Forest Hotel Vat

Ashdown Forest Hotel, Forest Grove.

Blower W. Baker.

Forest Hotel Vat 5

Photograph made available by Sussex On Line Parish Clerks.            

A residential hotel since 1895, its guests included in 1901 the author of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was living at the Ashdown Forest Hotel with his future second wife Jean Leckie and his mother, Mary Doyle.

The hotel was next to the Royal Ashdown West Golf Course, which was founded in December 1888 for the Ashdown Forest and Tunbridge Wells Ladies Golf Club. In 2001 the hotel site was sold for development and in June 2004 a brand new £1.3 million two-storey clubhouse extension to the existing Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club was opened for the West Course to provide full facilities, including changing rooms, bar and 72 seater restaurant for West Course golfers.

The September 2013 edition of Golf World magazine has declared Royal Ashdown Forest’s West Course the number one UK golf destination in its ‘Short but sweet’ list featuring the country’s top courses of under 6,000 yards.

During and shortly after the First World War there was an artillery training camp on the West Golf Course. There is a memorial dedicated to the various units of the South Western Mounted Brigade, 1B Reserve Brigade and 66 Divisional Artillery south of the fourth hole’s fairway. The inscription reads “This stone is set up as an enduring record of a camp where many thousands of yeomanry and artillery were trained during the Great War and in rememberance of those who went on to fight and give their lives for their country 1914-1918”.