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A ramble around Lightwater Country Park

PUBLISHED: 17:35 30 November 2017

The heathland view

The heathland view

Archant

Enjoy a delightful two mile heath and woodland walk around this country park, which recently achieved the highest rating from Natural England. A must for all the family – both two and four-legged!

Map draft of Lightwater Country Park, Surrey Map draft of Lightwater Country Park, Surrey

Length of walk: Two miles. Allow about one-and-a-half hours for this easy walk (with one steep hill).

Food and drink: The Lightwater Café at the park is delightful. Pat and Martin Woodger took over the café in February. It’s a great space for children, with a book and games corner, and caters for dogs. I recommend the Puppaccinos for your pooch!

While you are there: Visit Surrey Heath Museum at Knoll Road, Camberley GU15 3HD. It tells the stories of the area’s past from the Stone Age and includes information on the Royal Military College at Sandhurst.

Free guided walk: Check the Surrey Hills Society website for their free walks this month – see surreyhillssociety.org for details.

Deer spotting Deer spotting

The route:

Park at the café car park, if possible (other car parking is available). Walk towards the café and then bear left and left again at the toilets, following the purple signposts.

At the T- junction with the main entrance road, cross over and pick up the next purple post running along woodland near to the road. This takes you up to the main car park at the leisure centre. Cross the car park and follow the purple posts from here. The path gradually ascends.

Take the set of steep wooden stairs when they come up on your right. At the top of the steep incline you will reach High Curley, where you will be rewarded with fantastic views over towards London. You can see the arches of Wembley and the BT Tower in the distance.

Turn left at the top, passed the toposcope (indicating positions of local landmarks), and follow the purple posts down the hill on the other side through the woodland. Follow this path until you meet the M3 motorway running parallel on your left. Keep looking out for the purple signpost, which after a short distance will signpost right.

Turn right following the purple signposts across open heathland, where you will eventually come to a

T- junction.

Turn left following the now purple and brown signpost, along a path that runs parallel to the Lightwater Leisure Centre sports fields on your right. At the end of these fields is a car park and the purple posts will indicate right. Walk along this road, which skirts the bottom of the playing fields until you spot the café again where you began.

Lightwater Country Park local facts:

• Lightwater Country Park is situated on the edge of Lightwater Village and extends to 59 hectares. The country park is predominately heathland habitat, but there are also ponds, woodland, meadows and areas of scrub. These habitats offer the opportunity to observe a wide variety of wildlife, birds, mammals, plants and insects. The area of heathland within the park has been designated a Site of Special

Scientific Interest.

• An adventure playground suitable for children aged from toddlers to 12-year-olds is sited here. Play equipment includes swings, rope trails, balancing beams and a four metre high space net. The playground is due to be renewed in autumn 2017.

• The country park regularly has grazing goats. They are on loan from the Surrey Wildlife Trust as part of the conservation programme. The goats graze on the gorse and scrub to help maintain the open nature of the heathland and its associated wildlife.

• Day ticket fishing is available. A valid Environment Agency rod licence is required. Hammonds Pond offers mixed coarse fishing so is an ideal place for pleasure angling. Tickets can be purchased at the café.

Start: Lightwater Country Park is just off Junction 3 of the M3 motorway between the villages of Bagshot and Lightwater. From Guildford and Bracknell it is signed off the A322.

Car park: The Avenue,

Lightwater GU18 5RG

Grid ref: SU917621

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