My lockdown discovery: Three Cornered copse, Hove

Three Cornered copse, Hove, pathway through woods
Avril Solomon
Sunlight through the leaves, Three Cornered copse, Hove
Avril Solomon
Three Cornered Copse, Hove, UK

‘April is the cruellest month’ – at least that’s how it was looking until I discovered the Three Cornered copse in Hove.

This slender, hidden haven of woodland has been my lockdown discovery and a sanctuary of peace in these unsettling times.

Green lung of beauty

Early on in the lockdown I walked to the far end of Hove park and spotted a footpath on the other side of the road. It looks unimpressive initially – almost like a driveway to someone’s house, but after a couple of minutes it suddenly opens up into the most beautiful woodland. I stood beneath a canopy of trees, sunlight dappled on the ground and instantly felt as though I was in the heart of the countryside – no traffic sounds – only birdsong at full volume.

Even at its widest, the copse is no more than than the width of the average high street, and yet, there are paths twisting and turning through the trees which gives it lots of variety and interest. From start to finish, this green lung of beauty takes about 30 minutes of strolling time as it climbs gently towards Dyke Road. Early morning, which is when it’s at its peaceful best, there are very few people – a handful of respectful dog walkers and the occasional jogger.

Watching spring unfold

I’ve watched spring unfold in this gift of a place – bluebells, cherry blossom, cow parsley, hawthorn blossom – in the endless days of sunshine this local slice of nature has filled me with gratitude, whatever my mood. It’s wild enough to be able to surround yourself with nature, yet safe enough to walk through alone in the early morning. Flanked by the large gardens of the houses on either side, it’s a suburban idyll. A breath of fresh air.

Comments about this page

  • Thank you, Avril, for such an uplifting article. However far ahead, I hope I’ll remember to visit the copse if I’m in the area.

    By Sam Flowers (22/05/2020)
  • Beautiful and evocative. A true illustration of the healing power of nature.

    By Claire (22/05/2020)
  • Some people have a knack of finding, close to home and in unexpected places, enduring tranquility and beauty. Avril is one of them.

    By Peter (22/05/2020)
  • Another rural spot within the city boundaries is Hollingbury and Bursted Woods, easily accessible up the Ditchling Rd and served by 26/46/50/52 bus routes.Bus 50 to Burstead Woods. Lovely woodland walks with glades and views across the huge allotments in Roedale and along the edge of the golf course. Cared for by the Friends of Hollingbury & Burstead Woods…of which I am a memeber!

    By Dr Geoffrey Mead (23/05/2020)
  • My friends and I spent our summer days walking through the 3 cornered copse on our daily trek to the windmill. It would have been in the late 50’s when we were pre-teens. Such happy memories of playing through nature at its finest in Hove!

    By Jackie Collins Buck (17/07/2022)

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