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The Weald is one of the most famous features of South East England, and one of the favourite places to visit for those staying in Hotels in Sussex. Whereas now it is characterised by its diving clay valleys and climbing limestone ridges, it used to be a very different landscape.

Although the shape of the Weald has not changed much in the last five thousand years, what covered it has altered rather dramatically. The name Weald comes from the Old English word ‘weald’, meaning ‘forest’. The entirety of the Weald used to be covered completely in trees, probably even joining up with the New Forest in Hampshire from the borders of Romney Marsh in Kent.

People initially lived only on the fringes of the forest, using it as a resource for firewood or building materials. Gradually, the people began to travel through the forests to transport livestock, but only during the summer months. It was a wild and dangerous place.

Gradually, the forest was cut away as people used all of the wood for shipbuilding and charcoal to fuel the iron furnaces and brick making industry in Sussex. It was also cleared so that more land was available for farming.

So, people staying in East Sussex Hotels can now enjoy walks between the villages that are scattered across the Weald without having to worry about being molested by bears, wolves or wild boars, and can do so even in winter. Whether this is an improvement is for you to decide.

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