9p Pooh Corner Shop Betty2  Continuing our trip to the real Pooh Corner, my friend Min and I started out at the Pooh Corner Shop in Hartfield – the door is a little on the low side.  After dropping a few pounds and pence at the shop, we headed out for the Ashdown Forest. In the books, it’s referred to as The Hundred Acre Wood. But it’s actually locally known as the Five Hundred Acre Wood.

It wasn’t difficult to see that we’d come to the right spot. 9t Pooh Corner Car Park

It’s about a mile and a third walk through the forest to the Poohsticks Bridge. To be honest, the bridge has been redone but it’s the same spot where Pooh and his friends, played the game of Poohsticks.  Like many children’s games, it began as an accidental observation as Pooh threw a fir-cone over the bridge. (He later switched to sticks, which were easier to mark.)

That’s funny,” said Pooh. “I dropped it on the other side and it came out on this side! I wonder if it would do it again?” House at Pooh Corner

9w Poohsticks Bridge Ashdown Forest  One of the delights of the day was the fact that Min and I were the only people around – anywhere! It was just as it might have been when A.A. Milne took his son, Christopher Robin, for a walk. Min and I were anxious to play Poohsticks but the sign said you couldn’t take twigs off the trees and had to bring your own sticks. Luckily, some kind soul had  left a whole pile of sticks on the ground, all of a uniform size and shaved at the ends. (Or was that kind soul a mild-mannered bear?)

“Then he dropped two in at once, and leant over the bridge to see which of them would come out first; and one of them did ….” House at Pooh Corner

 9ww Min with Poohstick Min ready to throw her first Poohstick.

I always thought it was such a silly little game. Each player throws a stick over the bridge on one side. Then players rush to the other side and watch as the sticks emerge from under the bridge and try to determine which stick wins. Well, it turns out not to be so silly at all. There’s a nice current there and we were as excited as any children as we hurried from one side to the next to watch the sticks float out from under the bridge. Only downside: Min always seemed to win! I think she’d been studying the currents.

“I expect my stick’s stuck,” said Roo. “Rabbit, my stick’s stuck. Is your stick stuck, Piglet?” House at Pooh Corner.

9y Pooh Bridge with poohsticks floating  There’s a big pile of stuck sticks. But our sticks always managed to float right past the clump of stuck sticks and on down the stream.

All good things must come to an end and Min and I headed back to the car park. We hadn’t noticed that the walk to the bridge was all downhill. We managed to huff and puff our way uphill back to the car, still giggling over our woodland adventure.

For more about the Ashdown Forest:

http://www.ashdownforest.org/   Click on Panorama of the Forest for a very good view of the area

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galleon%27s_Lap#Gills_Lap

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