- This walk has been cancelled due to rail disruption. The walk leader hopes to re-schedule it in the future, subject to finding another weekend when the ranges are open to the public.
- This walk is limited to 19 walkers + the walk leader.
- Do not turn up for a walk without prior booking, else we will have to turn you away
- Follow all safety advice given by the walk leader
- It is recommended you bring hand sanitizer or gloves in case you need to touch gates/stiles/etc
- If you or someone else from your household has COVID-19 symptoms, please do not attend.
This walk takes us over the large expanse of undulating heathland east of Farnborough and Aldershot that forms the Ash Ranges, together with surrounding woodland. Part of both a Special Protection Area and a Site of Special Scientific Interest in respect of both its flora and bird life, the whole area is closed for much of the time due to its role a military firing range, making this a rare opportunity for us to walk here.
We’ll meet at 11am in the (council-run pay & display) car park alongside Ash Vale station on Station Approach (post code GU12 5LR). If coming by train from Reading, note that Ash Vale is on a different line: take the 10:21 from Reading (10:29 from Wokingham) to North Camp instead. The walk leader will be on this train to guide you the short distance (about half a mile) to Ash Vale. There is also a car park at North Camp station, if the other one is full, or if you plan to join us in the pub there at the end of the walk.)
The route will head east across the canal and through the woodland bordering the ranges, emerging onto the heathland via Furze Hill and following its edge for a little way before proceeding into the heart of the heath via Spur Hill, Bridge Hill and Stragley Hill, with some great views across the ranges and surrounding area. We’ll aim to stop for lunch by a spring and small lake on the eastern edge of the heath where it turns to woodland, before skirting this wooded edge and returning via Hangman’s Hill, with perhaps some of the best views on the walk, and across the Romping Downs, making our walk back through the woods to our starting point at Ash Vale.
For those travelling by train back to Reading/Wokingham, the walk leader will guide you back to North Camp station, from where there are two train per hour. There is also a pub next to this station, where we may seek refreshment at the end of the walk!
Please bring a packed lunch and plenty of water.
The walk is graded moderate despite its length, as it’s over mixed terrain and far from flat, but there’s nothing especially challenging to contend with. Please bear in mind that there’s little shade or shelter on the open heathland, so be prepared for sun/rain/wind as the case may be.
NOTE: Most of this walk is on an active MoD training range covered by military byelaws, although the land is open for public access when live firing is not taking place. If you should encounter any possible military objects or debris, do not touch them! Likewise, do not enter any buildings or other structures on the site, which may be dangerous.
Observe the byelaws posted at the boundary of the site, and do not enter if red flags are flying or red lights illuminated.
Book a place on this walk by completing the Google Form. We will only use the contact information you provide to get in touch about the walk, or to share if requested with NHS Test and Trace.
If after booking, you need to cancel your place on the walk, please email email@example.com so that we can make your place available to someone else.
Please only contact the leader with queries about the walk or if you are delayed on the day.