Circular walk 4 – family stroll through North Camp and Ash Vale
One for all the family - a walk that passes alongside river and canal on surfaced paths, suitable for wheeled transport
About the walk
Start point: Lakeside Park car park, Lakeside Road, Ash, GU12 5AA. SU 888517
Distance: 7 km/ 4.5 miles
Walk time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Terrain: Flat, easy walking on hard standing, with no obstacles
Rail to Trail: from North Camp station exit on the ticket office side and join the signed Blackwater Valley Path. Start the walk at point 8.
Lakeside Park Nature reserve
- 1. From Lakeside Park car park, facing away from the entrance, take the path leading into the woodland from the centre of the car park.
- 2. Bear right with the path, then pass ponds on both sides to join the Blackwater Valley Path and turn left.
Along the Basingstoke Canal
- 3. Follow the Path up onto the aqueduct and turn left along the Basingstoke Canal towpath. Continue following the towpath, which overlooks lakes on both sides, then passes underneath Vale Road at Ash Vale. Carry on past The Swan pub on the opposite bank.
- 4. Shortly after the pub the canal widens to form the 'Great Bottom Flash' before passing a barge yard and then passing under the railway line.
To the River Blackwater
- 5. The path then goes under a small private bridge across the canal. Soon after this take the track on the left which joins Frimley Road.
- 6. Cross over the road with care and turn right. Take the next right, Stratford Road and pass Snaky Lane Nature Reserve on the right, a convenient place to rest. Cross the road with care. Follow Stratford Road, pass Holly Lodge School and out onto a roundabout.
- 7. Cross the road to the left of the roundabout and take the pedestrian path down to North Camp Station. Cross the railway line and then carry straight on past the station.
Along the River Blackwater to the start
- 8. Follow the road and take the second left then past a series of lakes formed from gravel extraction, known as Hollybush Pits. The Path then continues Follow the path to the River and turn right and continue on the path.
- 9. At the exit from Hollybush Park, carefully cross the road and continue along the Blackwater Valley Path which runs left, parallel with the A331 under the railway and into Lakeside Park.
- 10. Cross the river and keep right, once again following the Blackwater Valley Path. When you reach a T-junction the circuit is complete. To return to the car park, turn left and then right at the next path.