Tree Climbing: The Best Wild Places in the UK

Have you completed our #wildsummer challenges yet? Here, the authors of our new Wild Guide to the South East reveal some of the best places to go for a tree climb:


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Ded Oaks, Sloden Inclosure

Brilliant tree climbing at the end of a lovely walk past the ancient site of a royal hunting lodge and churchyard. Look for the bumpy remains then climb into huge trees for wonderful views out over wild heathland.

From the far end of the Fritham car park (90m from Royal Oak, SO43 7HJ) follow track SW across moorland for one mile. As you enter the woods take the second, smaller track bearing R after 200m. Continue for 500m, staying on the ridge top. 40 mins, 50.9117, -1.7018



Old Knobbley, Furze Hill Wood

Great for climbing, this contorted 800-yearold oak is thought to be England’s oldest and has a girth that measures almost 10m. Hunted witches once hid inside its hollow trunk. More oaks and tree swings here, plus lake.

Park at Mistley Football Club (Shrubland Road, CO11 1HS, lane S just at junction with B1352). Walk SW across football pitches (far right hand corner) to find path into wood (to L of split oak), after 100m bear R to see Old Knobbley ahead. 10 mins, 51.9383, 1.0813


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Tandridge Church Yew

This ancient hollow yew is said to be the second largest in the UK, with a girth of over 10 metres.
Heading N through Tandridge, the church is on the R just after Jackass Lane on L (RH8
9NJ). 1 min, 51.2430, -0.0320



The Crowhurst Yew

Ancient yew tree full of intriguing holes and shapes – even a door! The history of this noble tree is mysterious and extensive, and there were once benches within the tree itself. Reputed to be 4,000 years old. St George’s Church, Crowhurst, RH7 6LR. 2 mins, 51.2094, -0.0103


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Fredville Park Chestnuts & Oaks

Many ancient gnarled chestnuts and oaks are found on this parkland. The colossal Majesty Oak (not on the footpath) is often said to be the most beautiful tree in England, and is the UK’s largest surviving maiden oak.

Turn R out of the Royal Oak in Nonington (CT15 4HT, 01304 841012) find the lodge cottage and entrance to park on L after 100m. After ½ mile, at junction to the house, bridleways bear to L. Majesty is off to R after 100m. 10 mins, 51.2152, 1.2304.


Taken from the Wild Guide: Southern and Eastern England.

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