If you are looking for some woodland, forest area or open space to exercise in Sussex, we’ve listed some of our favourite areas below. The suggestions are areas in which you can wander as you please and include forests, woodlands, South Downs views and places to picnic. They are a great choice if you aren’t looking for a mapped walk, but instead can just enjoy the open space!
These are also good places to take your four-legged friend as most are dog-friendly places to walk. We also recommend looking at the Sussex Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves, some are dog friendly such as The Mens, which is a lovely piece of ancient woodland with lots of fungi and beech trees and also Ebernoe Common.
Take a browse through our suggestions below, and click through each idea to read some more detailed information about each place.
Ashdown Forest, East Sussex is a wonderful large open area for walking and enjoying the scenery and also the home of Winnie the Pooh’s and Pooh’s bridge. There are many car parks you can park at in all areas of the forest so there are plenty of options!
Wander through the footpaths and admire the ancient woodland and wildlife at Brede High Woods. There is also an area where a farm once stood, and you can see what this would have looked like on the information board. This is a truly stunning and peaceful wood and great in all seasons – bluebells in spring or the colourful trees in Autumn. It is also home to many species and animals including bats, foxes, badgers, deer and the flea beetle.
Dogs are also welcome to enjoy the woods.
The South Downs are a wonderful way to spend a day and Ditchling Beacon is a great place to enjoy a lovely walk. Ditchling Beacon is the third-highest point on the South Downs Way and offers 360 degree views across the Weald and Brighton. Ditchling Beacon is ideal for runners, cyclists and walkers alike – it can be windy on the top of the ridge at times so make sure you are wrapped up!
Ebernoe Common (Sussex Wildlife Trust), north of Petworth in West Sussex, is a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is lovely to walk around with your dog and follow the footpaths through the woodland. There is a small car park by Ebernoe Holy Trinity church – GU28 9LD.
Kingley Vale is a Site of Special Interest and can be found just north of Chichester, West Sussex. The main attraction of Kingley Vale is the impressive twisted Yew trees, that are some of the oldest living things in Britain and it’s impressive panoramic views from the top.
The Mens (Sussex Wildlife Trust) is situated near Petworth, West Sussex and is a lovely ancient woodland, with lots of types of fungi and beech trees providing a canopy. The area is suitable for a dog walk, and is a lovely quiet and peaceful area to immerse yourself in the woodland and stillness of nature.
Petworth Deer Park is a great place for a walk and to enjoy this incredible large open space and deer (please don’t allow dogs to chase the deer). You can walk around the lake as well as to the front of Petworth House which is a stunning 17 century house. For parking, park at the National Trust car park along London Rd, Petworth GU28 9JF.
Sullington Warren is a lovely open area of heathland where you can exercise your dog, sit outside with a book or enjoy a lovely walk with the kids. There is no set walk here, just enjoy the open space and explore this area of woodland and winding paths.
Warren Hill is located in Washington, just off the Washington roundabout heading towards Storrington. There is free National Trust parking and lots of woodland to wander through, and an open green to picnic on. This is also an ideal location to walk your dog and there are plenty of paths to explore which your dog will love!
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