Sundown at Ashdown: a family walk at sunset

Does anyone else find that January is a difficult month during which to entertain the kids? Despite receiving lots of lovely toys and games for Christmas, by this time in the month, my children seem to have tired of these novel delights and said toys lie forgotten under chairs and abandoned in the toy box.

The weather is cold and rainy and, certainly down in Kent, we rarely get the heady delights of a snowfall when the options of snowmen, snowball fights and sledging would usher in a welcome change of scene.

Despite the January cold, when the sun does deign to come out, I love the crispy clarity of the air and that tingling sensation of chill on my face. One recent Sunday afternoon promised to offer just such delights so, with a group of friends, we donned our wellies after a hearty Sunday roast, and headed up to Ashdown Forest to walk off our feast induced fatigue.

With 6 adults and 6 children we mustered a noisy party, but with just shy of 10 square miles of land in the ‘forest’ you’ll find it’s never overrun with fellow walkers and the children’s screams and shouts of delight were absorbed by the gorse and bracken! There is plenty of wildlife to encounter (a couple of small ponies proving the highlight for my 2 year old daughter!) as well as trees to climb, sticks to fence with and stunning views to drink in.

The added bonus of Ashdown, which lies on the highest sandy ridge-top of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is that at the end of the day, if the clouds part, and you’re not trying to stop children from falling out of trees, you might just witness the most beautiful sunset.

2018 - January sunset over Ashdown 003

For some dawn photography, head on over to my blog when I was allowed special access to Penshurst Place when everyone else was fast asleep!

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