Wild, open heathland plus Grade 1 listed cemetery

Brookwood & Ash ranges Loop

Brookwood Station, Surrey 7.9 miles / 12.7km
See alternative route when ranges are shut

HIGHLIGHTS

Ash Ranges MOD heathland l Grade 1 listed Brookwood Cemetery l Henleypark Lake

Introduction

This is one of our favourite walks, taking advantage of the proximity of Brookwood station (just past Woking) to the huge and beautiful Brookwood Cemetery AND the occasional public access granted to MOD-owned Ash Ranges. The cemetery has a fascinating history (see below) and an eclectic mix of sections, from Latvian to Zoroastrian. The Ranges are beautiful in all seasons, with stunning views over London and Surrey. 

DIrections overview

Brookwood station leads directly onto the cemetery. Paths here are flat and paved. Some small, possibly muddy paths between here and Ash Ranges. Paths within the ranges are wide and generally dry. Please bear in mind that, within Ash Ranges, there are no footpath signs at all.
Find out when it’s possible to access the Ranges

Do not enter the Ranges if red flags are flying. 

Route details

Start/End Brookwood station South Western Railway
OS Route  WALKING POST Ash Ranges
Difficulty Moderate
Length 7.9 miles /12.7km
Average time 3-4 hours
Total ascent 394ft

p

WHY NOT TRY

ALTERNATIVE WALK 9 miles
You can walk from Brookwood across Ash Ranges and exit towards Ash Vale. 8 miles.

Download GPX file

ALTERNATIVE WALK 7.9 miles
A circular walk from Brookwood to Henleypark Lake, when the Ranges are closed to the public – see below.

BY CAR 2 miles
There is parking at Brookwood Station, the cemetery has small car parks and there is limited street parking on Mill Lane near Ash Ranges.

FOOD AND DRINK

Pirbright

The Cricketers on the Green
The Green, Pirbright, Woking GU24 0JT
The Cricketers is an award-winning British gastropub on Pirbright Green. Also on the site of the pub is a yurt offering brunches, lunches and homemade sweet treats.

The White Hart
The Green, Pirbright, Woking GU24 0LP
Cosy pub on village green with beams, fire and garden, plus English food including sharing platters.

Brookwood

Connaught Rd, Brookwood, Woking GU24 
Indian and Chinese takeaways, bakery

l

ALONG THE WAY

Conceived by the London Necropolis Company in 1849, Brookwood Cemetery was created to solve the issue of the city’s growing need for burial plots. The cemetery was open to all faiths, nationalities and classes. Coffins were brought from London on the Necropolis Railway, with transport available in third, second and first class.

Henleypark Lake is owned by the Ministry of Defence, but leased to a local fishing club. It’s part of a wider Henley Park, which was recorded in the Doomsday Book and was the Victorian home of Henry de Worms 1st Baron of Pirbright.

TRAIN TRAVEL TIPS

Brookwood station has direct trains from London Waterloo, Clapham Junction, Woking and Basingstoke South Western Railway

Access to the cemetery is through a gate at the bottom of the steps on Platform 2.

TOILET OPPORTUNITIES

Brookwood station has public toilets on Platform 1. There are toilets in Brookwood American Military Cemetery which appear to be open to the public. Pirbright village pubs have toilets for customers. Ash Ranges has no facilities at all.

Stoney Castle Firing Range

Firing Range Near Henley Gate

View From Emperor's Hill

Ash Ranges Admirals Road

Brookwood Cemetery Main Entrance

Brookwood Cemetery

Full directions

Brookwood & Ash Ranges - 7.9 miles
  1. Leave the station, going down the steps to a metal gate in the wall on your right-hand side. Go through the gate and outside onto a tarmacked path. At the end of the path, turn right. You are now in Brookwood Cemetery. Our route takes you quickly out of the cemetery with time to explore when you get back at the end. However, you may wish to look around now instead/ as well.
  2. Follow the wide path around to the left and as you go into the trees, you’ll see a black mesh gate on the left hand-side. Go through the gate into a pine grove, with a white chapel visible ahead of you.
  3. You’ll emerge into an American military cemetery, with the chapel on your right. Walk straight on down the avenue, turning right half-way down at the flagpole and following this new tarmac path out for some distance to the edge of the main cemetery, heading out of the gates and along an avenue of trees.
  4. Cross the road at the end of the avenue, going straight on down a drive directly opposite, following the public footpath sign.
  5. The track narrows into a path going through some trees next to a house. At the cross-path, turn left on the edge of a car-park, coming out onto a road, with a school across from you. Here you turn right along the pavement.
  6. Cross the road where you see a track called West Heath off to the left with a public bridleway sign. Follow the track until you see a footpath off to the right with another public bridleway sign and then through a gate onto a path with gorse bushes on either side.
  7. You’ll come out onto a tarmac road. Go straight across through some gates into West Hall Farm. At the farm house, follow the track around to the right between some out buildings.
  8. The track narrows into a path which you follow all the way until you reach a crossroads, where you turn right – ignoring the danger signs on your left. You are now heading into Ash Ranges. Very soon, there’s a fork ahead. Keep right here.
  9. Emerge into a small clearing with a gate ahead of you. Go through the gate onto MOD land and head right following the path up around the corner.*PLEASE NOTE: The MOD only allows access to Ash Ranges at certain times of the year. You will need to check the MOD website to find out when it is open. There are no signposts within the ranges and many paths so if in doubt ask for directions to Henley gate.
  10. You’ll come out onto the Stoney Castle firing range. Turn left here and walk straight down the path to the left on the range. At the last raised mound on the range turn left down a track and walk through the woods with the range behind you.
  11. When out of the woods turn right on a track and follow this keeping the woods to your right. Keep on this track as it turns to the right and then left and continue into open heathland for approximately ¾ mile until the ground starts to rise ahead of you come to a T junction.
  12. Turn left along the track towards Henley Gate. The track continues down hill for about ½ a mile
    And you to end up at a gate with a cattle-grid heading towards Henley Gate.
  13. Emerge from the trees and there’s another rifle range to your right. Keep going straight down to the bottom of the field keeping the range to your right, where there’s a gate.
  14. If you want to visit Henley Park Lake (a good lunch spot), then turn right, going through the car park and across a narrow bridge. If you don’t want to visit the lake, just go straight-on down the road.
  15. At Stream House, turn left through a gap in a fence. At the bottom of the drive, turn right past the house along the track through the trees for a while, veering off left at the footpath marker.
  16. Continue through a wooded area with a couple of pointless stiles to your left (no need to use them unless you want some extra exercise) and emerge into a field with a clear track running straight ahead.
  17. At the end of the field cross a bridge across a narrow stream and continue along a narrow path through the woods
  18. At the crossroads, keep straight on with a field of huts on your right. At the top of the path, turn right heading uphill on a stony track. Keep going straight along this track, past a country house on your right called Admiral’s Walk.
  19. The tracks comes out onto a road and you turn right. Past Mill Croft House, there’s a public footpath sign leading you off up to the right, through a kissing gate and into a field with a fenced-off path through the middle.
  20. At the end of the field, the path dives off left around a corner, with houses on your left and a wire fence on the right. Continue straight down here until you reach a drive. Turn left and continue to the road, with a roundabout ahead of you. You want to go directly opposite on the turn-off to Worpleston.
  21. Walk along the pavement for a little way and then turn left down Whites Lane, following the public footpath sign. Follow this track until it ends at a gate, with an obvious footpath off to the right across a cattle-grid.
  22. You’ll emerge onto a road next to the entrance to Pirbright House on your left. Keep going straight and at the end of the lane, turn left at the T-junction, passing Birch Grove on your left.
  23. Turn right after a small car park where you see a footpath through the trees. This is not marked. You want to be heading straight on to meet a wider track heading right. This will bring you round to a gate back into Brookwood Cemetery.
  24. There are frequent signposts back to the station, so at this point you can simply explore the fascinating cemetery before returning to Brookwood station for your train.

GRADE 1 LISTED CEMETERY + Heathland and Woods

Brookwood Cemetery Loop

Brookwood Station, Surrey  7.3 miles

HIGHLIGHTS

Grade 1 listed Brookwood Cemetery l Henleypark Lake l Pirbright Village l Grave of Henry Morton Stanley

Introduction

This pretty loop allows you to explore magnificent Brookwood Cemetery, the largest cemetery in the UK, with its fascinating mix of cultures and religions. You’ll also be able to get out onto the heath and other green spaces in the local area, including Henley Park and the little village of Pirbright. We recommend stopping for lunch at peaceful Henley Park Lake (if you have a picnic with you). You can make a small detour at St Michael & All Angel’s church, Pirbright to see the grave of Henry Morton Stanley.

Directions overview

Walking conditions are as in the route above – wide tracks and easily navigable paths. The route is mainly flat, with heathland, wood and fields.

Route details

Start /End Brookwood station South Western Railway
OS Route  WALKING POST Brookwood loop
Difficulty Moderate
Length 7.3 miles /11.7km
Average time 3-3.5 hours
Total ascent 188ft

Henry Morton Stanley Grave, Pirbright

American Military Graves

Colquhoun Chapel, Brookwood Cemetery

West Heath

Woods Near Henley Gate

Henleypark Lake