From Ashurst railway station this short and easy walk explores a variety of landscapes that characterise the New Forest. The route first takes you past open Forest lawns where ponies graze and through Churchplace Inclosure, a timber plantation, before crossing the railway into Ashurst Wood. Then continue along a road that winds pleasantly through ancient pasture woodland and across a grassy lawn to the historic remains of a saltpetre house. Return via a roadside cycle track to Ashurst village.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Start from the railway station.
(D/A) From platform two follow signs for Ashurst village to join an enclosed footpath that runs north alongside the railway track for 200 metres; on your right is the Open Forest where ponies can wander and graze freely. Continue straight on, past a gate on your right, to the public car park and road junction directly ahead. Turn right and then immediately left past The Happy Cheese pub and car park to follow the road ahead for 160 metres to a wooden gate. Go through the gate and continue straight ahead along a gravel track which follows alongside the grassy lawn, once the site of Ashurst cricket pitch, to the red brick cottage ahead.
(1) Turn right past the cottage and through a wooden gate into Churchplace Inclosure. Keep straight ahead following the gravel track through a mixed broadleaved woodland.
(2) At the track T-junction and cycle post 387, continue straight ahead following the track as it bends left. Look along the adjoining grassy rides and maybe glimpse a deer. Turn right at the next track T-junction and cycle post 373 (SU337094) to follow the gravel cycle track for 240 metres to the wooden gate directly ahead. Turn left through the gate to leave the timber inclosure and back out onto the Open Forest. Follow the gravel track uphill to cross a railway bridge and then downhill to cycle post 371. Continue ahead along the gravel and woodland track through an open pasture woodland called Ashurst Wood. Sections of the track can be muddy. The track climbs gently uphill for 260 metres before passing a low wooden vehicle barrier to join the surfaced access road for Ashurst Lodge.
(3) Turn right and follow along this road as it winds peacefully through the woodland past many ancient oak trees. Continue straight ahead and when the woodland ends on your left there are views over Longwater Lawn. Look for a large water trough and directly opposite, by a short section of wooden posts along the road edge, look right to see the earth banks of a saltpetre house
(4) Continue straight ahead for 180 metres to a wooden gate beside a cattle grid to join the A35. (There is a bus stop in a layby to the left; Ashurst Lodge). Carefully cross over the A35. There is excellent visibility along this long straight section of road. Turn right onto the wide footpath and cycle route to follow alongside the road for 600 metres to the entrance to Ashurst campsite. On your left is Lodgehill and Busketts Inclosure.
(5) Cross back over the A35 via an island crossing, just beyond the entrance to the campsite, to the bus stop and shelter opposite. Alternatively follow the roadside pavement for 50 metres to the railway station, or keep straight on to Ashurst village and bus stop (Ashurst post office).(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 62ft - Railway station
1 : mi 0.49 - alt. 92ft - Ashurst Farm
2 : mi 0.82 - alt. 89ft - T junction
3 : mi 1.54 - alt. 108ft - Ashurst Lodge
4 : mi 2.17 - alt. 98ft - A35
5 : mi 2.68 - alt. 85ft - A35
D/A : mi 2.77 - alt. 62ft - Railway station
Accessibility: Easy walking on level ground with a few gentle gradients. Two road crossings and four gates. Woodland track and gateways can be muddy.
Local facilities: Ashurst village; public parking, shops, pub, cafes and post office.
Please obey all forestry warning signs and ensure all gates are closed behind you. Be aware of cyclists and horse riders using the tracks.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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