Ash Vale Circular via North Downs Way walk

A circular walk starting and ending in the rarely visited Ash Ranges and including a section of the North Downs Way through the attractive village of Puttenham.

History

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date # Post
Sun, 28-May-17 3

The North Downs and the Ash Ranges

Extra Walk 96 – Ash Vale Circular
Length: 26 km (16.2 miles), with shorter options possible. Toughness: 5/10 (I'd have said 7 or 8/10)

09:07 Alton & Basingstoke train from Waterloo (Clapham Jct 09:15, Wimbledon 09:22, Surbiton 09:30), arriving Ash Vale at 10:02. You need to be in the portion for Alton.

Trains return from Ash Vale at 11 & 41 minutes past the hour.

This Surrey walk doesn't get many postings because it crosses the Ash Ranges, in regular use by the Army; a Bank Holiday weekend should be fine, but the walk document includes alternative routes in the unlikely event that you find them closed. Earlier there are contrasting sections along the Basingstoke Canal, a disused railway and the North Downs Way on the other side of the Hog's Back.

The recommended lunchtime stop is the Good Intent in Puttenham, familiar from the Guildford to Farnham Walk in Book 2. There aren't many options for tea at the end of the walk so you might want to pause at one or two of the pubs close to the afternoon route.

You'll need to print the walk directions from the Ash Vale Circular Walk page. You'll see that you can shorten this long walk by diverting to Ash, Wanborough or Guildford in the afternoon; an Ash Vale ticket is valid from all these stations. T=swc.96
Not a popular outing and I'm not sure if I should include myself in the total as I decided to do my own bespoke version of this walk because a) I am too old and lazy to get up to catch a 9am train; b)who wants to walk 16m and end up back at Ash Vale; and c) Guildford is an excellent end of walk option for drinks, cakes and trains.
I set off at just after 11am to do the Ash Ranges first thus essentially reversing the last section of the walk. I continued on the reverse route until just beyond Fair View Farm where I detoured along the Fox Way, bypassing Wanborough Station and Flexford to walk along narrow and sometimes overgrown paths (which includes some stepping stones over a stream which almost provided a comedy moment thankfully unwitnessed by anyone else!) I continued past Wanborough Manor towards Hogs Back taking a barely discernable diagonal public path through a wheat field to cross the busy dual carriageway and on to Puttenham (10.4km) where I dropped into the lunch pub where 2 women walkers who had started from Ash Vale from the specified train recognised me. I stayed for a drink before having a short picnic lunch in the nearby churchyard and then continued on to Guildford either by the NDW or the more attractive adjacent paths. Back at the station I had cake and coffes before catching the fast 16.35 back to London. An excellent walk of 19.3km (12.1m) and around 4/10 for toughness. Lets say 3 with the weather sunny and warm before lunch light rain from two thirty onwards.
(Sean hope you are re united with your Tilley Hat)
Sat, 20-Sep-14 0 Ash Vale Circular
Sun, 22-Apr-12 Ash Vale to Guildford, via NDW
Sat, 27-Aug-11 Ash Vale Circular
Sun, 29-Aug-10 Ash Vale Circular