Just to the North of Surrey lies one of England's largest forests, the Swinley Forest, which is the core part of what is generally known as the 'Bracknell Forest'. At 2600 acres it is a very large, continuous wooded area, and we could easily do a 10-mile walk entirely within the forest without meeting a road, building or car, but we are only doing about 8 miles today.
The Swinley Forest is part of the Crown Estate and is in fact administered as part of the Windsor Great Park estate, which is nearby. It is mostly planted with Scots Pines, so it is quite atmospheric and peaceful and looks good in all seasons. I am also told the forest has been used as a location for Harry Potter films!
To make it more varied and interesting, the walk will fairly briefly leave the forest. This will takes us past the outer perimeters of two famous institutions, which are oddly complementary, as they both deal with death and destruction, one to control them, the other to use them.
There will be a marked contrast during the walk between the peace and serenity of the forest and the human strife which we pass by, hence the title 'War and Peace'.
We start and end the walk at the discovery centre called the Lookout, which provides parking (paying, £2 for 4 hours) and a simple cafeteria which provides basic snacks and drinks. As mentioned before, we will not meet many buildings or roads during most of the walk, so the only opportunity to buy food and drink will be at the beginning and end, so please take a packed lunch, drinks and snacks.
The walk should take about 3.5 hours to 4 hours maximum, so we should be back at the Lookout by 15:00.
By car: park at the Lookout, cost is £2 for 4 hours, which should be enough for the walk, or £4 for all day. You could also park for free in Birch Hill which is nearby, if you know Bracknell well enough to get there.
By train: I can give a lift for up to 3 people from Cobham train station at 10am. Or you could get to Bracknell train station and get the 171 bus to Birch Hill or the 194 bus to Nine Mile Ride, these buses run every 60 mins on Sundays.
Usual £2 meetup cost.
Dogs are very welcome on the walk.
Contact number on the day is[masked]