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The Sussex holiday cottage blog » Mysterious places on the High Weald

Mysterious places on the High Weald

Posted 22 May 2017 by Andrew Gardner google authorship button

 
Now Spring has firmly arrived and the leaves have unfurled, why not head to the magical Eridge Rocks for a walk and a spot of exploring? It's a fabulous place for a bluebell walk: the dappled shade makes perfect bluebell conditions and the scent lingers, while birdsong fills the air. Look out for local nuthatches, robins and chaffinches, along with summer visitors like the chiffchaff and willow warbler. You may be a little late to hear the tawny owls now (and I rather hope you'll have missed the fabulous icicles that can form here in a cold winter) but I think you'll hear - and hopefully see - woodpeckers at this time of year. With  ancient yew and beech trees towering above the rocks and oak and beech thriving at the base it's a paradise for birds, and for anyone who loves watching or hearing them. 
 
Throughout the High Weald you'll find many impressive sandstone outcrops but to my mind Eridge Rocks, which are a nature reserve, are the best. They're 800 metres high so you can spot them among the trees as you approach - there's a small car park at the base, by the way - but when you start to follow the footpath around the rocks they feel hidden and secret. I think it's because the damp and sheltered conditions give forest-like mosses, lichens and ferns a chance to thrive. These can be quite hard to identify individually unless you're an expert, but together they look beautiful and, to my mind, other-worldly. And if you do know your stuff you'll be sure to spot the Tunbridge filmy-fern, first discovered right here back in the 17th century. 
 
Moths love it here too, with regularly-seen species including the speckled yellow and the brown silverline, both of which are daytime feeders. Over the next couple of months you should see longhorn moths in the daytime too; while the rarer olive crescent used to be seen here and the reserve managers are still hoping to find it again. The ponds and streams are a haven for dragonflies, with their fabulous flashes of bright colour.
 
We have a lovely selection of country cottages perfectly placed for exploring the High Weald, and I hope you enjoy all these local beauty spots as much as we do.