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Award-winning pub in the heart of Ashdown Forest

At a glance

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

If A.A. Milne could populate Ashdown Forest with a bear called Winnie the Pooh, a tiger called Tigger and a kangaroo called Kanga, why shouldn’t llamas and reindeer live here? Well, they do, on a farm in nearby Wych Cross. The Hatch is an eye-catching old inn sitting at one of the medieval gates into what was then dense woodland, with its valuable iron and timber reserves. Built around 1430, the part-weatherboarded building may have been cottages for iron workers, although it has been a pub for nearly 300 years. It was no doubt much appreciated by dry-throated charcoal burners who also used to work in these parts, and probably by smugglers too. Today the classic beams and open fires draw an appreciative crowd to sample beers from Fuller’s, Larkins and Harvey’s. Food is a fusion of classic and modern, for which proprietor Nicholas Drillsma and partner Sandy Barton have built an enviable reputation. Their daily-changing menus are complemented by an extensive wine list, including 10 served by the glass. With plenty of local suppliers to draw on, fresh seasonal produce is used in just about every dish.

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

Food and drink

  • Real ales available: Harvey's and Sussex Old Ale, Fuller's London Pride, Larkins, Black Cat
  • Real ciders: Westons Stowford Press

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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