M3 Junction 3  Chobham  The Four Horseshoes  01276 857581    Back to M3

5 mins.  Take the A322 towards Lightwater.  Pass Lightwater and keep going until the roundabout junction with the A319.  Turn left, taking the A310 towards Chobham.  At a t-junction with Chobham High Street, turn left.  Stick with the road as it becomes Windsor Road.  The Four Horseshoes is on the left on the far side of the small  Burrow Hill Green.  Parking is at the back of the pub.

Food Served daily 12 - 2 and 6 - 10pm

A friendly pub with a small, but good vegetarian selection, though little for vegans.

In a lovely location, The Four Horseshoes makes a pleasant stop whether sitting outside in the summer, or in by the real fire in the winter.  The food here was very good.  We started with a rustic bread selection with olive oil and balsamic dip and the bread tasted just out of the oven.  We followed with a Roasted Tomato and Docelatte Chive Tart served with a mixed leaf salad, asparagus and new potatoes and a side order of chips.  The tart had a mild blue cheese flavour, complemented well by the salad.  The 'proper' chips were a good addition!

We visited on a Sunday when the vegetarian menu was limited to the tart, nachos or a cheddar and chutney sandwich, but there is more selection during the week including a goats cheese and vegetable stack.  Despite the quirky and welcoming charms of our waitresses, service was pretty slow, so perhaps best to visit when you have time to linger!

 

M3 Junction 3  Bracknell  The Look Out  01344 354400    Back to M3

2 mins. Take the A322 towards Bracknell and follow the road through several roundabouts for about a minute.  The Look Out is signposted and is on the left hand side of the road.

Food served every day 10am - 5pm

A cafe and picnic tables in an activity centre in Bracknell (or Swinley!) Forest.  Great for families with a good choice of basic vegetarian and vegan options.  Great walks through the forest for longer breaks.

The cafe offers a vegetable soup, jacket potatoes, veggie burger, pasta dish and sandwiches as well as a selection of snacks and homemade cakes.  The setting is rather basic, but the food, including a big bowl of filling homemade soup was good and nicely served.  The picnic benches are overlooking the play areas, so lots of opportunity for children to run around, and for adults wanting a longer break, there are plenty of well marked trails through the woods, which provide rather more peace and quiet!

 

M3 Junction 3  Light water  The Red Lion  01276 472236    Back to M3

1 min. Take the A322 signposted for Lightwater and almost immediately, take a right hand turn again signposted for Lightwater.  Follow this road for just over half a mile and The Red Lion is on the left.

Food served Every day 12 - 9pm

A nicely decorated pub with beer garden and small play area for children.  Very close to the junction, helpful staff and a choice of veggie and healthy food.

The town of Lightwater, despite the lovely name isn't terribly attractive, but the staff at the Red Lion make every effort to accommodate you and a similar effort is made with the food, which makes this a very welcome stop.  The blackboard menu offered two vegetarian pasta dishes when we were there, plus sandwiches and nachos on the bar snack menu.  The menu also stated 'Please ask at the bar if you cannot see what you want', so we asked for a jacket potato with beans and one was indeed served!  Both dishes came in sizeable portions with large, fresh mixed side salad and a small jug of what tasted like fresh dressing.  The lasagne also came with chips.  Unusually for a pub menu a bowl of olives was available and the other pasta option was a Stilton and Mushroom Bake.  The food was good and quickly served. 

 

M3 Junction 3  Light water  Lightwater Country Park  01276 479582    Back to M3

1 min. Take the A322 signposted for Lightwater and almost immediately, take a right hand turn again signposted for Lightwater.  Again almost immediately turn right at The Avenue, signposted for Lightwater Country Park.  Follow the residential road to the end to enter the park.  There are several places to park including outside the visitor centre and outside the Leisure Centre.

Visitor Centre open Apr - Sept Sunday 12 - 4.45pm or holiday periods Tue - Fri 12 - 5pm

An attractive 59 hectares of heathland, ponds and birch and pine woodlands with picnic tables, trails and hot drinks and ice cream available when the visitor centre is open.

If you've travelled on the M3 then you've probably driven right alongside this Country Park with its refreshing walks,  lovely views and plentiful wildlife.  The motorway makes the park rather noisy, but of course also makes it ideal as a motorway break.  The visitor centre has rather limited opening times but the facilities for picnicking are always there and there is a lounge bar in the leisure centre, although they weren't serving food when we visited.  The nearby town has shops, takeaways and a pub (see above).

The park has trails to follow, children's playground and trim trail for the more active.  The park and ponds are home to a variety of birds and other creatures, while the heathland is covered in broom, gorse, heather and a variety of seasonal flowers.  There are also occasional views of the surrounding countryside, including from the Heathland Trail, which features an energetic walk to the top of High Curley.

Information about the trails is available at:

http://www.surreyheath.gov.uk/surreyheath/tourism.nsf/webPages/trailguide.html

 

M3 Junction 5  North Warnborough  The Swan  01256 702727    Back to M3

3 mins.  Take the A287 towards Farnham.  After a minute, at the roundabout, take the right turn onto the B3349.  The Swan is on the right hand side of the road just before a hump back bridge.

Food served Mon - Sat 12.30 - 2.30pm, Mon - Thurs 7 - 9pm,Fri - Sat 7 - 9.30pm, Sun 12 - 2.30pm.

A friendly pub with attractive oak beams and a beer garden, children welcome.  A good choice of veggie and healthy food.  Garage with shop opposite.

The menu at the Swan is not extensive, but includes two vegetarian pasta dishes, jacket potatoes and sandwiches, and for really healthy eaters, fruit is sold by the piece (Banana, apple, pear).  There is also a full coffee menu.  The food is spot on and so is the service.  On our visit one of the pasta dishes wasn't available, so we were offered stuffed peppers instead.  Both meals were served with 3 chunks of garlic bread and a large side salad.  The cheese and broccoli bake had just the right proportions of sauce and vegetables and the stuffed peppers were cooked perfectly with a delicious filling.  The salads were also extremely good, fresh and with a good mix of ingredients.  We finished off with the naughty chocolate pudding which more than lived up to its name - a light chocolate sponge topped with a very rich chocolate sauce - and was mouth-wateringly good!

The Swan is next to a canal with a picturesque towpath.  About ten minutes walk along the towpath takes you to King John's castle, a 13th Century ruin, which is open to just walk around.  Well worth the effort, especially as the walk itself offers plenty of wildlife and a pretty stretch of waterway to see.