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TW to Forest Row

2 Dec 2021
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One of my favourite rides from Tunbridge Wells. The route follows quiet back roads to Groombridge and then along the traffic-free Forest Way Trail all the way to Forest Row, with its good range of coffee shops and cafes. Add the extra climb to East Grinstead for the fun of it! There's more bars and cafes here or to gain access the train station with regular services to Croydon and London. It's a fine downhill cruise back to Forest Row or return via the National Trust's Standen nearby. Although this is a linear “out and back” ride, I never tire of the scenery; with the changing seasons this trail seems a little different every month of the year. In the spring it’s full of bluebells and the sweet smell of wild garlic; in summer the tree canopy provides a cooler dappled shade of sun; autumn brings a riot of colour from the falling leaves oak, ash, elder, birch plus the evergreen holly; in winter the meadows near Hartfield can flood (the river Medway flows alongside much of the trail) but the gravel surface of the trail remains useable year-round, with just a few muddy puddles. Look out for wildlife too - there’s small mammals and even fallow deer (if you’re lucky and know where to look) plus all kinds of birds including robins and tiny wrens.