Wilderness Wood is one of those places that I have been meaning to visit for a long time. So when we had a free afternoon on Sunday, we decided to go along there with friends to see if it is as good as it sounds.
Located in Hadlow Down, just beyond Mayfield and approximately half an hour from Tunbridge Wells, Wilderness Wood is a woodland wonderland which includes Lucy’s Little Forest School, Rachel’s Wilderness Café and Andy Coates – Woodland Products.
There are so many things to do at this wonderful wood including just going for a lovely family walk along the woodland paths, enjoying the zipwire, giant swing and getting stuck into the mud kitchen just outside the café.
There is also a tepee and belltent and a wild-camping spot, plus birthday parties can be hosted there too. There are also regular activities with Lucy’s Little Forest School where families/groups meet (2.5+ years) regularly all year round. I like the sound of the Family Castaway – more information here.
An outdoor stage (made of wood of course) looks like it has almost been completed and Harry and his friend Oscar had a great time on the old digger and tractor which is just off to the side of the carpark.
I won’t go into too much detail as I think this place needs to be seen for yourselves. It was pretty busy when we turned up on a very sunny afternoon. My first impressions were Wow! I stepped into the beautifully rustic Wilderness Café and couldn’t believe the size of the beautiful cakes on offer!
This is a completely family friendly café with a big sofa, children’s drawings on the wall and the amazing Mud Kichen outside which Harry enjoyed.
There are baby change facilities – even this seems to be made of wood and if the weather is semi-decent, the cafe provides a lovely opportunity for parents to enjoy a coffee (and some cake!) while the children whip up some muddy delights!
We decided to go for a walk when we arrived and were given a map at the café. It has to be said, we did get a little confused at times, but that may have been down to our map reading skills more than anything. We were advised that it might be tricky to do the full circle with a buggy and could go halfway and turn back but we ploughed on and made it to the other side. It may have helped that the toddler with us wasn’t really in the pushchair for most of the walk so it was easy enough to push.
We stopped many many times along the way to have a look at the Christmas trees growing in the field, to climb a wooden ladder in the forest, to climb over a pile of rubble and to peak into the tents and tepee at the end of our walk.
The café didn’t disappoint either and although I decided not to have any cake this time (wedding in 9 months!), I will return for a big slab of it at some point soon!
Visitors are welcome to walk in the wood during cafe opening hours which are Wednesdays to Sundays, 9am-5pm and every day during the school holidays.? Wilderness Wood is closed on the occasional Saturday for member weddings it is probably best to check the Wilderness Wood website before visiting.
If you are looking for a budget friendly family day out not far from Tunbridge Wells, then Wilderness Wood could be a great option for you.