Friston Forest

Butchershole car park will be closed for pothole repairs on 19th March
Litlington Road car park will be closed for pothole repairs on 18th March

Visitor information

Escape to nature and experience Friston Forest’s beautiful beech woodland on foot or bike

Friston Forest is within the South Downs National Park between Lulington Heath National Nature Reserve and Seven Sisters Country Park. It is the largest area of recently established forest in South East England.

This expansive beech woodland makes a perfect family day out for those who love exploring the countryside. With walking and cycling trails, great views of the Cuckmere and the sweeping South Downs, Friston Forest has something for everyone.

Enjoy sizzling sausages or grilled halloumi in the forest! Friston Forest has a barbecue available for you to book at our car park on Litlington Road. 

Our barbecue is suitable for large groups of family and friends. Disposable and portable barbecues are not allowed.

Barbecue hire is £22 and are available all year round, parking charges apply. Don't forget to bring your own charcoal and tools!

In order to protect this special landscape from the risk of fire please follow our guidance

You are welcome to hire our barbecue, but to prevent forest fires and reduce waste, please do not bring any other barbecues into this forest Never leave the barbecue unattended Ensure you have plenty of water available and barbecues are fully extinguished after use Make sure that all rubbish is taken away with you The collection of wood from the forest is not permitted, please do not use it to add fuel to your barbecue Open fires are not allowed  Full terms and conditions apply 

Friston Forest offers a fantastic opportunity for cycling in the great outdoors.

Friston Forest has two waymarked routes. Follow the Easy cycle trail for family friendly cycling, or for those wanting a bit more of an exhilarating ride, try out the Jeremy Cole mountain biking trail.

Please be a considerate cyclist: give way to walkers and horses, slow down approaching junctions and keep to the permitted cycle routes, marked cycle trails, wide forest tracks and bridleways.

Friston Forest offers some of the best riding in the south of England; with a wealth of trails and connections to the South Downs. Off-bridleway riding is restricted to specific routes and only permitted if you are a TROT member.

Horse riding is only permitted away from public bridleways with a valid TROT pass or membership. Further details can be found by calling TROT on 01622 735599 or visiting the TROT website. When riding you must be display your TROT permit. 

For more information on our facilities, opening times and contact details, please see our visitor information.

Try your hand at orienteering, a map reading challenge for all levels.

The aim for everyone is to navigate between control points marked on an orienteering map. There are many ways you can approach the Friston Orienteering Challenge. Choose one of the set challenges from the car park, set your own meandering course or race to see how many points you can find in a set time. There is no right or wrong way to play, download the map, code clues and guide and get out and explore the forest!

Orienteering downloads: 

Orienteering mapOrienteering guideOrienteering codes and clues

If you enjoyed this and want to find out more about orienteering opportunities in Sussex, visit the Southdowns Orienteers website.

Nearby forests

Forest floor covered in bluebells at Abbot's Wood

Located near Polegate, Abbot's Wood is a great place for a stroll at any time of year, with walking trails, a medieval lake, play area, barbecues and picnic tables.

Autumn Leaves

Come and explore Birchden Wood, south of Royal Tunbridge Wells, it's a perfect day out for families, walkers and climbers. Harrison's Rocks, a sandstone crag owned by the BMC, are right next door and Birchden makes the perfect spot to escape out of the city and into the woods. 

Children running woodland path, Whinlatter

Part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, located east of Horsham, St Leonard's Forest isn't short of fascinating history. 

Legend has it that a French hermit once lived here in the sixth century. He famously fought and killed a dragon in the forest and it is from him, St Leonard, that the forest takes its name! 

Visit the forest to immerse yourself in the cultural history, discover rich wildlife and take a peaceful woodland walk. 

Thin trail running through conifer woodland

With around five miles of hard surface road and great networks of unsurfaced tracks, Hemsted Forest makes for a great day out, whatever the season!

The forest houses a mixture of conifer and broadleaf woodland and is rich in different bird species.

 

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