Adventures in London: Mud Covered Shoes

Today we had a very early start because we traveled south of London to Ashdown Forest to see the setting of Winnie the Pooh. It was a pretty long coach ride so I took a nap (sort of) on the way to the forest.

Once we unloaded we were met with a quirky group of adults who were going to teach us about Ashdown Forest. We started with an excerpt from one of the Winnie the Pooh books and we were off. 

The first destination on our tour was a tree that could have been the inspiration for Piglet’s house. They described what the tree was and that they don’t have specific locations for each of the character’s houses. This is so it’s less painful if the tree or place dies. There were also a set of branches made to look like a house, which was built by younger kids who had done a similar tour.

The next stop on our tour overlooked the hills that surround the forest. You could see for miles despite the cloudy day. It was honestly one of the best views I’ve seen.

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Here they described some of the nature and plants the forest had to offer. Again, an excerpt from Pooh was read as to help set the scene for where we were.

Then the fun began. The hike went downhill through the heathen, the surrounding plants and wildlife, and we had to avoid mud and puddles. It was quite fun actually. I don’t get to do things like this very often so to have the opportunity now was exciting. I also wore the correct shoes so my feet stayed warm and dry, which is always a plus.

By the midway point of the tour, the guides stopped us and we had a small snack that consisted of pine tree tea and an oat cake with heathen honey. I don’t really like tea so I didn’t have any but the oat cake and honey was delicious. I might try to find some heathen honey for myself.

The hardest part of the walk was going back up hill, mainly because we still had to avoid puddles and mud.

By the end of the hike, I felt two things: one, I was tired becasue I hadn’t worked out as much recently but two, I felt accomplished because I made it through the hike and felt pretty good afterwards. It was a nice, brisk exercise.

We made one more stop to a monument dedicated to A.A. Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh, before we finally got to eat lunch. This was the latest we’ve eaten all week and we definitely earned our meal.

Lunch consisted of small sandwiches and baked potatoes which was pretty fulfilling. Unfortunately we didn’t play Pooh Sticks like we were supposed to and ended up going to a small gift shop in the town where we had lunch. It was Pooh themed which was cute but I was (and still am) bummed that we didn’t play Pooh Sticks.

Upon loading the bus, we headed towards High Street Kensington for dinner and night activities. Our bus driver took a more scenic route driving us home so we saw the various tourist spots on our drive. It was really cool to see London lit up at night because it’s one thing to see the sites during the day but it’s another thing to see them at night.

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Once we returned my roommate and I filled the bathtub to do some laundry and then we headed out to dinner. We went with a pretty big group which was fun because we were able to get to know different people more.

After returning to the hotel, I decided to hit the town with a group of people for a bit before deciding to head home and go to bed. Tomorrow is our last day in London, which is sad because I absolutely love this city but it will be exciting to see Paris in a few days.

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