Based largely on the trackbed of the former railway line through the New Forest, the Castleman Trailway is a clever play on words! This section, near the former Ashley Heath Halt, can be used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
The original railway was known as Castleman’s Corkscrew, named after the Wimborne solicitor who promoted the route. At the time, Bournemouth was only a minor village, so the Southampton and Dorchester railway took a circuitous route through the New Forest instead.
The line closed in the 1960s (although some parts remained open for freight for a while). Because of the largely rural nature of the route, large parts still remained. Throughout the forest, there are many reminders of the old line.
Long stretches have now been made into the Castleman Trailway, including this section at Ashley Heath. I have memories of a family trip blackberrying at this location in the early 1970s. The halt was still very much in evidence.
Although I had a quick look today, I could see no evidence of the concrete platform of the halt I remember as a child. However, researching Castleman Trailway for the blog, it appears part of the platform and a station sign are still extant. I shall have to return another day when I have more time for a closer look. Note to self: Internet on phone – use it whilst at the location!
- Taken: 19 Apr 2017
- Camera: Canon 5D MkIII
- Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm 1:2.8 L II USM
- Focal Length 70mm
- 1/60 Sec
- ISO 100