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The Swinley Forest - War and Peace - 8 miles

  • Oct 13, 2013 · 11:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

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.

http://www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/busroutesinbracknellforest

Usual £2 meetup cost.

Dogs are very welcome on the walk.

Contact number on the day is[masked]

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  • Naz

    Thank you Tom and the gang - good fun :-)

    October 13, 2013

  • Tehmina

    Thank you so much for the informative walk in Swinley Forrest and around the Broadmoore on a "proper" rainy day - you made it so interesting with a few surprises that we forgot about the weather! Thanks Tom and friends :)

    October 13, 2013

  • Liz

    Thanks Tom for such an interesting walk - really enjoyed it and a lovely group. Shame about the weather but nothing that a hot bubble bath when I got home didn't fix! Will come along when you do again as lots of the forest still to see. See you soon. Liz :o)

    October 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you to all of you who braved the weather and were such good company!
    And I'm sorry some of you were not able to make it in time.
    The walk will be repeated next year, at a time when we can rely on some good weather and longer days.
    You may be interested to know that part 2 of the Channel 5 documentary 'Inside Broadmoor' is being rebroadcast tonight at 21:00 on 5* (Freeview channel 30).

    2 · October 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Despite the rain it was a good walk with some lovely people. Thank Tom for putting this on and making it so interesting.

    1 · October 13, 2013

  • paul

    Hi Tom I was looking forward to my first walk with you but I'm new to walking and I don't have any wet weather clothing so reluctantly I won't be able to make it.

    October 13, 2013

  • Jenny S

    Sorry, Tom, I'm not coming - forecast is rain all day - what a shame! I hope you repeat this walk next Spring/Summer.

    October 13, 2013

  • Simon

    I am not coming

    October 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I can give a lift to three people from Surbiton station.

    October 4, 2013

    • Pam

      Hi Paul Just to let you know I've sent you a text with my mobile number. I'll aim to get there slightly before. Thanks.

      October 8, 2013

    • Pam

      Hi Paul. Just to confirm I sent you a text to let you know I am no longer able to join the walk so don't wait for me! Pam

      October 12, 2013

  • Gina

    Anyone in Kingston, New Malden, Surbiton ? i need a lift.

    October 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Weather forecast update: the forecast keeps changing, but is now of occasional heavy rain, so waterproofs will be needed.

    October 12, 2013

  • Marylou W.

    Please could you letme know of I am able to have a lift from Cobham train station at 10 ish . thank you

    October 11, 2013

    • Gina

      Hi Paul, any space left? i want a lift, pls confirm. thanks. gina

      October 12, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Marylou, my car is rather full, so I hope you can get a lift from Paul.

      October 12, 2013

  • paul

    I live near heathrow if anyone needs a lift

    October 10, 2013

  • Simon

    hi tom could you give me a lift from the station too, we are two ?

    October 9, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Actually meeting at Cobham station by 10:15 will be fine, as it should not take more than 30 mins to get to Bracknell.

      October 10, 2013

    • Simon

      Ok

      October 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi
    Am coming from bayswater, and am new in town, I hope I can easily find the place with maps, but any pointers will be nice, thanks.

    October 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Kosi, when you get to the station, go up the stairs to leave the platform, turn right, through the barrier and then down the stairs. My mobile is 07790 501225. Please can you let me have your email. See you Sunday.

      October 9, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Email should read mobile number. My apologies

      October 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Will bring my small dog with me.

    October 6, 2013

  • Jane f.

    I assume there will be no steep hill s?

    October 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      It is largely flat, there will be some minor slopes.

      1 · October 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Tom, are you sure you want to walk 8 miles in a forest at 11 o'clock at night in the middle of October?!?!?! :-))) lol!!! X

    1 · October 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      well spotted. Yes it's a night walk so bring a good light! No it isn't.

      1 · October 4, 2013

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