There are some places you arrive at and think it can't be anything special considering it's surroundings but when you turn the corner your breath is well and truly captured. Lake Wood is one of those places.
Parking by a bridge over a busy road you wonder what could be behind the little gate but as you weave along the path it starts to open out and you start to get a sense of the place. It's after you've turned right and passed the arch do you realise the scale of this three acre spring-fed lake by Uckfield.
It has all the romance and none of the noise - a real little gem of a place tucked away where you can a picnic and really feel like you're in another country. Jurassic like rocks jut out into the path and you can descend and climb for peace and views alike. Ferns grow out of the sandy path and firs point skyward out of the chalky rocks. A tunnel through the rock adds to the magic.
Lake Wood is part of the Woodland Trust and is home to over 60 species of birds including herons and kingfishers. It's a mix of natural and man made with the landscaping taking place in the early nineteenth century.
I wouldn't recommend swimming here but the dogs sure love it - spare towels in the car ahoy. You can't really get lost at Lake Wood as it’s a circular around the pond - keeping your sense of direction towards the car is easy and if you do take a wrong turn you'll find your way again in no time by heading back to the water.
How to get there
Address: Lake Wood, Rocks Road, Uckfield TN22 2BX
By bus: the nearest bus stop is in High St, Uckfield - 1/2 mile from the site and the route is via Church St and Rocks Road.
By train: nearest station Uckfield - 3/4 mile from Lake Wood and route via High St, Church St and then Rocks Road.
By car: Lake Wood is approximately a 25 minute drive from Lewes. You take the road towards Uckfield from the Cuilfail tunnel, turn off to drive through Isfield and pick up Rocks Road from there. There's no car park at Lake Wood but usually plenty of spaces in the laybys just before and after the bridge. Watch for fast cars along the road.
Note there are no public conveniences at Lake Wood and care needs to be taken on the terrain. While the entrance views are accessible to those with mobility problems I would advise against trying to progress around the lake as there is some steep and unstable terrain.
Formally Emma Gutteridge