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Pooh Country
Ashdown Forest
East Sussex

The inspiration and home of the Winnie-the-Pooh Stories by A.A. Milne
Pooh Corner - High Street, Hartfield
01892 770456

The area now known as "Pooh Country" is where the Milne family moved in the spring of 1925. The little Christopher Robin was four and a half years old. They still had a home in Chelsea, London, and would travel down at the weekends. It was here that the rural landscape inspired Alan Alexander Milne for the setting of his Winnie-the-Pooh stories. The heart of Pooh Country is Hartfield where all the "Enchanted Places" can be found. Hartfield is nestling in the top left corner of East Sussex where it borders West Sussex, Surrey and Kent. The largest part of the Hartfield Parish forms part of the Ashdown Forest and because the Forest is a public area, you can visit these places throughout the year without charge.

Galleons (Gills) Lap, Ashdown Forest
Galleons (Gills) Lap - Ashdown Forest

At the heart of Pooh Country you will find "The Enchanted Places". Christopher Milne first called them the Enchanted Places in his book of the same name published in 1974. In his book he tells of his childhood and the many adventures he had. The Enchanted Places are situated in and around the Ashdown Forest within the Parish of Hartfield, and are much as they were in those distant days back in the 1920's. This was where the young Christopher Robin, who was an only child, played many of his childhood games. His adventures were shared with his Nanny, who would accompany him onto the Forest, and his Nanny told them to his mother. Christopher's father, A.A.Milne, heard about them from his wife. The "Enchanted Places" are therefore the actual settings for the Winnie-the-Pooh stories and in due course Alan Alexander Milne compiled them into his famous books, Winnie-the-Pooh - 1926 and The House at Pooh Corner - 1928.

Hartfield shopfront Pooh Corner - This is where you start your 'EXPOTITION' into Pooh Country. You will need to discover all the Pooh Places while you are here so remember to collect a FREE MAP after you have finished looking at all the thousands of souvenirs and gifts to be found here and before set off on your adventure.

Found in the High Street of Hartfield village, the charming building is Queen Anne, some 300 years old, dating from around the 1690's. It has low ceilings and you may have to duck your head to cross the threshold. The shop was given the name Pooh Corner by the proprietor, Mike Ridley, in October 1978 which means that 2003 was the 25th anniversary year. The shop specialises in Winnie-the-Pooh and is home to the world's largest selection of what Mike calls "Pooh-phernalia". With literally thousands of items and souvenirs it seems the most natural thing in the world for this shop to be situated in the village where the famous stories were written by A.A.Milne in the 1920's.

Pooh fans from all over the world write to Pooh Corner. At the last count the number of countries was 88. Many famous people and personalities have, and do, visit the shop but the most famous of all was, of course, Christopher Robin and his teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh. When Christopher Robin Milne remembered his childhood in his book 'The Enchanted Places' he recalled his weekly trips to the village with his Nanny 'Alice', who's real name was Olive. The visit to the shop was for bulls-eyes, a mint flavoured candy, which were their favourites. They lived at Cotchford Farm, a mile up the road, so his Nanny would bring the young Christopher Robin on the back of the family pet - a donkey called Jessica.

"Subsequent trips included our weekly visit to Hartfield, a mile away along a main road, up a steep hill, down a steep hill and in at the first shop on the left hand side. Jessica needed no urging and the woman behind the counter no instructions. It was a pennyworth of bullseyes for each of us."
The Enchanted Places - Christopher Milne

Pooh Corner is open from 9am to 5pm Mondays to Saturdays. On Sundays and Bank Holidays the shop is open from 11am to 5pm. The shop is closed 25th and 26th December and New Years Day.

Courtesy of Pooh Corner