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Cardinham Woods Cardinham Woods

Explore Abbot's Wood
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.2/5)

Abbot's Wood offers visitors waymarked forest trails, barbecues and picnic sites. There is also a large grass area for ball games. 

Stargazing in the forest

Experience stars in the night sky like never before when visiting Abbots Wood this winter. Download your beginner's guide to stargazing, then visit our family-friendly "Why stars matter" trail to bring the night sky to life and become a forest-star!

 Walking Trails

Go for a wander along Abbot's Amble or take a short stroll on Oaks Walk. Look out a variety of wildlife, bird boxes and bluebells in spring.

Wheelchair users may find portions of the trails difficult in terms of grade and surface quality.


 For young adventurers there is a swing, climbing trees and stepping stones in addition to acres of woodland for children to explore and play in!


There are three bookable barbecues on site for a fee of £33.00 (payable by debit or credit car, or cheque). Please ring 0300 067 4880 at least a week in advance to check availability and to make a booking.

You will need to provide your own charcoal and Pay & Display parking charges still apply. Barbecues must be fully extinguished when you leave the site.

The free barbecues have now been removed from site due to their age and poor condition.

For safety reasons we do not allow you to bring your own barbecues on to site and open fires are not permitted.

Horse riding

Riding off the public bridleway is by permit only (this includes forest roads). Annual riding permits are available from Toll Rides (Off-Road) Trust.
Please ring 01622 735599 for more information or visit the TROT website. A separate boxing area off Caneheath Road is available to TROT members.


Abbot's Wood is an important area for butterfly and dormouse conservation. Go on Abbot's Amble Trail to see water fowl and dragonflies on the lake, but please keep your dog on a lead near the lake to avoid disturbing wildfowl.

Discovery Pass

Save money and enjoy Abbot's Wood, Seven Sisters Country Park Friston Forest & Abbots Wood through the seasons with an annual Discovery Pass from the Forestry Commission. Purchase your pass for £32 online , by calling 0300 068 0400, or onsite at the Seven Sisters Country Park Visitor Centre. The Disovery Pass gives you a free parking in a number of carparks along with a range of benefits - visit the website for further details.

Visitor information

Visitors are reminded to pay and display and to observe the changing car park locking times throughout the year.

Car Parking Prices: £2.30 up to 2 hrs /£3.50 up to 4 hrs /£4.60 all day

Gates are opened every day at 8am. Closing times vary through out the year as follows:

April to August 8pm, September 7pm, October 6pm, November 4pm, December 4pm, January 4pm, February 5pm, March 7pm

History of Abbot's Wood

Abbot's Wood derives its name from the times of Henry I, when the wood was gifted to Battle Abbey and overseen by the Abbot (hence Abbot's Wood).

Ditches and banks within the trees give clues to ancient times. A mixture of tree species can be found, each with a different use. Recent conifer plantations are harvested for timber needed in paper and chip board manufacture.

Coppicing Hazel and Hornbeam for firewood enables rarer species like dormice and pearl bordered fritillaries to live in the wood.

What do other visitors say?

3 Stars 3 Stars

I love Abbots wood, but the amount of litter unfortunately spoils it every time for me. I'd be happy to help if you run clean up days - please set some up and advertise them - I'm sure there would be lots of volunteers

Jo Eastbourne , 5/Jan/2018
4 Stars 4 Stars

First visit and we loved the nightingales,single PBF and inviting trails. We will be back. Disappointed at the empty leaflet box, unkempt state of the loos (no toilet paper in either)and discarded tree shelters littering the woods.

Robin Edwards, 10/May/2016
4 Stars 4 Stars

I adore Abbotts Wood but there is one star missing for getting lost I'm afraid. When you haven't a sense of direction I hadn't an idea where I was and disabled, so got a little stressed. Would like more directions back to car park etc please. Love it there otherwise but slightly afraid to visit more due to our recent visit

Tricia, 3/May/2016
More user comments

Please tell us about your visit

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Last updated: 29th June 2018

Help us take care of your forest

What's Here?

  • Dogs
  • Parking (chargeable)
  • Picnic
  • Walking
  • Barbeque
  • We do not allow you to bring your own barbecue on to site and disposable barbecues are not permitted. The free barbecue is provided on a first come first served basis. Three bookable barbecues are available to hire for the day for groups. Please ring 0300 067 4464 to check availability and to make a booking.
  • Horse riding
  • Horse riding is by permit. Permits are available from Toll Rides (Off-Road) Trust. Please ring 01622 735599 for more information. Horse box parking is provided for permit holders opposite the Old Oak pub.
  • Wildlife
  • By following the Abbot's Amble trail you will come across the lake. On which water fowl and dragonflies can be seen. Abbot's Wood is an important area for butterfly and dormouse conservation.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: TQ 555 073
Postcode: BN26 6SJ

Get directions


Manager Forest District Office

0300 067 4464

Opening & Parking

Discovery Pass
Purchase a Discovery Pass for 32 online or onsite at the Seven Sisters Country Park Visitor Centre. The Disovery Pass also gives you a range of benefits - visit the website for details of the current offers.

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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.