Until the mid 19th century this local corner of Surrey was sparsely populated and rural. Change began with the opening of the Basingstoke Canal, followed by the building of the railways, and finally the arrival of the military camp at Aldershot. The area has a long and interesting history and these trails pass some buildings of historic interest and also sites associated with notable village characters.
1. The Rail Trail – Ash, covers 2 miles and will take approximately 2 hours.
2. The Vale Trail – Ash Vale, covers 2 miles and will take approximately 2 hours.
3. The Treacle Trail – Ash Green and Tongham, covers 3 miles and will take approximately 2 hours.
Lakeside Park managed by Guildford Borough Council, is a 20 hectare park lying in the heart of the Blackwater Valley on the borders of Surrey and Hampshire to the west of the centre of Ash on Lakeside Road.
The woodland within the park is home to numerous spieces of birds; including woodpeckers, kingfishers and herons, butterflies, dragonflies and bats to name but a few.
There are two dedicated walks through the park, the longest of which takes about 30 minutes.
The River Blackwater forms part of the Ash Parish boundary running from the A331 roundabout at Aldershot to the Parish boundary to the north. The Blackwater Valley Path runs alongside the length of the River Blackwater. The path can be accessed from various points throughout the parish.
The path runs a total length of 23 miles and provides a link to a wide variety of nature reserves, country parks, watersports facilities and various recreational areas. Full details can now be found in a brand new, full colour, 48 page booklet, called Explore the Blackwater Valley.
Further details of the book can be found at Hantsweb.
The Basingstoke Canal also runs through the heart of Ash Parish from the aquaduct over the A331 in the west to Mytchett Lake in the north. The Basingstoke Canal towpath can also be accessed from various parts of the Parish.
The canal runs from Greywell Village in Hampshire through to Woodham in Surrey where it joins the River Wey. The canal is 37 miles (approx 59 kms) long with 29 locks, 69 bridges and a 1,230 yards (approx 1.1 kms).
For a copy of any of the above leaflets please call at the Ash Parish Council Office in Ash Hill Road. A Trail Through Time is also available from the Ash Library, Ash Street, Ash.