More about Ashenbank Wood

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Bluebells at Ashenbank Wood

Bluebells in Ashenbank Wood

Ashenbank Wood is a fantastic place to visit, with so much of interest on offer within the wood and the surrounding area. Its 74 acre (29.95ha) mix of ancient woodland and former wood pasture provides a range of habitats, closed canopy and open areas, veteran trees and notable wildlife species.

The ancient woodland contains mainly broadleaf trees including ash, field maple, hornbeam, oak and sweet chestnut, and is known for its beautiful shows of bluebell and wood anemone during the spring. Huge trees with girths up to six metres dominate the wood pasture which was once managed as parkland as part of the Cobham Hall estate. These open glades are once again maintained by grazing castle, providing a beautiful pastoral scene with lovely views.

The abundance of dead and decaying woods from the 1987 storm supports over 300 species of fungi and provides a home and food source for a range of specialist insects and invertebrates. Rare and threatened wildlife includes the great crested newt, dormouse and Leisler’s bat.

Dormouse Moreinf
Dormouse

For visitors interested in exploring the wood’s history, there are a number of archaeological features on site including a Bronze Age barrow, a medieval wood bank and the remains of five World War II bunkers built by the RAF.

Walkers are well catered for too with a well-developed network of permissive paths - including two waymarked trails - and links into the Darnley Trail (PDF, 2.4MB), connecting  Ashenbank Wood  with country parks and other woodlands within the area. 

Setting

Ashenbank Wood lies approximately half a mile north of Cobham and four miles due west from the centre of Rochester within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).


It is bordered by Shorne Woods Country Park, Jeskyns Community Woodland, and Cobham Park, which together with Ranscombe Farm and Ashenbank Wood comprise The Darnley trail - a circular route which takes in  highlights of  the area.

OS Explorer 148 and 163, Landranger 177 and 178, TQ675692.

Access/Walks

The main entrance is located from our car park, which is on the eastern side of the wood off Halfpence Lane. Here you will find information about the woodland and waymarked trails. Access is also available from Public Footpath NS178, which is located north from The Street. Follow the footpath until you reach the entrance into Ashenbank Wood. Download the Ashenbank wood site leaflet (PDF, 0.9MB). 

Directions

By bus

Nearest bus stop: War Memorial in Cobham, near the junction of The Street and Halfpence lane. This is approximately half a mile north of Ashenbank Wood.

By train

Nearest train station: Sole Street station which is on the London – Swanley - Rochester line. Sole Street station is approximately two miles from our car park along the public roads.

Further information about public transport is available from Traveline -  or phone 0871 200 2233.

By bike

There are no specific facilities for locking bikes to apart from to the rustic post and rail fence which surrounds the car park.

By car

Follow The Street eastwards out of Cobham and continue north along Halfpence Lane towards the A2. This is a surfaced country lane without any pavement and the route to Ashenbank Wood is reasonably flat. Along this route you will pass an orchard on your left, followed by Ashenbank Wood which is adjacent to Jeskyns Farm on the west side of Halfpence Lane.

A car park for up to 10 cars is just off Halfpence Lane and the main entrance to the wood is through the car park. There is a vehicle barrier across the car park entrance  which is closed every evening at dusk or by 9.00pm whichever is first, and is opened by 9.00am every morning. Halfpence Lane is a busy route and it is not recommended to park on this road and walk into the wood if the car park is closed.

Alternative parking can be found at Shorne Wood Country Park Visitor Centre just north of the A2.

Entry into our woods is free but please donate now to help us care for them.

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