Starts/Finishes: Ashclyst Forest Gate Car Park, EX5 3DT
Distance: From less than a mile to approx. 2 miles
Time: 30 mins – 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy or Moderate
Terrain: Well-maintained footpaths but can get very muddy after rainfall.
Parking: Free but donations welcomed.
Ashclyst Forest Walks
Created nearly two centuries ago under the plan of 7th Baronet of Killerton, Sir Thomas Acland, Ashclyst Forest’s initial purpose was to provide timber for the Killerton Estate. Nowadays, it’s primary purpose is recreation and conservation, providing a place for Devon dwellers to relax and immerse themselves in nature.
There are four well-marked walking routes to take you around the forest, easily navigable using coloured marker post arrows. Routes vary in length from the 20-30 minute easy loop that is suitable for buggies and offers a relatively level way, to the approximately 1 – 1.5 hour loop that takes you out to the southern edge of the forest.
A sign board with a map and more information is located at the Forest Gate Car Park so we recommend taking a picture of the map for safety, but otherwise choosing a coloured route to follow and simply following the markers.
Each trail has its own unique viewpoints and wildlife to enjoy and experience, so it’s worth coming back again to explore each part of the forest. Benches are plentiful on all routes too, providing a place to rest or just soak in your surroundings.
Before you leave, make a point to enter the kingdom of giants at Sprydon Beacon as you discover some of the first giant redwoods that were brought to the UK around 200 years ago. This tranquil clearing is the perfect spot for a spring picnic. Return in May to see it carpeted with bluebells and wildflowers for a real spectacle!