Brookwood Country Park, Woking

Wheel Walks
With gentle paths and scenic views across ponds and the Basingstoke Canal, Brookwood Country ParkBrookwood Country Park is a delightful place for a wheelchair walk or picnic. The land was part of the grounds of Brookwood Hospital: while much of the site was developed for housing after the hospital’s closure, this green and pleasant area between Knaphill village and the Basingstoke Canal was skilfully converted by Woking Borough Council into a lovely mixture of woodland and meadowland, with four picturesque ponds.

The maps of the Park displayed at both its main access points have long vanished (at time of this page update in June 2020). However, you can view a map showing accessible paths  HERE.

Woking Borough Council’s landscaping team developed a detailed landscape management plan when the Park was created. It benefits a wide variety of flora and fauna, as well as making the Park very picturesque, diverse and interesting for its human visitors. And they’ve made it an ideal destination for wheelchair walks!

Angling in one of the ponds

There are many mature trees, particularly alongside the canal and at the western end of the site, while new trees have been planted strategically for decorative effect. Pleasant views across the Park have been preserved and even created. Much of the site is “long grass”, seeded with wildflower species. These are cut just twice a year (June and end-September), so seed heads can develop and distribute seed within the meadow.

Footpaths
The walks described below use paths constructed within the Park for access by the disabled. The hard surface on the Basingstoke Canal towpath was provided as part of the creation of  Woking’s extensive cycleway network.

The Park has many other maintained paths, formed by mowing strips across grass and meadowland; some of these “green” paths may also be suitable for wheelchairs, but tend to be soggy after substantial rainfall.

Recommended walks
Short walk length: 1.4km (0.5 mile) approx.
Longer walk (including towpath walk to Brookwood road bridge and back): 2.3km (1.4 miles) approx.

We’ve walked this circuit regularly  in both directions. I’m describing it in the anti-clockwise direction because it has only a gentle incline to the highest point; on the clockwise circuit there is a shorter and steeper uphill stretch.

From the car park off Redding Way, ignore the obvious entrance path at point A (see map) and take the footpath alongside the access road (towards the houses) to point F. Turn left onto the footpath with a crushed stone surface. (Note: the first few yards close to the road were somewhat overgrown with grass when we last used it in spring 2020.)

The park offers many picturesque views

The path immediately passes through a “wildflower meadow” area. It includes an assortment of summer flowers, sown as part of the landscape management. The path winds through the centre of the Park, providing pleasant views over ponds, trees and grassland.

The path ascends gently, before a steeper descent. You reach a T junction (point E on the map).

Turn left. The path passes between two ponds. The view over the pond to your right is especially scenic.

Woking wheelchair walks

The Basingstoke Canal at Brookwood Country Park

You reach a junction marked by “cycle trail” signs (point C on the map), with the canal visible through the trees beyond. The direct route to the canal towpath is to the left, but this involves a descent then an ascent. If “walking with wheels”, you can avoid this by taking the right-hand path, which joins the canal path a little further along.

The walk along the canal is very pleasant. If you turn right, you can go as far as the Brookwood road bridge at point D on the map, then return to this point, a round trip of about 900m.  Alternatively, for a shorter walk, turn left along the canal path.

The woodland on the opposite side of the canal is part of Brookwood Lye, an area of protected common land managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust.

Follow the canal path and you will see a wooden mooring deck. Continue along the canal path for another 50m and take the hard surfaced path (marked by a cycle route sign) which leaves the canal path to your left.

Follow this path, passing another pond (to your left) to the car park.

Longer walks: Woking Borough Council has constructed an additional wheelchair-accessible path between points E and G on the map.

Park location
Knaphill, Woking. The access road is in Redding Way, a short distance from the roundabout junction with Hermitage Road (A324).
Click HERE to view location on Streetmap.

The Park can be reached by bus routes 34 and 35 (operated  by Arriva): alight in Lower Guildford Road (at the Northwood Avenue stop) and go south to the roundabout junction with Redding Way (which is on your right). Cross Redding Way: a footpath links to the car park at the Park entrance.

Click HERE for my map of Brookwood Country Park showing accessible paths.

Parking
Access to the public car park (50 spaces) serving Brookwood Country Park is via an access road from Redding Way (see Streetmap link above).  The car park (together with the Pavilion and football pitches used by Knaphill Football Club) are owned and operated by Woking Borough Council.

Both the car park and use of Brookwood Country Park are free of charge.

Royer Slater
September 2011
Updated 29 October 2011 (circular route reversed)
Updated 17 March 2019 (various minor changes)
Updated 18 June 2020 (various changes)

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