Archive | July, 2014

Abbots Wood and Sharnfold Farm Shop

2 Jul

The run

This will be the last blog post until September as my daughter’s course at Plumpton College finishes today.

I had planned a route from a pub in Arlington which had also mentioned forest trails, so when I saw signs for a Forestry Commision car park I decided to turn off and try that instead.

And so I found myself in the very pleasant surroundings of Abbots Wood. I was a bit concerned I wouldn’t have change for the pay and display (having expected to park for free) but you could also pay by parking app which is becoming popular all over Brighton (and I love – soooo much easier – though irritating you have to pay slightly more for it).

Abbots Wood

Abbots Wood

It’s well set up here with toilets, BBQ hire (ring to arrange this), picnic tables, play equipment for kids, and two different forest trails; a shorter one (less than a mile) and a longer one (less than three miles). Ideal for taking younger kids for a runaround. A lake and rope swings part way round add interest.

Rent a BBQ

Rent a BBQ

I began with the longer route, easy to follow yellow signs meant no getting lost and well maintained paths made for easy running. This area is very popular with dog walkers and I imagine would be pretty busy at weekends.

Map of Abbots Wood

Map of Abbots Wood

The lake was very pretty and I paused to reflect and watch a dog cooling off in there. Everyone I met was very friendly even if the black Labrador puppy was a bit enthusiastic and jumped up to give me his paws.

The Lake, Abbots Wood

The Lake, Abbots Wood

On the second time around I followed the red route – a bit short really but would be good for young kids- I couldn’t resist a go on the rope swing as I went past!

The rope swing

The rope swing

After the run I found a picnic bench and sat and wrote my blog with some coffee and Nigel Slater’s chocolate banana bread – find the recipe here (it’s a good one – I’ve made it at least three times now)

Chocolate banana bread

Chocolate banana bread

The farm

En route to the farm shop I had to brake sharply rounding a corner in order to let a mummy duck and her duckling cross the road!

On to Sharnfold Farm shop which certainly has a lot going on! As well as an excellent farm shop with a large fresh meat counter, they also have freezers full of fresh fruit, vegetables, croissants, fish cakes and Cook ready meals plus local ales, cooking sauces, confectionary and greetings cards. A busy coffee shop serving a variety of cakes and lunches comprising quiche, soup, paninis and jacket potatoes.

Outside on the terrace is a view of the children’s play area. They also have a big PYO (pick your own) business, including soft fruits, and vegetables – shame I didn’t need anything!

PYO

PYO

For the summer they have planned tasting weekends, lawnmower racing and a camping weekend with BBQ.

Very busy and popular, even on a Wednesday; mainly with parents and small children and retired people. The conversation; that woman’s disgusting tattoos, High Wycombe and obsessive cleaning habits.

There is also a farm trail with a choice of routes, tractor and trailer rides and activities and games on the way round.

Sharnfold Farm Trail

Sharnfold Farm Trail

 The lunch

Decided to stay where I was although there had been many fine looking eateries en route; at Arlington: the Arlington Tea Rooms looked good and there was the pub I was going to start from The Old Oak Inn, but I decided to walk around the farm trail and come back for lunch at the farm coffee shop. The trail is free but they do like you to purchase food at the cafe and picnics are not allowed.

Sharnfold Farm shop

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