11. Abinger Roughs
Close to the village of Abinger Hammer, Abinger Roughs is an area of ancient woodland and footpath-edged fields perfect for those looking for trails accessible for families of all ages. With paths trodden by Charles Darwin in the 1870s, during his stay at nearby Abinger Hall, The Roughs boast a wide variety of flora and fauna, being especially known for its array of specimen trees.
One such, that calls Abinger Roughs home, is the famed, spooky-looking Witch’s Broom Tree. Estimated to be some 200-300 years old, this huge old beech tree (almost nine metres around its trunk!) is knarled and latticed. It is not known how it achieved its mysterious shape, with some claiming it is simply down to genetics, whilst others say it was bundle planted (where multiple saplings are planted together). Either way, it is easy to see how it got its name!
A stone’s throw from The Witch’s Broom Tree, meandering trails take countryside adventurers through the woods and out into open farmland and patchwork fields. Here there is the chance to walk amidst a rolling landscape under expansive skies, with the pathways that edge fields overlooked by views of the North Downs.