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Access and walks at Ashenbank Wood

From Cobham, Ashenbank Wood can be reached by road or by public footpath. Access is available across most of the site, except for part of the southern end which is still privately-owned.

You can access the wood either from the car park (opened and closed daily) on the eastern side of the wood off Halfpence Lane, or via the public footpath (NS178) which links Cobham village to Shorne Woods Country Park on the north side of the A2 and crosses the wood’s centre. Jeskyns Community Woodland is accessed directly from Ashenbank Wood with a continuous path connection between the two sites. 

There are five entrances to Ashenbank Wood which lead onto the permissive path network.

• One entrance (the main one) is accessed from our car park as mentioned above. This has two exits into the wood via kissing gates, with the one beside the wooden 3.6m gate being an all-access kissing gate suitable for pushchairs. The two waymarked trails start from here.
• Two entrances are along Public Footpath NS178, at the south-west via a pedestrian squeeze gap and in the north-east corner via a pedestrian-only kissing gate.
• A further two entrances off Scotland Lane (RUPP or Road Used as a Public Path) at the extreme north-west corner via a pedestrian squeeze gap and the other on the west side of Ashenbank Wood also via a pedestrian squeeze gap.

Due to past military use, small sections of the paths have a stone/tarmac surface. However, the majority of the paths are unmodified grass and earth surface, which can get slippery and muddy when wet. There are some steep slopes in the western side of Ashenbank Wood, and along the taller sections there are steps dug into the path to make the route safer to use. Along the paths in the south of Ashenbank Wood, the path crosses over fallen trees into which the path has been built.

A well-developed network of permissive paths runs through the wood, which includes two waymarked trails which run from the car park – a blue walk of around 20 – 25 minutes, and a red walk of around 40 – 50 minutes. There is also a direct path link to Jeskyns Community Woodland.

A 10km circular multi-user path called The Darnley Trail links Ashenbank Wood with Shorne Woods Country Park, Jeskyns Community Woodland, Cobham Park and Ranscombe Farm. The part of the trail that passes through Ashenbank Wood links up access between Halfpence Lane and the byway called Scotland Lane. This may be used by walkers, horse riders, cyclists and mountain bikers, the latter being discouraged from using other routes which can be narrow.

Within the car park is the 'Welcome Board' panel with the site leaflet available from a dispenser; and another free-standing sign giving clear directions on how to join the waymarked routes. Other information boards have been placed at points of interest along the paths to help explain the history of the wood. The site leaflet is also available from the Shorne Wood Country Park Visitor Centre

Download the Ashenbank wood site leaflet (PDF, 0.9MB).