Details of this full stage of London Green Belt Way are below. This is just a short note for those walking the 8.45 miles from Ripley to Walton Bridge for WOKING & SAM BEARE HOSPICES. You can download a map of the 8.45 mile Charity Walk at THIS LINK and for route details of the Charity Walk CLICK HERE.
Stage 21 - East Clandon to Walton Bridge (12.45 miles)
Start: Grid Reference TQ0579251542 Post Code GU4 7RL StreetMap.
If you just want to print out the "Route" instructions of stage 21 of this walk,
without all the blurb on the website, you can download this as a
Word Docx by clicking on the link.
If you just want to print out the "Route" instructions of stage 21 of this walk, without all the blurb on the website, you can download this as a Word Docx by clicking on the link.
We pass thru' the picturesque village of East Clandon, then thru' the Ryde
Estate where we join the Fox Way and stay with it for almost 3 miles to Walsham
Lock. Along lanes past Ockham to the historic village of Ripley. We follow a
Green then turn left to join the River Wey Navigation at Walsham
Lock. We follow the Wey, mainly surrounded by green open space and pasture,
thru' West Byfleet, New Haw, Addlestone and Weybridge to Thames Lock. Our route
then joins the Desborough Cut to finish on the River Thames at Walton Bridge .
Start on Old Epsom Road, next to a pedestrian gap in the hedgerow from the busy
A246. Go east along Old Epsom Road using LHS pavement.
At T-junction turn left into The Street.
At this point, as there is no pavement, it's probably safer to cross over and walk on the RHS. Follow "The Street" as it turns left to enter East Clandon village, and then right in front of the Queens Head Pub. After another 120 yards, and immediately past the church, turn left into Ripley Road.
derives from the Anglo-Saxon
meaning clear down, or open downland. People settled here where the porous chalk
Manor itself, which is thought to have been placed close to where Hatchlands now
is, was moated since violent times in the early 1300s."
Today East Clandon is a sleepy
The Queens Head
pub dates from the 17th Century and was a former coaching inn. The
road down the side of the pub is
is on the east edge of the village. In 1749 it was bought by
Admiral Edward Boscawen
due to his aggressiveness in battle. He pulled down the old house which had
stood in the park for many years and in the 1750s commissioned architect
to build the one we see today. It has a naval theme running through its rooms,
with much of the interiors designed by Scottish architect
his first commission in
Because of its history and beauty, the whole village has been designated a conservation area - details can be downloaded at the Guildford Borough website. The East Clandon Website has been set up by the local community. It provides a wonderful insight into village life, gives details of many of its buildings and run down of the village's people and history.
On the right, 500 yards along
Follow Ripley Road for 0.85 miles to just under an old railway bridge (at 1 mile) - this carries the Guildford to Effingham Junction line.
Immediately after the bridge turn right onto a bridleway parallel and below the railway. After 130 yards follow this as it turns left, uphill and away from the railway. Within a short distance at a Y-junction of bridleways stay left to continue uphill and into the woods. For the next 1.8 miles the path is easy to follow as it goes almost in a straight line. However, I will give some notes below so as you don't get confused.
Continue straight through the woods (Humphreys Copse) crossing straight over a lane after 400 yards. In another 150 yards the path comes out onto a wide track / lane. Veer right to follow the track - this should be quite obvious as to the left the track is signed "Private". Follow the track as it continues between trees for 550 yards.
At intervals, on the left, you will see strange looking obstacles sticking up from the ground. I can only assume they are some type of ventilation shafts.
A short distance to the left through the trees is
It was originally an
On reaching a lane, cross straight over and go through the gate on the opposite
side. A direction marker on a post shows we have joined
The Fox Way
is a 39 mile circular walk round
We have now entered the
Ryde Farm Estate.
It covers almost 2,000 acres, making it one of the largest in
On continuing through the estate, the sides of the path open out into fields and you get a good view of the surrounding countryside. We pass a large scaffold structure used for clay pigeon shooting, Ryde Farm with its sprawl of buildings and sports pitches is off to our left and just before going back onto road we pass an old quaint cottage with an impressive wicker summer house in its garden.
Having previously left
At 3 miles the path comes out through a kissing gate onto a road. Turn left
along the road towards Ripley (along
At the crossroads,
If you look carefully to the right, at the crossroads, and just left of
Ockham is also famous for William of Ockham who was born here around 1280. He was a Franciscan friar, a philosopher, theologian, and political writer. He is renowned for his "Occam's Razor" and remembered locally by a stained glass window in the medieval All Saints Church next to Ockham Park House.
Follow Rose Lane for half a mile when it then crosses over the A3 (London to Portsmouth road). Continue straight on along Rose Lane and into Ripley village.
On approaching the village centre, stay on the RHS of
Turn right along the High Street for about 35 yards to a pelican crossing (at 4 miles). Here turn left over the pelican crossing. At the other side turn left along the High Street for just a few yards, then turn right and behind Ripley Guitars.
On the right, just before entering the
A pro-celebrity cricket match, organised by David English of RSO Records and
rock star Eric Clapton, was held here in 1987. Many professional cricketers and
celebrities took part and the proceeds were given to charity. From this David
English founded the
Cricket Club which continues to organise matches all over the country and
abroad. To date they have raised over 12 million
for worthy causes and also sponsor the Bunbury's
School Cricket Festival. In August 2003 they returned to
is no stranger to Ripley. He was born secretly in the back bedroom of his
house at 1 Ripley Green on 30th March 1945. He was the illegitimate
son of Patricia Molly Clapton and Edward Walter Fryer, a 25 year old Canadian
soldier stationed nearby. His mother was only 16 at the time and his father
moved back to
On 20th March 1991 at 11am Eric's
4 year old son Conor tragically fell to his death from a high-rise apartment
Ripley has much history attached to it and many old buildings to see along its wide High Street and narrow side streets. St Mary Magdalen's dates from around 1160 AD and is believed to have been originally built by Augustinians on the site of an intended priory. However, a better site was found just over half a mile northeast of here next to the River Wey.
There are many old and historic buildings in the village. The Manor House opposite The Anchor Inn is a Dutch-gabled building dating from 1650. The Clock House Restaurant (previously "Michelin Star", Drake's restaurant) is in the old Georgian Clock House on the High Street.
Two sisters Annie and Harriet Dibble ran a tea shop at
The Anchor Inn,
a 25 mile cycle ride from
For centuries up to when the A3 bypass was built, the busy
The Talbot Inn on the High Street dates from 1453. It claims to be haunted, has a cosy bar and until recently had its own helicopter pad at the rear. A plaque on its front states that Lord Nelson has stayed here.
Ripley appears in HG Wells novel "The Wars of the Worlds", in which the Martians invade the earth. During another war, this time the Second World War, a blue plaque on the Old Pharmacy on the High Street (now Cellar Wines), unveiled in 2016, remembers where pharmacist Kenneth White pioneered civilian use penicillin.
There are many other buildings of note and historically listed in this pretty Surrey village. One even moved a quarter of a mile along the High Street. The Nat West Bank sat for years in the High Street, near to the entrance of the Green. It closed and was due to be demolished, but in 1992 was given to Send and Ripley History Society subject to its removal from the site. As you can see from the video, it was moved in one piece to its present position, near Ripley Village Hall, and in September 1993 was officially reopened, by Lord Forte of Ripley, as the Send and Ripley History Society Museum. As for the rest of the old buildings, I'll leave it to you to see them if you visit. To read more you can download a detailed history of Ripley from the Send & Ripley Historical Society.
as the centre of a community dates back to at least 1160 when St Mary Magdalen's
church was built here by the Augustine's.
Before this the area seems to have been a part of nearby Send which is recorded
and back to the Saxon period.
is just over half a mile north of the village and can be reached by .
Turner made two
of Newark Priory in the early 19th Century, this shows the priory as
it still looks today.
Newark Priory ruins
are now listed as a "Scheduled
It sits next to the River Wey on private land and is completely surrounded by
water, the far river being called the Abbey Stream. St Nicholas's
Church sits on the hill to the north above the priory. It was built around 1140
and is a fine example of a complete Norman church. Queen Mary Tudor tried to
re-establish Newark Priory, but under Elizabeth I the area (Pyrford - ford by a pear tree) reverted to being Crown
Property. Lady Elizabeth More, favourite lady in waiting to
A short way
In the 1220 Henry III granted Newark Priory the right to hold a fair on Ripley Green on the feast day of St Mary Magdalen (22nd June) each year. Although the priory was dissolved by Henry VIII in the 16th Century, the village fair ran interrupted until the outbreak of World War II. The fair was resurrected by the local Rotary Club and now takes place in the middle of July each year. There is also Ripley Farmers' Market which is usually held on the second Saturday of each month from 9am until 1pm on Ripley Green. It is a local farm and produce market with goods sold directly by their growers and producers. As you can see from this aerial video, the farmers' market is directly over the path we take across the green.
Ripley Green is just behind UK Guitars. It is one of the largest village greens in the country and has lots of interesting stories to tell.
Ripley Cricket Club
on Ripley Green is one of the oldest cricket pitches in the world and for over
250 years the game has been played here. The first game recorded here was in
1749. Since then there have been many famous matches here, including 22 Surrey
cricketers played here, including a bowler called
Born just down the road at Send in 1735 and by trade was a gardener, he became
the leading bowler in his day. Apparently, his name came from his awkward
looking build. At this time the lead bowler was allowed to choose where the
wickets were pitched. Lumpy was noted for choosing a wicket which suited his
type of bowling. A match played in 1775 at the Portsmouth Artillery Ground,
During the match he beat the great Hambledon batsman John Small three times with the ball going clean through the two stump wicket twice. As a result of his protest a meeting of the patrons of the game was held where it was decided to add a third (middle) stump. He died in 1821 and is buried in St Mary's Church at Walton-on-Thames which we pass through on stage 1 of our walk. At the time of his death it was not common place for a gardener to have a headstone placed on their grave. However, because of his sporting achievements he acquired one. It was broken in two, many years ago, but the top half with the inscription was re-laid and is still to be seen at the head of his grave at Walton.
The busy road
through Ripley from Guildford to
On reaching Ripley Green, join the path on the LHS of the road. Follow this path north northeast across the green, soon over a track and then with a line of trees to your LHS.
With children's playground to your right, take left-hand fork. After 200 yards the path comes out onto a narrow road with Dunsborough Park to the left. Stay left along this road, soon past Dunsborough Farm. After 300 yards turn left, and after another 200 yards (as main lane turns right) stay straight on along a footpath signed "The Fox Way".
After another 300 yards go straight on across a long footbridge over Walsham Weir, then turn right along the River Wey Navigation and past Walsham Lock.
was one of the first in the country to be canalised and some of the locks,
including Pyrford Lock retains its original mechanism. The section between Stoke
Mill and Sutton Green was first made navigable by
Sir Richard Weston,
The Wey rises
At Walsham Lock the river splits into two, the first channel is the old river, the second is the navigation. We cross the weir to follow the navigation east past the lock and the lock-keeper's house. The watercolour "Walsham Gates" by local artist David Drury captures the beauty and tranquility of the Wey. The gates at the lock are usually left open and only used in times of flood to lower the water level in the canal by forcing it to go over the weir.
Here we leave
as it turns left and west along the canal on its journey around
As we follow
the towpath north you will see many small communities housed in longboats along
its banks. Within a short distance, to the left, across the canal is
To the right of the towpath and just through the trees for the next 850 yards is one of the UK's most exclusive golf courses, The Wisley. There are public footpaths leading onto the course if you wish to take a peek.
A mile after joining the Wey Navigation we pass Pyrford Lock, then cross over road and go straight on along towpath with River Wey Navigation to your LHS and The Anchor pub to your RHS.
The Anchor pub sits in a beautiful setting and has a large
public car park hidden in the trees. It overlooks
the canal, the little road
bridge over it and the large
basin with its scores of longboats. The entrance to the marina is a short
distance to the left, along the road. Half a mile along the road to the right is
the village of
and the entrance to the world famous
Royal Horticultural Gardens.
As well as The Wisley, two other golf clubs,
also border on the area around the lock .
After another 1000 yards go straight on past Dodds Bridge to your LHS.
550 yards later stay on the towpath under Murray’s Bridge and avoiding the lane going off to the RHS.
The lane to the right leads to a bridge over the M25 and onto Byfleet village. The path over Murray's Bridge, to the left, leads to West Hall. The hall was once home to the Murray family who give their name to the bridge and the lane which were built to connect the hall to Byfleet Church. It was also home to Frederick Cornelius Stoop, Dutch born businessman and local benefactor. Stoop made his money in oil and was influential in the area building many properties, including local sports facilities and Byfleet Village Hall. Both his sons played rugby for England. The older one, Adrian Dura Stoop (1883 - 1957) was a lifelong member of Harlequins and captained England many times. Harlequins Rugby Club home ground was named "The Stoop Memorial Ground" in his honour, and in 2005 renamed the Twickenham Stoop, although everyone just calls it "The Stoop".
Almost half a
Follow path as it turns right behind a boatyard and comes out to road / parking area. Turn left to cross parking area and then left again along the pavement on the RHS of the road. On approaching a bridge over the canal turn right, through a metal kissing gate (at 7.3 miles), and down onto canal towpath going north with canal now to your LHS.
This small dead-end, peaceful road with its old bridge over the Wey Navigation, its boathouse (Byfleet Boat Club) and small basin is now named the Old Parvis Road and the small landing place below is Parvis Wharf. The road has been cut off from its other half, to the east, by the building of the M25. However, even with two main roads encroaching, it is a beautiful and somewhat hidden place. The boathouse was one of two built on either side of the canal, both financed by Cornelius Stoop. The one we see today was the smaller one and was for the working-class people of Byfleet. The larger one has been converted to a private dwelling.
For the next
half mile, the M25 is no more than a stone's
throw to our right. You can just hear but can't
see the traffic as trees buffer the sound and hide the motorway. Across the
canal to our left, gardens of houses of a large private estate,
After half a mile follow the towpath under railway and then under a footbridge over the canal.
The canal arm
coming in from the left is the
a footbridge crosses over to join its towpath on its way to
heads, the rail bridge carries the
Within just a short distance a huge viaduct looms above our heads and carries the M25 over the towpath and the canal, and thankfully away from us for the last time. Soon it passes Heathrow, but encircles London and eventually finds its way back to here.
Less than a
quarter of a mile east, as the crow flies, is
Byfleet & New Haw Railway
and just past it is
home of British motor racing. Brooklands was the idea of
1926), a British entrepreneur and motor enthusiast. He built it on his own land
and also completely financed it. When opened in 1907 it was the world's first
purpose-built motor-racing circuit. It later became a home of aviation and is
steeped in history of flight and motor sport. Today there are many businesses
based at Brooklands and until recently a Sunday Market was held on the old
runway. However, many stretches of the famous banked track still remain and
There are many
stories about people associated with Brooklands and some of the you can read in
the links. One however I feel is worth a mention here.
John Granville Grenfell was born in
In October 2006, Mercedes-Benz World was opened next to Brooklands Museum, near the north side of the old track. It has a visitor's centre, five car race courses built on the area of the old runway and a hotel.
Brooklands was only used to race car up to the outbreak of World War II in 1939. It was then used by the military as an airfield when some of the embanked race circuit had to be removed.
In August 2009,
seventy years after the last race around Brooklands, Top Gear presenter James
May, in the 4th episode of his BBC2
May's Toy Stories"
recreated the 2.75 mile Brooklands'
Circuit using a
track. Once again two cars, an Aston Martin DBS and a Mercedes-Benz McLaren
(although miniatures and not full size) competed against each other. It took
over 20,000 pieces of track, used 350 volunteers to complete, had many obstacles
to overcome and set a Guinness World Record. You can read more about it on the
website and even watch clips from the programme by following the link to
(link missing) The link to
has the main parts of the programme.
Half a mile later go straight on past New Haw Lock to your LHS and soon up to the road. Cross straight over (with care) and back down onto towpath (at 8.5 miles) - the canal is still to your LHS.
New Haw Lock
is very picturesque, with the old
of 1780 and a community of boats lining the bank of the canal on the approach.
Two of the original barges, built for the Wey by the Stevens family of
The towpath continues along the right bank of the canal and after another 0.8 miles stay straight on past Coxes Lock and Mill to the LHS.
dominates the area and retains many of its original features. It used for the
iron industry till 1829, then later as a flour mill, and now converted to
flats. This is one of the best examples of industrial architecture in
This area sits
on the eastern edge of the town of
In the centre of the town next to a large council estate is the local police station. It was where the Guildford Four were originally taken after their arrest and interrogated by the police over the Guildford Bombings of 1974 which killed five people and injured a further 65. They were all found guilty and imprisoned. Many people believed the convictions to be unsafe and after much campaigning, in 1989 and fifteen years later, their convictions we reversed and all four were set free.
If you take time to divert from the route to Addlestone you can find more information about the town on Wikipedia and on the Addlestone Community website.
A short walk past the Coxes Mill and on the opposite bank is The Pelican pub, built c1892 when it was only licensed to sell beer. It looks inviting with its beer garden overlooking the canal, unfortunately there is no footbridge.
Just after Coxes Lock, we pass under the railway. Then after 630 yards follow towpath left over Black Boy Bridge, then turn right staying on the narrow towpath - now with Wey Navigation to your RHS.
Black Boy Bridge is named after an imposing statue that once stood nearby, and is known technically as a "turnover bridge" as the towpath crosses to the opposite bank. The old bridge which stood here had much of its original structure replaced by concrete, to take the heavy load of lorries carrying gravel from the nearby pit. However, the pit has now been filled and the land returned to the use of agriculture. To our left, as we cross the bridge is Weybridge Business Park with its modern office blocks and factories. From a photo, taken from the bridge, you can see the community of boats, with the modern industrial blocks next to them and popping their square heads up above the trees. In contrast The Old Round House to the left just after the bridge is a more pleasant site.
From Black Boy Bridge to Weybridge Town Lock the towpath follows a very narrow path and you will notice the canal is higher than the adjacent Addlestone Road.
On approaching Weybridge Lock, the path veers left to the road. On reaching the road, cross straight over and turn right along the pavement and past the entrance to Weystone Road. Then just before the bridge, turn left, past National Trust sign, and down a metal ramp and back down onto the River Wey Path (at 10 miles). Follow the towpath north, with the river still to your RHS and new town houses to your left, and soon under a large red brick bridge.
The three arched iron bridge, just past the lock, dates from 1865 and it is here that the canal rejoins the natural course of the Wey. This is on the western edge of Weybridge town. There are records of a ford in this area from as early as 675 when its lands were owned by Chertsey Abbey and it was referred to as 'Waigebrugge'. The current metal bridge replaced older ones dating back to at least 1235 and these give the town its name.
widens to form a large pool between the older iron and the newer red brick
bridges and is called Town Wharf Pool. Many years ago, when horses still pulled
barges along the Wey, this was one of the most difficult locks to negotiate. The
horse would have to be detached and escorted over the road, then down the
slanted, turreted metal steps and back to the canal. The barges would come out
of the lock and hazardously negotiate the old metal bridge. The flow of the
river was taken down the strangely shaped L-bend ("the
still present here, to give a slower flow, not cause currents and help the boats
back to their horses. On the corner, just past the metal bridge, is an old
vertical pole, the old
which was used to stop the ropes snagging. The wide pool between the bridges was
a very busy place for barges unloading and loading on their way up and down the
canal. It was a place where they could turn and go back in the direction the
came from. The products they carried were flour, cement, timber, and after the
First World War, the metal of many planes which were decommissioned from the
nearby Brooklands Airfield. After 1920 the traffic on the river decreased
greatly and in the 1990
The pool has
such a peaceful atmosphere and yet seems so busy, with the lock, the two
channels merging, the
bridges and the different age housing developments. However, they all blending
in with each other to make a beautiful setting. The larger and newer bridge is
built of red brick and was completed after World War II. It carries the busy
A317 to Addlestone and
The town of Weybridge, which we are now passing through, with its centre about 100 yards to our right, but very accessible, retains a lot of its old character. Weybridge became more fashionable after Henry VIII built Oatlands Palace in 1539 for his bridge to be, Anne of Cleeves. However, Henry didn't find his new bride at all attractive and the marriage only lasted for a very short time. Many of the stones used in building the palace came from Chertsey Abbey which fell into ruins after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Just over six months later Henry married his 5th wife, Catherine Howard at Oatlands - she also didn't last long. After his death the palace continued to be used by some of his successors including Queen Mary, Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I. King Charles I was imprisoned here in 1647 and was later executed in 1649. After his execution the palace was demolished and all that remained was a single house. However, this was later extended and became Oatlands House. Today the Oatlands Park Hotel sits on the site. The hotel's website does have a well-researched history section.
on Monument Green commemorates
Frederica, Duchess of York
- 1820). It
was originally erected in 1694 at Seven Dials, the convergence of seven streets
poor, suppress the mournful sigh,
Her spirit is with Christ on High,
In those bright realms of heavenly peace,
Where charity shall never cease,
Her deeds of mercy and of love,
Are registered in courts above.
Another side has a dedication to the Duchess on it:
This column was erected by the inhabitants of Weybridge and its vicinity on the 6th day of August 1822, by voluntary contribution in token of their sincere esteem and regard for Her Late Royal Highness The Most Excellent and Illustrious Frederica Charlotte Ulrica Catherina, Duchess of York. Who resided for upwards of thirty years at Oatlands, in this parish, exercising every Christian virtue, and died, universally regretted, on the 6th day of August 1820.
As for her husband Prince Frederick, Duke of York, he is not so fondly remembered as we all know him through the nursery rhyme:
The grand old Duke of
He had ten thousand men.
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again.
And when they were up, they were up.
And when they were down, they were down.
And when they were only halfway up,
They were neither up nor down.
The "Dial Stone" became neglected and for a while was used at one time as a mounting block for horse riders. It was then moved to the old Weybridge Council Offices and finally placed next to Weybridge Library, where it still can be seen.
Adjacent to the green is the Ship Hotel a former coaching inn, which maintains its 17th Century facade. On the other side of the green, on the front of one of the houses, is a blue plaque stating E. M. Forster (1879 - 1970) lived and worked there. This was his mother's home, with whom he lived between 1904 and 1925. The books he wrote here include "A Room with a View" (1908), "Howard's End" (1910) and "A Passage to India" (1924).
Portmore Park backs onto the Wey Navigation and was once a stately home with extensive gardens. It was built in the late 1670s for Henry Howard, 6th Duke of Norfolk by architect William Talman. After the Duke's death his widow sold it to King James II in 1688 who gave it to his mistress Catherine Sedley, Countess of Dorchester. It is said that James spent his last night in England at the house after he was forced to abdicate to William III and Queen Mary and before his exile to France. Catherine went on to marry David Colyear, a soldier under William. The king honoured him for his service by making him the 1st Earl of Portmore on 1703. It is from the Earl that this area gets its name. He went onto buy a large number of shares in the Wey Navigation and for many years the navigation was controlled by himself and his descendants. However, the 3rd Earl let the house fall into ruin and it was demolished in 1822. All that remains of the grand house and gardens are the large gate piers on the west entrance to Portmore Park Road.
With all its royal connections, Weybridge continues to be a fashionable place to live. There are many private and gated estates here including the very exclusive St Georges Hill. Through the years local residents have included John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Tom Jones, Cliff Richard, and many others such as Premiership footballers and TV personalities.
The final stretch along the Wey is peaceful and wooded. To our left through the trees is the exclusive Hamm Court Estate built on what was the old Manor of Hamm Court and across the river to our right is the Portmore Park Estate, a housing development built in the 1890s. Some of its many dwellings have secluded gardens backing onto the river with small boats and old boathouses along the riverbank.
To find out
more information on Weybridge, visit
The All about Weybridge Website.
You can also read about this short stretch of the Wey from Weybridge Town Lock
to Thames Lock at "The
At 10.5 miles you cross a footbridge over a weir.
The main river
channel goes off to our right and within a short distance and at 10.5 miles we
cross a footbridge over a weir which allows another relief channel to go off to
our left. In theory we are now following the towpath along a very narrow island
and across the river to our right is another island called The Bull Dogs (or
At 10.7 miles, just past Thames Lock, turn right over a steep metal footbridge and veer left along a wide path. Then stay right at fork, keeping a metal fence to your LHS.
It is at
where we leave the Wey Navigation and just before it joins the River Thames. On
one side of the lock, housed in what used to be old stables for barge horses, is
a small visitor's
centre which provides lots of history and other information on the navigation.
Just past this and off to our left is
Weybridge Rowing Club.
On the other side is the
lock-keepers cottage. It was built in 1765 and rebuilt retaining its
original form in 1975 by the National Trust. To the right of the cottage is what
was formally Weybridge Wharf
and Mill which have now been demolished and replaced with flats, designed to
resemble the older buildings. A mill has stood on this place since at least
1693. Beside the flats another relief channel separates
The path leads out
onto narrow road. Cross straight over and onto enclosed path through trees and
soon over footbridge.
This long metal footbridge takes us over the main River Wey stream and off Whittet's Ait and leads to a narrow road (Church Walk).
left along a road and soon
straight on along
path between houses.
The last building on the left, just before going onto the path between houses, was home to the "Weybridge Electric Supply Company" (see news article). According to Weybridge Society:
"1890 - 1st February - Weybridge town became the first in England to be wholly lit by electricity - the old generating station was in Church Walk. It was built in 1890 by the Weybridge Electric Supply Company for lighting the streets but closed after six years because overhead lines were not popular, and the local authority decided to go over to gas."
After another 100 yards, cross straight over a road onto footpath / alley between houses. This leads to the car park of the Old Crown pub. Go straight on through the car park then turn left along the pavement staying on LHS of Thames Street (at 11 miles).
The weather boarded The Old Crown public house dates from the 17th century. It was known as The Crown until 1832 and afterwards as The Old Crown. It is believed to have been used by bargees working on the nearby Wey Navigation. It has a pleasant riverside garden overlooking the Wey as it enters the Thames and has been run by the same family for three generations.
We soon pass The Minnow public house (previously named The Lincoln Arms). It is inviting and has a large patio garden at its front overlooking a boatyard where The River Wey meets the River Thames plus a new development of residences and workshops on Whittet's Ait.
Where the road turns right, go left into a small riverside car park and go straight through onto a footpath with the River Thames on your LHS.
a lot going on around this small public car park (see
link). The River Thames in front
of us and many channels going off in different directions. To our immediate left
is the River Wey, rejoining after splitting around a small island. Just right of
this a sign points to the start of the Wey Navigation, next is the Thames
meandering off around
To the right of the island is Shepperton Weir with a footbridge over it,
As we continue along the towpath we soon pass Weybridge Ladies Amateur Rowing Club on our right followed by some steps down to the riverside on our left. Next to the steps you can see a metal bell; its purpose is to call the ferry from the opposite bank. A ferry has crossed the Thames here since the reign of Henry VI in the 15th century. Services stopped around 1960, but have been introduced again since 1986.
The Shepperton Ferry is for pedestrians and cyclists. It runs every fifteen minutes from 9am to 6pm during the week, and between 10am and 6pm on Sundays (April - Sept), plus slightly shorter hours between October and March. The fare at the time of writing is 2.50 single or 4 pounds return. For further information see the ferry website.
Soon we pass
to our left. Is joined to the riverbank by a footbridge. A large gate on the
bridge makes it plain that visitors are not welcome. It is named after
Savoy Theatre and producer of
Gilbert and Sullivan
Operas. He bought the island 1887 and built a
large house on it with a
footbridge across to the mainland. He used it as a country residence and bought
some extra land on the riverbank next to it. In 1896 he planned to convert the
house to a hotel but was refused a license to sell alcohol. Within three years
he built and opened another hotel on The Strand in
distance past the island, as the main river channel disappears to our left, we
continue straight on along the
cut in 1930 it shortens the journey down the river by over a mile and formed
The island is one of the largest on the Thames and covers an area of 44
hectares. Access is provided from
Read more about the Desborough Cut and the Thames in this area at Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide.
towpath soon passes under a road bridge
to the island. Then after 0.6 miles under a second road bridge
to the island.
At the end of the Desborough Cut and shortly before reaching Walton Bridge, the main stream of the river joins from the left. The open area between here and just after Walton Bridge is known as Cowey Sale and has connections with Julius Caesar.
12.45 Finish on the towpath, just before Walton Bridge.
The finish area next to the bridge and the river is very pleasant. There are public toilets, a small cafe with an outdoor seating area, a large car park and places to picnic. The centre of Walton-on-Thames, with it shops and inviting pubs, is just a short walk away.
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