8.46 ha (20.90 acres)

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Explorer 135
OS Landranger 198

Visitor Announcement: Swimming, boating, and fishing are not permitted at Lake Wood due to the disturbance this creates for wildlife and habitat.

The water in the lake has temperature gradients, varying from cold at the bottom to warmer at the top. The lake is teeming with life which requires this temperature gradient to remain constant. When it is disturbed by swimming and boating the cooler water warms up and kills some of those important insects, invertebrates, and micro-organisms which then impacts the whole food chain causing species to leave the area.

Lake Wood supports many rare species and it is vital that it is protected. Please don’t swim in, or otherwise disturb this nature reserve.

Once part of the Rocks Estate, the mix of natural and manmade features at Lake Wood create dramatic and beautiful views. Look out for the rocky sandstone outcrops with high cliffs that overhang the picturesque 3-acre lake and the cave-like boathouse carved out of rock, as well as signs of the wildlife that this varied woodland supports.



  • Public access
  • Spring flowers
  • Broadleaved woodland

How to get to Lake Wood

Lake Wood is an 8.5-hectare (20.9-acre) site situated to the west of Uckfield in East Sussex, just under 1km (0.5 miles) from the town centre, via Church Street and Rocks Road.

From the A26, take the London Road south-east from the Budletts Roundabout. Follow London Road for around 1km (0.25 miles), then turn left at Ringles Cross onto Snatts Road.

Follow Snatts Road for 1.25km (0.75 miles) to the T-junction with Rocks Road. Turn right onto Rocks Road and you will find Lake Wood on your right after around 25m, after the sharp bend.

The nearest train station is Uckfield, which is 1.2km (0.75 miles) from the wood.

Visit National Rail for more information.

The nearest bus stop is on Uckfield High Street, which is 0.8km (0.5 miles) from the wood.

Visit Traveline for more information.

Facilities and access

There are two entrances off Rocks Road - a squeeze gap at the eastern end and a kissing gate at the western end. The various paths within the site take in the woodland and lake and include several sets of steps and a tunnel through the rocks.

None of the paths are surfaced and can become very muddy in places after wet weather. Gradients are gentle to moderate.

Download a map of Lake Wood.

There is no car park at the wood, but cars may park in the two lay-bys on Rocks Road opposite the wood and in the eastern gateway. Care is needed when crossing the road and walking along the verge as there is no pavement.

The nearest toilets are at Luxford Field car park, 1.2km (0.75 miles) from the wood. There are disabled facilities accessible with a RADAR key, and baby changing facilities.

Wildlife and habitats


Keep an eye out for some of the important species found in the wood which include yellow-necked mouse and five species of bat.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

Lake Wood is classified as ancient semi-natural woodland although much of it was extensively modified in the late 18th and early-19th centuries by the enlargement of the lake and the planting of exotic trees and shrubs.

Look out for:


The mix of habitats at Lake Wood, as well as the man-made points of interest, make it the perfect place to explore. The ancient woodland and lake are particularly important as they provide homes for not only birds and mammals, but a wide range of plant species, invertebrates and even fish!


History of Lake Wood

Lake Wood belonged to the Streatfeild family as part of the Rocks Estate from 1789 until the Woodland Trust acquired the site in 1993.

In the first half of the 19th century, the southern part of the site was landscaped in the style of Capability Brown. This included the extension of an existing pond into the lake we see today, carriage drives through the site, and the planting of exotic trees and shrubs, some of which still survive.

Features were carved out of existing outcrops of sandstone including tunnels and steps, and a boathouse and a sandstone wall were built on the boundary along Rocks Road. The landscaping was designed to create an extension to the gardens and pleasure grounds of Rocks House and provide picturesque and romantic walks.

The storm of 1987 seriously damaged the site, blowing down many of the large specimen trees and oaks, which enabled the spread of invasive rhododendron. Since we acquired the site we have cleared the rhododendron, with much of the work done by volunteers.

Things to do in Lake Wood


Lake Wood Management Plan

PDF  (300 KB)