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Much-accoladed Ashdown Forest inn

At a glance

AA Pick of the Pubs
Bar menu
Open all year
Kids play area
Dog friendly

The Hatch, built around 1430, is an eye-catching, clapboarded old inn on the site of one of the medieval gates into what was then dense woodland, that yielded valuable iron ore deposits and timber for charcoal. It was probably lived in by workers at a water-driven hammer mill at the foot of today's Kidd's Hill, named after the piratical Captain Kidd, who allegedly masterminded smuggling activities from here in the 18th century. With plenty of local suppliers to draw on, fresh seasonal produce is used in just about every dish on the daily-changing menus, complemented by an extensive wine list. So, lunchtime options could well be Shetland mussels with garlic cream and white wine sauce; beef and chilli meatballs with fettucine; Thai green chicken curry with fragrant jasmine rice; and goats’ cheese and red onion marmalade tarte Tatin. It's a quite different menu in the evening, when white wine-poached pear and Roquefort salad with toasted pine nuts might appear as a starter, with mains including chargrilled Angus fillet steak with triple-cooked fries; new season's lamb, dauphinoise potatoes and roast vegetables; and roast fillet of monkfish with pancetta, chorizo and red lentil stew. Large gardens areas look towards the forest.

Opening hours

  • Open all year
  • Open all week
  • Opening times: 11.30–3 5.30–11 (Saturday to Sunday all day)
  • Lunch: all week 12–2.15
  • Dinner: Monday to Thursday 7–9.15, Friday to Saturday 7–9.30

Price guide

  • Credit cards accepted


  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Garden


  • Children welcome
  • Children's portions
  • Play area available
  • High chairs


  • Dog friendly
  • Allowed in bar
  • Allowed in restaurant
  • Allowed in garden

Getting here

A22 at Forest Row roundabout, 3 miles to Coleman's Hatch, right by church.

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