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Explore Eggesford
(Average user rating: unrated unrated)

December 8th, 1919 saw the first trees planted by the newly created Forestry Commission right here, in Flashdown Wood, part of the old Eggesford Estate. By 1956 the Commission had planted one million acres of woodland, an occasion commemorated by a granite stone unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen’s Stone can still be seen in Hilltown Woods picnic area.

All trains must stop at Eggesford Station, as the local landowner made it a condition of releasing the land to build the railway in 1854. "I arrived at Eggesford Station a little after four, and found there Lord Portsmouth's Brougham waiting to take me up to the house, so there was not trouble at all. The scenery here is lovely and the house very handsome." So wrote Thomas Hardy of the area, in 1885.

The forest itself possesses some magnificent Douglas fir, including a veteran on the Eggesford Estate, planted in around 1840. There is also a motte and bailey castle, a scheduled ancient monument that is all that remains of a once imposing Norman fort. The area has an interesting history, and you can find out more on

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What's Here?

  • Ancient Monuments
  • Cycling
  • Please note that some areas are sensitive to erosion, and cycling is therefore restricted in those areas - please observe the signs.
  • Horse riding
  • With the exception of bridleways horse riders require a permit to ride in these woods. Please contact the District Office on 01392 832262 for an application form.
  • Walking
  • At Heywood there is a one and a half hour circular walk through attractive woodlands that also offers a car park and an opportunity for cycling. The walk takes you past a veteran of the Eggesford Estate, the magnificent Douglas Fir planted in around 1840, and other conifers planted early in the Forestry Commission's history. You will also find the motte and bailey castle, all that remains of a once imposing Norman fort, now a scheduled ancient monument with stunning views.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: SS 694106

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West England District
0300 067 4800

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