|I've found my people... just leave me here!|
The last three days of this week was supposed to be a well-earned Spring Break for Rachel, but somehow she ended up having to ferry me to a succession of routine doctor's appointments on two of those days.
The other day, admittedly, we had a lovely time visiting her parents in their new home (they'd only moved in 24 hours earlier
): a nice new-build in a peaceful rural area that's still only about a half-hour drive from us.
Yesterday, after a morning of medical check-ups for the both of us, and a couple of laps with Alice around the Tonbridge recreation ground, we decided to seize the day and head out to Hartfield, on the edge of the Ashdown Forest, for a Winnie The Pooh
Our first stop was Pooh Corner
in Hartfield's High Street, where we managed to snag a parking spot right outside the front door (there's no car park there, so it's pot luck finding on-street parking
Formerly the village sweet shop (and Christopher Robin's getaway from the pressure of being a young celebrity and the constant press intrusion in his life), the building has now been converted into an incredible tea room and Pooh'seum (a well-stocked museum chronicling the creation of the Pooh stories and everything that spun out of that).
Alice was a massive hit in the tea room, with the staff, owner, and other visitors. I can't remember a time when she's had so much attention from strangers. It was adorable to see both grown-ups and children lavishing affection on here.
Everything in the tea room is Winnie The Pooh-themed, from the plates and tea pots to the table numbers.
The food was incredible... and gets the Knight Family seal of approval. We probably ate too much. But, so what? We're on holiday!
|EVERYTHING was Pooh-themed!!!|
After filling our tummies, Pooh-style, we hopped back in the car and drove into the forest (aka The Hundred Acre Wood
), found a car park and then set off into the trees, following the signs to "Bridge".
Our goal was to see the legendary Pooh Sticks Bridge
, probably one of the most iconic locations in children's literature.
It was quite a downhill hike and Rachel was concerned I might not be able to make it back up the hill afterwards, but I was driven both by the spirit of carpe diem
and a deep-seated desire to visit this iconic bridge for the first time in many, many decades.
There were plenty of people on the path, heading in both directions, and we were expecting the bridge to be rammed when got there.
But by some miracle once we arrived it was just us for about five or 10 minutes, so we had a chance to take pictures and explore.
The only real error we made was not bringing any 'Pooh sticks
' as the area around the bridge was, unsurprisingly, barren of fallen twigs.
But to be honest that didn't matter. It was just magical to be walking in the footsteps of Christopher Robin, Winnie The Pooh, Roo, Kanga, Eeyore, Rabbit etc
As expected the journey back up the steep hill was harder and slower, but there are wooden seats along the way making for suitable rest stops and as long as we stayed in the shade (not always possible
) it wasn't too hot.
From the company, the food, the adoration of Alice to walking in The Hundred Acre Wood and standing on Pooh Sticks Bridge, this was one of the best days out I've had in ages.
Sure the walking was hard at times, but I never felt as though I would pass out or be taken ill as is often the case on such escapades.
Instead, I came home tired and content, fired up for future adventures.
|Bring your own Pooh Sticks, as none will be found within the environs of the bridge|
|On the return journey we spotted the entrance to Owl's house up in a tree|