A 4.8 mile walk from Godshill cricket ground car park across to Hampton Ridge, visiting some of the relics from its time as a bombing range in the 1940s, and returning, with a wander through Pitts Wood, along Ashley Walk.
It’s hard to believe now, but Ashley Walk was a bombing range in the 1940s. In fact, the largest bomb ever dropped on the British Isles fell just outside the south-east corner of Pitts Wood. Now, it’s an area of remote heath where rare birds nest and ponies graze undisturbed.
|Start/End||Godshill Cricket Ground Car Park|
|Godshill Cricket Ground||Cross the cricket ground and take the track over to Pitts Wood.|
|Pitts Wood||Skirt around the western end of Pitts Wood and then take the track up towards the high point of Hampton Ridge.|
|Hampton Ridge ascent||Take a track contouring around to the left and follow this around, over the cycle track and to the concrete ‘arrow’.|
|Target Marker||Large concrete arrow showing the way to a bombing target.|
|Hampton Ridge||Return to the cycle track and follow it east for half a mile.|
|Line Target||Turn up the dead-straight line target (made to give the bombing crews practice at hitting railway lines) towards the ‘submarine pen’.|
|Submarine Pen||Buried under the mound is a concrete bombing target – considered too difficult to break up and remove.|
|Pitts Wood||Take the left track into Pitts Wood and follow it as it loops around back to the Ashley Walk track.|
|Ashley Walk||Turn left out of the wood and follow the track back towards the Ashley Walk car park.|
|Ditchend Brook||Turn left, just over the brook, and take the track back up to the car park.|