Crowthorne Woods (map) is a great place to go if you are looking for a dog friendly walk in the woods, where you can give your four-legged friend a bit of freedom and it’s is mostly used by dog walkers. The soil is largely sandy so the going is gentle on pads and there are a few watering holes in which Hooves likes to have a slurp and a bit of a paddle: Michael Phelps he is not! Lofty pine trees sway gently way above you in the more open areas, and on a quiet morning you might be lucky enough to see deer in the more densely wooded areas. The trees are so close together in these spots that even on a sunny morning it is dark as night in among the trunks, which provides perfect cover for them. The footpath is wide and comfortably open here but if you peer into the gloom don’t be surprised if you see a pair of big, beautiful eyes quietly watching your progress with what I like to think of as mild curiosity.
You wont lose a day hiking here, but you’ll be able to zigzag along the pathways just enough to waste an hour or so and walk a couple of miles, so you’ll feel as though you’ve ‘walked the dog’. There are no pieces of play equipment, so no small children (or skittles as Hoover calls them), however it is a popular area with mountain bikers, so we generally go early to avoid too much excitement.
One of the more unusual features of this walk is that you catch glimpses of Broadmoor Hospital through the trees along one path, which I always find strangely intriguing
There are two places to park, both free, and both with a poo bin. (These are the only locations of bins.) The smaller area for parking is a short way along Bracknell Road (B3348), on the left hand side when heading from Bracknell to Crowthorne. (streetview) It is effectively a large gateway, but people park on the diagonal so as not to block the rarely used gate. The primary car park is just a short way down The Devil’s Highway (don’t let the name put you off!), which is a left turn off of the roundabout if you have approached from Bracknell. (streetview) The Devil’s Highway soon becomes a pretty bumpy track, and whilst you only need to drive a short distance down it, if you are driving something low that doesn’t like seed bumps then I would park in the ‘gateway’ car park back on Bracknell Road.
If you decide you want extend your walk then follow The Devil’s Highway on foot until it passes under a main road (A3095 Foresters Way). You are then among acres of woodland and you can wander for hours exploring Caesar’s Camp and The Look Out Discovery Centre. So in a nutshell, this is a great place to visit if you are looking for a dog friendly walk in the woods.