Located to the East of Godshill, Ashley Walk is a large WWII bombing range that was used to test various weapons (from small arms up to the massive Grand Slam earthquake bomb – the only place one was used in a live test), and provide numerous practice targets.
We have spent a number of years visiting the site and will be putting online all of the photographs and information we have collected.
An early version of a map of the main features is now online.
*IMPORTANT INFORMATION if you intend to visit the site
Ashley Walk is a large area with no facilities, and can be unforgiving as sections are quite exposed, and some areas are very wet, even in summer.
Do not visit alone, and carry water.
Allow plenty of time – it will take a 15-20 minute walk to reach the Western edge of the range from the nearest car park (Marked Ashley Walk on the Roger Penny Way Eastbound out of Godshill) and considerably longer to reach the more far flung sections. We have covered the North Part of the range and the edge of the South Range in one day, but thats knowing the routes and it still took 8 hours.
In fact it’s not really possible to get to the whole range in one visit due to the nature of the terrain; Areas to the South West are best accessed from the car park near Latchmoor Brook.
The area is home to a lot of wildlife – Please be careful not to disturb any nesting birds. There are signs warning when the nesting season is underway. If you are quiet you will discover Deer are also in abundance.
Ashley Walk has not given up all its secrets yet! Unexploded ordnance (bombs/ammunition etc) has still been found in the recent past. If you are off the beaten path and spot something metallic, please take extreme care – make a note where it is and report it to the forestry commission when you get off the range. Do not take anything home. Someone found an incendiary bomb and took it home, not knowing it could easily burn their house down!