Rare chance to explore the Sussex farm where Winnie the Pooh came to life

Cotchford Farm is the place where the legendary Winnie-the-Pooh stories were written, and now there is a rare opportunity to tour the private gardens of the Farm, close to Ashdown Forest, in East Sussex.

Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne bought the house, in the beautiful village of Hartfield, in 1925 as a country retreat.It was here that he wrote the stories of Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin.

Galleons Lap, Poohsticks Bridge and Pooh Corner are all based on locations on the neighbouring Ashdown Forest.

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Now the owners of the farm are opening these historic gardens to the public at the end of May.

Cotchford farmhouse SUS-220905-105350001

There are four sessions, two each on May 28 and 29, with all profits going to The Ashdown Forest Foundation who work to care for this spectacular landscape.

Ashdown Forest CEO James Adler says it’s an incredible opportunity to view where some of the most famous children’s stories began.

He said: “The Winnie-the-Pooh stories, and therefore Cotchford Farm, hold a special place in so many peoples’ hearts. The gardens and the nearby Ashdown Forest embody the magic of the stories.

“Now you can come and see them for yourself whilst supporting the local area and we suggest booking quickly as there has been such a high level of interest.”

Cotchford Farm gardes. Top terrace SUS-220905-105410001

A statue of A.A. Milne’s son, Christopher Robin, overlooks the gardens while Owl can be found nestled within the herbaceous borders. A unique sundial, with carved, iconic Pooh characters, stands proudly on the lawn.

James says this is an important fundraiser for the Forest. “We are working hard to secure the long-term future of Ashdown Forest. The Forest welcomes over 1.5 million visits a year and looking after the area and so many people requires a great deal of funding.

“That is why we were delighted when the owners of Cotchford Farm approached us to offer opening their gardens to raise funds for the Forest.”

Entry is by ticket only, and these must be purchased in advance. Morning sessions on both days are from 10am to 1pm and the afternoon sessions 2pm until 5pm.

Cotchford Farm gardens, terrace and pool SUS-220905-105400001

The mornings will include a talk by Annemarie Bilclough who wrote “Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic”. The afternoon speaker will be Kathryn Aalto, author of “The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh”.

CEO James Adler will speak at all four sessions about the Forest’s vital importance today and into the future.

Tickets are £20 each plus a £2.15 Eventbrite booking fee.

Gardens at Cotchford Farm SUS-220905-105340001