Stunning Sussex Autumn Display - Local Woods
23rd October 2012
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Sussex Autumn Colour – Local woods

By all accounts it’s going to be another spectacularly colourful autumn, with the shrubs and trees epecially heavily laden with fruit and stunning displays of fiery orange, red and yellow. It’s the time of year to crunch through piles of crisp leaves, breathe in the fresh, cool air and enjoy the last colour of the year.


Here’s a list of woods in and around Brighton and Hove, the perfect destination of you fancy experiencing the season’s vibrant glories without having to travel too far.


Green Broom, a pretty Council-owned wood                                    


A gorgeous, quiet beech wood loved for an amazing display of bluebells in spring and part of the pretty Stanmer estate. You can also follow footpaths to Flint Heap Wood and High Park Wood from there.


Lewes Railway Land, owned by Lewes District Council  


This patch of old railway land a stone’s throw from the town centre is a nature reserve these days, saved by local residents in the mid-1980s and full of fascinating wildlife. It’s a treasure trove of pretty woodland pathways and creature-filled reed beds to explore. 


Millbank Wood, near Stanmer Park, a City Council wood                                            


Just a short walk from Stanmer village and on the park’s special Easy Access route, you’ll find lovely Millbank Wood on the crest of the hill. It’s accessible either via the bridleway or off-piste across the fields!


Moon's Plantation, west of the universities at Falmer


Peaceful Moon's Plantation is a small but perfectly formed wood made up of broad leaved trees, mainly specially planted beech trees with their crisp, rich red-brown autumn foliage. There are also stunning far-reaching downland views to enjoy. Head for the Lewes Road and take a left along Ridge Road at Falmer Hill.  


Newmarket Plantation, a small yet perfectly formed City Council wood              


Park or get the 22 bus up to the top of Falmer Road where it intersects with Bexhill Road. Head roughly north along the old drove road and you’ll find a pretty deciduous woodland on the downs between the city and Lewes, a green-gold jewel amongst the chalky autumn fields and bare grassland. 


Stanmer Great Wood, a large City Council wood             


Stanmer Park includes five thousand acres open and wooded land for walkers with the village tea rooms, museum, donkey wheel house and easy access to the Downs themselves. It's easily big enough to get lost in, which is always fun, and features gorgeous views as well as plenty of places for the kids to build dens. Get any bus bound for the universities or hop on the train and get off at Falmer.


Wolstonbury Hill, a National Trust wood near Burgess Hill


The National Trust look after Wolstonbury Hill wood, a particularly tranquil place famed for its diverse flora and fauna. Expect a fantastic autumn colour show from the mature broadleaf trees on the lower slopes and enjoy the famous Sussex wild chalk grasslands further up. Park at New Way Lane, a single track road with a small amount of roadside parking, and make your way on foot from there.


Want to find more local woods?


I typed ‘autumn colour in Sussex’ into Google to find the woods above, the refined my list using the BN1 postcode. But there are lots more. Here’s a link to the Visit Woods website, where you can track down your nearest public woodland:


Photos: Shaun Dunphy

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