Despite the unpredictable great British weather, it is always the ideal time to explore the luscious green, surrounding grounds of Ashdown Park Hotel.
Our estate manager Kevin Sweet and his four legged friend Boson, have rounded up their top three tried and tested dog walks around Ashdown’s simply stunning landscape.
18 Acre Wood
A walk up the farm drive, towards tee three of our on-site golf course, then along the grass track to the 18 acre wood starts this easy going walk which will take you around 30-40 minutes.
I like to walk this route in the early morning as there is a good chance of seeing deer grazing on the fairways between greens three and four and foxes can also be seen strolling along amongst the foliage.
This route is a great year-round walk as there is always something to see, from the wildlife to the changing colours of vegetation and the foliage of the trees. The walk takes you through the woods and then comes out at tee six from where you carry on along the track next to the woodland pond. At the end of the track you come to Cow Lane, so-called as this track was used to move cattle up to the top fields in days gone by, which then takes you right back to the hotel.
Top tip – walking boots or wellingtons are advisable in the winter months as some of the tracks can get a bit muddy due to the llamas that are walked on the estate!
This walk is the longest and will take a good 40 to 60 mins – or even longer if you have an elderly Border Terrier, like mine, who likes to sniff everything. The walk provides some large open spaces which are ideal for letting your dog off the lead so they can have a good run around (but be sure to watch out for any deer).
Begin by walking down Cow Lane from the hotel and keep on the track. Pass the driving range and the llama park and walk across the large field where you will get some great views of Ashdown Forest, looking towards Kids Hill. You will also get some good views back towards the hotel and the golf course from here.
We keep the grass longer in some of the fields on Ashdown Park’s estate to encourage a mixture of wildlife and I have seen all sorts along this walk including deer, foxes, badgers and birds of prey. Follow the grass paths that go around the fields and past our Southbank Wood which is a SSSI area (Site of Special Scientific Interest). It is an ancient woodland and has a number of very old and large trees, together with some rare moths and butterflies which can be found during the summer months. This is a great walk for building up an appetite before taking an afternoon tea or meal in our restaurant or lounges.
Walk 3 - Secret Garden
This is a slightly shorter walk which will take around 25 mins to complete and is fairly easy going. From the hotel, walk towards the East Lodge Gate where you will come to a pathway junction then head across the top of the field and walk along the edge and down the track where you will find a gate that takes you in to the Secret Garden (well worth a visit). If you carry on down the track you will come to the east side of the golf course and the lower parts of the estate where deer can normally be seen grazing the rough grass between the fairways. Walk towards tee 10 and you’ll get a view of the hotel from behind the main lake and with the water fountains going you can get some great photos.
We love to welcome four-legged guests at Ashdown Park and with 186 acres to enjoy, where better to escape with your dog?