One of our favourite places, Ashclyst is part of the National Trust’s Killerton Estate. It’s hidden away but not hard to find off the B3181 from Exeter to Cullompton. After you pass through Broadclyst and pass the turning for Killerton House on your left you will enter Budlake, and the next right turn is signposted for Ashclyst Forest. You continue some way along this narrow lane, passing 2 left turns before you reach the main car park at Forest Gate. This car park is charged on a £2 donation basis with a secure box on the central green. There is a dog bin and an information board but no toilets or refreshments are available. There are clearly waymarked routes and we generally follow the short purple trail (2.4km) which starts and ends at the car park.
This route is fairly (off road) buggy friendly but there is one flight of shallow steps and one long steady incline on the way round. Approximately half way is a small collection of dens that can be modified, rebuilt, sheltered, hidden and snacked in and they provide a good motivation for little legs up that hill!
Ashclyst is a brilliant place to observe and experience the seasons. It has very satisfying puddles for splashing in after rain and deep leaves to swish through in autumn. (Ideas for activities and learning from sites like the Woodland Trust can be helpful.)