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Swinley Forest and Blanes Lane

There are currently 9 comments and 10 photos online for this walk.

Swinley Forest and Blanes Lane
Author: Claire, Published: 19 Nov 2012 Walk Rating:star1 Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide star1 Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide star1 Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide star1 Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide star0 Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide
Berkshire, Bracknell
Walk Type: Woodland
Swinley Forest and Blanes Lane
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide boot Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide
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0001_sunny Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide Today's weather
7 °C, Clear/sunny, Wind: 10 mph E
Next few days: Hover over icon for more info.
0002_sunny_intervals Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide 0009_light_rain_showers Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide 0009_light_rain_showers Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide

A 3.5 mile circular woodland walk through a pretty section of Swinley Forest in Berkshire. The walk passes the timber yard and firewood department in the forest and follows wide forest tracks through sections of pine, beech and oaks that give 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 stiles on route, just one kissing gate 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.

This section of Swinley Forest is located between Bracknell and Ascot. The original Crown Estate car park near the timber yard was closed in 2017, so instead the walk starts from roadside parking on the outskirts of Bracknell. From the M3 Junction 3, take the A322 north towards Bracknell. At the large junction/roundabout, go straight ahead towards Bracknell. At the large crossroads with traffic lights turn right into New Forest Ride and then turn left at the first roundabout into Bowland Drive. There is parking for about 8 cars on the right-hand side of this road (be careful to avoid the stretch with double yellow lines). There are also some residential roads to the sides if Bowland Drive is full, but if you have to park there please do so with respect to the local residents. Approximate post code RG12 0WA.

Walk Sections

Start to Golf Course
Start to Golf Course

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

Walk along the left-hand pavement of Bowland Drive heading for the roundabout with New Forest Drive. At the roundabout follow the pavement left for about 20 paces and then cross right over the road with care to reach the gap in the trees opposite (marked with a Ramblers Route sign). Go through the gap (which can get muddy) and through a kissing gate to reach a junction with a concrete forest track.

Turn right, follow the concrete track swinging left (passing a single oak tree on the left), and just a few paces later turn left onto another concrete track heading 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 a brick built bunker set into the ground on the right – more about that later. 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 Timber Yard
Golf Course to Timber Yard

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 to pass the timber yard on Blanes Lane on your left.

Timber Yard to Seven Way Junction
Timber Yard to Seven Way Junction

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

Go ahead past a vehicle barrier and, immediately after the timber yard, turn left (past or through another vehicle barrier) onto a side branch of the tarmac lane. Continue between the Crown Estate facility buildings and keep ahead as the tarmac ends and a track leads you into 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 surfaced 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...The only possibility we have come across so far is that they were stores for ammunition during army training in one of the world wars.

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 End
Concrete Track to End

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.

This is the gate through which you entered the woodland. Turn right to exit via the gate and cross over the road with care to reach the far pavement. Turn left and follow the pavement as it swings right into Bowland Drive where the walk began.

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network Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide Original GPX source file

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


9 Comments for: "Swinley Forest and Blanes Lane"

Living nearby I am familiar with parts of this route, but having tried it today am pleasantly surprised by the way the zig-zagging return route from the logging station ties it all together.

By Civiliza on 20 Aug 2017

No parking sign now outside entrance as of July 2017, nice forest though.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Thank you for letting us know. You are quite right, the Crown Estate has closed this parking area from 3 July 2017. We have added a temporary closure notice to the walk whilst we redesign the walk to start from roadside parking at the western end. UPDATE 7 Aug 2017: We have redesigned the walk and it is open for business once again!

By ronan007 on 04 Aug 2017

Great walk on a sunny day

By lockw2s on 04 Jun 2017

Super walk, thanks

By avrilacres on 02 Apr 2017

Gladys P: Another gem - Blanes Lane, Swinley Forest. Thanks iFootpath - the perfect route for off lead walking dog walking.

By Facebook on 04 Feb 2017

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

By Perrier on 29 Dec 2016

28/07/2015

By MikeLes on 28 Jul 2015

A very pleasant walk.

By spamron19 on 24 Apr 2015

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

By geechr on 20 Jan 2014

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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10 Gallery Images for: "Swinley Forest and Blanes Lane"

1737_0Richard1481903803 Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 16 Dec 2016
A winter's day - December 16
1737_1Richard1481903804 Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 16 Dec 2016
Plenty of mistletoe - December 2016
1737_0Facebook1486559920 Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide Image by: Facebook
Uploaded: 08 Feb 2017
January 2017
1737_adminv1541 Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide Image by: ronan007
Uploaded: 04 Aug 2017
B081185F-D46B-49EA-983A-D094E4636FB0.JPG
1737_gallery93 Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide Image by: gallery
Uploaded: 11 Aug 2017
Tree picture
1737_0Richard1502463098 Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 11 Aug 2017
1C7ADA2E-1AE6-4F1A-80E3-420F22ED31BE.JPG
1737_0Civiliza1503254958 Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide Image by: Civiliza
Uploaded: 20 Aug 2017
Grassy Path
1737_0Civiliza1503255022 Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide Image by: Civiliza
Uploaded: 20 Aug 2017
Log Piles
1737_0Civiliza1503255081 Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide Image by: Civiliza
Uploaded: 20 Aug 2017
Don't Take The Mushrooms
1737_0Perrier1508104111 Swinley Forest from Blanes Lane Walking Guide Image by: Perrier
Uploaded: 15 Oct 2017

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