Route for a Surrey walk around Blackwater Valley Country Park and Ash

You can often spot herons on the lake

You can often spot herons on the lake - Credit: Archant

Enjoy this one-hour easy walk discovering water meadows, ponds and a wide range of waterfowl


Start: Ash Centre Car Park, Ash Hill Road, Aldershot

Transport links: Good bus links and the nearest railway station is Ash

Postcode for sat nav: GU12 5DP

Grid ref: SU894 516

Length of walk: 3 miles (5kms) Allow 1 hour

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Food and drink: Ash has a good parade of shops including a Co-op, Vale café and several restaurants.

While you are there: Enjoy the playgrounds in the Lakeside Reserve and by Ash Centre.

Free guided walks: Check the Surrey Hills Society website for free walks in the area - see for details.

The walk

1) With the Ash Centre behind you, walk back towards the entrance to the car park and turn right. Cross over at the junction and follow the B3411 straight ahead towards Frimley, on Vale Road.

2) Once over the bridge, turn right and right again under the bridge, following the Basingstoke Canal. Continue on this path, passing under the railway bridge and soon you come to an aqueduct that takes the canal over the A331 Blackwater Valley Relief Road. Before you get to the bridge there is a tarmac path to your right. Take this path. Do stop to marvel at this feat of engineering over this busy road, but turn back to take the track into the reserve.

3) Follow the tarmac slope (or a shortcut down the stairs) around to the left into the Lakeside Nature Reserve.

4) At the Nature Reserve sign, the path turns right, following a stream on your left. The path then widens out and bears right, with ponds on both the left and right. Keep on the main path through woodland. When the path splits and narrows, take the path to the right. DO NOT follow the Blackwater Valley Path beyond this point.

5) When the path splits again, keep to the path on the right and then almost immediately right again onto a wide path. In 100 yards you reach an attractive playground and picnic area within the park.

6) Turn right towards the large pond and seating area. Follow this path around the pond, keeping the pond on your right. There are several viewing platforms here to watch the waterfowl from. Eventually, you will notice the railway line running along the left-hand side of the path. Keep bearing right and another fenced fishing pond will come up on your left. Keep following the main path until you come to a T junction with a wooden post (marking a car park to the right). Turn left.

7) At the next T junction, turn left again and you will be back on the path on which you entered the Nature Reserve. Retrace your steps back to the Basingstoke Canal. Turn left, retracing your steps back along the canal towards Ash and the car park.


- Best Surrey walks - With beautiful countryside, stunning villages and plenty of bluebells during spring, Surrey is an amazing place for a stroll