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The Lookout and Cesar's Camp

There are currently 3 comments and 3 photos online for this walk.

The Lookout and Cesar's Camp
Author: Claire, Published: 01 Oct 2011 Walk rating : Rating:star1 The Lookout and Cesar's Camp Walking Guidestar1 The Lookout and Cesar's Camp Walking Guidestar1 The Lookout and Cesar's Camp Walking Guidestar1 The Lookout and Cesar's Camp Walking Guidestar0 The Lookout and Cesar's Camp Walking Guide
Berkshire, Bracknell
Walk Type: Woodland
The Lookout and Cesar's Camp
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Lookout and Cesar's Camp Walking Guide boot The Lookout and Cesar's Camp Walking Guide
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A 3.5 mile circular walk through Swinley Forest near Bracknell in Berkshire. The forest is popular with cyclists, dog walkers and families alike, providing fun and adventure for both children and dogs. The walk starts at The Lookout Discovery Centre in Bracknell and follows a circular route along the woodland tracks passing Cesar’s Camp (an Iron Age Hill Fort). The Lookout is very popular, particularly at the weekend, so you are likely to find the first few hundred yards very busy, but as this part of Swinley Forest is more than 1,000 hectares, you will find more seclusion and tranquillity after this point. The forest is mainly coniferous, with patches set aside as heath and you are likely to see a variety of wildlife including birds, squirrels and deer. There is plenty for the whole family to enjoy at The Lookout site itself including a cafe, science discovery centre, Go Ape (a treetop assault course), a segway course and children’s play areas.

The walk follows forest tracks which are wide, open and well made but of course can be muddy in winter and after wet weather. You’re likely to come across cyclists, dog walkers and even horse riders but generally you’ll find that once you are into the walk the tracks will be quiet. There are no stiles and just a few gates. Whilst not entirely flat, the small number of ascents and descents are relatively gentle. Approximate time 1.5 hours.

The walk starts and finishes at the Lookout Discovery Centre in Bracknell. The centre has a large car park (pay and display from October 2012) and is signed from the B3430 (Nile Mile Ride). Approximate post code RG12 7QW.

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Walk Sections

Into Swinley Forest
Into Swinley Forest

Start point: 51.3877 lat, -0.7403 long
End point: 51.3774 lat, -0.7422 long

Parking is available at the Lookout Discovery Centre. With the Discovery Centre on your right, walk ahead and through the gate with the Go Ape treetop assault course on your left. Take time to watch the people using the assault course as they battle with swing ropes, cargo nets and zip wires. At the cross roads in the forest tracks turn right.

Swinley Forest covers a total of 2,600 acres and stretches from Bracknell in the north to Bagshot in the south. Although now mostly a modern plantation of Scots Pines, the area was once part of Windsor Forest and is still managed by Crown Estate. In 2009, the forest shot to fame again when it was used to film the woodland scenes from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.

Continue ahead to the next cross roads, go straight ahead through a wooden gate. Note that this section is off limits to cyclists and horse riders, but dogs are more than welcome.

Continue up the hill and you will then pass a gate on the left. Continue ahead until you reach a gate across the track. Go through the gate and then turn left. After approximately 100 yards you will reach another major junction in the path.

Along to Cesar’s Camp
Along to Cesar’s Camp

Start point: 51.3774 lat, -0.7422 long
End point: 51.3817 lat, -0.7586 long

At this junction turn right. Follow the path straight ahead but note that this section can have some enormous puddles that cover the width of the track – these can be avoided by taking small detours into the trees. You will pass the Bray Pipeline South East Water facility on your right and then you will emerge into a multi-way junction of forest tracks. This junction (Upper Star Post) is marked with a distinctive Swinley Forest green and white metal signpost which includes the emblem of the Crown Estate.

Take the first turning on the right, and follow the path with the telegraph cables running parallel on the left and the fence for the water facility on the right. As soon as the fence on the right ends, you will come across a beautiful lake set into the forest. This is well worth a stop, especially if you have a dog that enjoys a swim to cool down.

Continue ahead until you reach the end of the telegraph cables. Ahead of you will be the wooden kissing gate marking the entrance to Cesar’s Camp, an Iron Age Hill Fort.

Cesar’s Camp back to The Lookout
Cesar’s Camp back to The Lookout

Start point: 51.3817 lat, -0.7586 long
End point: 51.3866 lat, -0.7416 long

You can extend the walk by exploring Cesar’s Camp if you wish. Otherwise, do not go into Cesar’s Camp. Instead, turn right and follow the path as it bends right, then left and then begins to descend downhill.

Go straight ahead at the cross roads and then after some distance you will come across another small lake on the right. Soon after you will reach a T-junction, turn left and then follow the path ahead ignoring any routes to the left or right. When you reach another distinctive Swinley Forest signpost, go straight ahead signed ‘Lookout’ into a narrower path lined with young trees. As you emerge from the trees, follow the path to the right and then you will come to a gate into the Lookout picnic area.

Go through the gate and follow the path through the picnic benches (dogs on leads here). You will pass the centre’s cafe on the left and a very large children’s play area on the right. At the far end of the picnic area, pass through the gate to return to the car park.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2011 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.

3 comments for "The Lookout and Cesar's Camp"

Hi. Have I misunderstood or did you miss the right turn at the first crossroads past the go ape course? Finley, our dog, thinks you might have.

By dulcie on 08 Oct 2011

Hi Dulcie. No, nothing missing from the directions. I think the right turn you mean is the last sentence of the first paragraph? Maybe Finley was too busy hunting deer rather than reading the instructions properly?! I hope Finley had a lovely walk.

By Claire on 08 Oct 2011

I don't have a dog, but this walk made me wish I did.

By dlkhain on 08 Apr 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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3 gallery images for "The Lookout and Cesar's Camp"

365_0clairesharpuk1317485428 The Lookout and Cesar's Camp Walking Guide Image by: Claire
Uploaded: 01 Oct 2011
The entrance to Cesar's Camp
365_1clairesharpuk1317485428 The Lookout and Cesar's Camp Walking Guide Image by: Claire
Uploaded: 01 Oct 2011
The Lookout Discovery Centre
365_2clairesharpuk1317485428 The Lookout and Cesar's Camp Walking Guide Image by: Claire
Uploaded: 01 Oct 2011
A distinctive Crown Estate sign post


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