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Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane

There are currently 4 comments and 2 photos online for this walk.

Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane
Author: Claire, Published: 19 Nov 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Berkshire, Bracknell
Walk Type: Woodland
Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 3.5 mile circular woodland walk through a pretty section of Swinley Forest in Berkshire. The walk starts from the timber yard and firewood department in the forest, before heading out on wide forest tracks through sections of pine, beech and oaks giving stunning scenery throughout the year. There is plenty of wildlife to see including squirrels, woodpeckers and deer and the area is very popular with dog walkers so a great place to go for a doggy play date!

The walk follows mainly well-made stone or tarmac forest tracks plus a few short sections of grass tracks which can be quite muddy in winter and after wet weather. There are no gates or stiles and the route includes several steady climbs and descents throughout. There are no toilet or refreshment facilities within this section of the forest. Approximate time 70 to 90 minutes.

The walk starts from the Blanes Lane entrance to Swinley Forest. Blanes Lane is accessed from the A332 Swinley Road between Bracknell and Ascot. From the M3 Junction 3, take the A322 north towards Bracknell. At the large junction/roundabout, turn right signed as the A332 to Ascot. Blanes Lane will be on the left (after the Berkshire Golf Club) and is marked with a large sign for the Beaumont Timber Yard. Park in the area on the left hand side before the first metal vehicle barrier. Approximate post code SL5 8AZ.

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Walk Sections

Start to Seven Way Junction
Start to Seven Way Junction

Start point: 51.395 lat, -0.7056 long
End point: 51.4023 lat, -0.7135 long

Follow the tarmac access lane in towards the forest, passing the first metal vehicle barrier. Immediately before the timber yard ahead, turn right (past another vehicle barrier) signed to Swinley Forest Firewood Department. Continue between the Crown Estate facility buildings and keep ahead as the track begins to enter the forest.

Follow the track as it bends right and then continue along the long straight section. Each side of the track you will see a handful of very large old oak trees with gnarled trunks and branches. Keep straight ahead, ignoring the first turning on the left.

On the left you will now see a beautiful section of beech woodland with tall majestic trunks. In autumn this area gives a stunning show of orange and yellow foliage. On the right you will pass a large square old brick-built tank set into the ground. This section of the forest contains many of these – and despite many web searches and enquiries I’ve never been able to find out why they were built...

Keep ahead through the next crossroads, and then about 200 yards later, turn left at the next crossroads. Follow this wide grass track passing a small bench on the right. At the top of the track you will reach a junction of seven paths.

Seven Way Junction to Concrete Track
Seven Way Junction to Concrete Track

Start point: 51.4023 lat, -0.7135 long
End point: 51.4003 lat, -0.7182 long

At the seven way junction, take the third turning to the right. Continue on this track passing a line of five pine trees in the centre of this path. As you reach the grassy junction ahead, turn left and follow the grass track steadily uphill. You will emerge to reach a T-junction with the main concrete track which circles the forest.

Concrete Track to Gate Corner
Concrete Track to Gate Corner

Start point: 51.4003 lat, -0.7182 long
End point: 51.3925 lat, -0.7297 long

Turn right to join this main concrete track. Follow the track through the forest and continue ahead ignoring the first track off to the left. You will now pass another section of beech trees on the left with their distinctive elegant long slender trunks.

A little further ahead the concrete track begins to run parallel with a chain link fence on the right. Continue following the main track as it bends first left and then right alongside this fence. After the next long straight section you will come to a ninety-degree left-hand corner in the track with a gate in the fence visible to the right.

Gate Corner to Golf Course
Gate Corner to Golf Course

Start point: 51.3925 lat, -0.7297 long
End point: 51.3911 lat, -0.7175 long

Follow the concrete track to the left passing a single oak tree on the left, and just a few paces later turn left onto another concrete track heading back into the heart of the forest. You will come to a T-junction with a wider tarmac forest lane. Turn left and follow this tarmac lane heading steadily uphill.

Half way up the slope on the right you’ll see another of the brick built bunkers set into the ground on the right – answers on a post card please! Continue over the brow of the hill and through a small dip to reach the brow of the next small hill at a crossroads. To the right you will notice a bench carved out of a large log and through the trees you can see the Berkshire Golf Course.

Golf Course to End
Golf Course to End

Start point: 51.3911 lat, -0.7175 long
End point: 51.395 lat, -0.7073 long

Keep straight ahead at the crossroads heading gradually downhill on the tarmac lane.

Overall, Swinley Forest covers 2,600 acres and is managed by Crown Estate. Whilst now predominantly a pine plantation, the area was once part of Windsor Forest and some of the ancient trees remain.

You will emerge past the timber yard to your left. Continue ahead to reach the parking area on your right where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


4 comments for "Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane"

This a great walk. The directions are excellent as well.

By geechr on 20 Jan 2014

A very pleasant walk.

By spamron19 on 24 Apr 2015

28/07/2015

By MikeLes on 28 Jul 2015

Love this walk. Great for dog walking. Very pretty.

By Perrier on 29 Dec 2016

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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2 gallery images for "Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane"

1737_0Richard1481903803 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: RichardJ
Uploaded: 16 Dec 2016
A winter's day - December 16
1737_1Richard1481903804 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK Image by: RichardJ
Uploaded: 16 Dec 2016
Plenty of mistletoe - December 2016

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