.uk/bedgebury
Collingwood is a delightful woodland sanctuary, situated just one mile from Hawkhurst. It was planted as part of the Collingwood House Estate and, as a result, contains many exotic species amongst the native oaks, hornbeam, field maple, holly, yew and beech. The reserve is centred on a lake with lovely steep valleys and stepped paths. The lake has good natural vegetation with water lilies and bulrushes. www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk
The Millennium Field is a beautiful area of Biddenden that the public are free to explore.
There is a wooded area (the rookery) with a stream and foot bridges, three ponds, two with dipping platforms, and at the top of the field is a seat, a sun clock and a direction indicator and part way up the field are three statues carved by a local craftsman.
Located just outside of Cranbrook, Hemsted forest offers nature lovers plenty of woodland walks to enjoy. Stretching out over 398 hectares the forest has a multitude of unsurfaced tracks for horse riding, dog walkers and cyclists, but over five miles of pathway is hard surface which allows for easy walking and wheelchair use.