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Banstead Station to Kingston Station

Kingston Bridge and a Flotilla of Swans to Welcome us back

The end of our 143 Mile walk, in 15 Sections, around London

March 2008

The London Loop Leg 15

Banstead Station to Kingston Station

Saturday, 29th March, 2008

The London Loop is a 140 mile walk around London and roughly just inside the M25 (although you do not see it) passing through as many green places as possible such as parks, woods, commons, riverside protected areas and open farmland.

The West Essex Ramblers covered this in about 10 mile stretches over the period 2006 to 2008.

We followed the path using "The London Loop" by David Sharp, ISBN1854107593, £13 rrp.

Click photos below for larger image

Click below for largest image as specified

Some commentary on the photos,

which is also a reflection on the walk

[Road information is just to help identify where we were].

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After we left the station we entered Banstead Downs Golf Course (Image 1) then joined the London Loop. The golf course was very wooded as shown by the tree lined path (Image 2). Unfortunately, there was a good deal of urban walking, although it was not unpleasant (Image 3). This is the modern St Paul's Church (Image 4).

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We went under a railway bridge into Warren Farm, now a Woodland Trust property. There are directions to everywhere here. To the left is Bourne Hall 1¼ mile; Kingston Bridge 8 mile; and Uxbridge Lock 28 mile!To the right is Banstead Downs 2¼ mile; Coulsdon 4 mile; and Petts Wood 31 mile!

However we remained local and went to 'Nonsuch Park'.

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Nonsuch Park is an open spacious area where Henry VIII's Nonsuch Palace once stood. Image 1 shows the more modern building of Nonsuch Mansion in the trees. It was built in Gothic style in 1804. We went along the main drive (Image 2) leaving it, temporarily, to view three obelisks (Image 3): the third obelisk is eclipsed by the distant second one. The map in Image 4 shows the position of the three obelisks, centred in the walls - see legend. The former Banqueting Hall (Image 5) was replaced with trees.

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We passed the Castle (Image 1) (now Ewell Castle Senior School) and later Glyn House (Image 3) (now Ewell Castle Junior School). Opposite the Castle is St Mary's Church Tower (Image 2) the only remains of the medieval church - a new church was a built nearby in the mid 19th century.

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Soon we reached the entrance to Bourne Hill Park (Image 1), there is a lake just inside the gates (Image 2). We took a drink break in Bourne Hall. The water outside of the park wall is part of the source of the river Hogsmill (Image 3).

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Opposite section 5, Image 3 and across the Chessington Road is the Upper Mill and mill pond (Image 1). We continued past the front of the mill (Image 2).

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We walked around a playing field (Image 1). After a railway, there were more green walks close to the river Hogshead (Image 2). To cross the railway, we used a walkway built over the river (Images 3 & 4), turning right on the other side.

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This was now a, green, river walk (Images 1 to 4) even though housing (virtually hidden) was close by on both sides. Stepping stones are just visible in Image 2.

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The information board about the Hogsmill area shows our route** from Chessington Road (by the mill) to the Hogsmill pub. It gives a very good account of the path and the historic background of the area.

** Section 5, image 3 to section 12, image 1 inclusive.

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Weeping willows by the path and river.

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There was more river (Images 1 & 2). [We went under the A240]. Then we came across the Surbiton Raceway Go-kart Track (Images 3 & 4) where there was a good race like atmosphere.

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We arrived, for lunch, at the Hogsmill pub (Image 1). We left the river in an urban area, passing the St John the Baptist church, Malden (Image 2). We returned to the river, went under a railway (Image 3) then continued along the Hogsmill (Image 4).

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Catkins (oops, a bit out of focus).

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This information board covers some of our route** - it calls it "The Hogsmill Valley Walk". It starts at the railway bridge (after the Hogsmill pub) and leads to the A3 and deals predominately with natural aspects.

** Section 12, image 3 to section 16, image 1 inclusive.

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I looked back towards this fine tree. Someone was reading the information board shown in section 14.

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We crossed the river heading SW along the road, then came to the north side of the A3 via a subway (Image 3). We headed back towards the river with the A3 on our right (Image 2). We turned left by the river, it was now on our right hand side. Image 3 shows the way we came and image 4 the view ahead.

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Just another tree.

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We crossed and left the river Hogshead at Surbiton Hill Park road (Image 1, I think). We then walked about a mile on roads until we crossed over the Hogshead again, this time at Villiers Road (Image 2). Soon we rejoined the river, then re-crossed to the south side. We continued past Springfield Road bridge. Images 3  and 4 were taken when I looked back down the river.

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Looking east, from the High Street, we saw not only the Guild Hall on the left, but also the Saxon Kings' Coronation Stone** enclosed in light blue wrought iron railings (Image 1). (Enlarged view in Image 2). A few steps away was Clattern Bridge (pre 1293) (Image 5). After an "infill" of fishes (Image 3), there is interesting information about the bridge on the plaque shown in Image 4.

**The names of the seven kings are written around the base. They were: Edward the Elder, Aethelstan, Edmund, Eadred, Edwy (A K A Eadwig), Edward the Martyr, and Aethelred. The stone was moved to its present position, after the Guildhall was built, in 1935.

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With Clattern Bridge behind us, we viewed Wadbrook Street bridge (Image 1), followed by the confluence of the Hogsmill and Thames (Image 2). Images 3 & 4 show our final approach to Kingston Bridge and the completion of 143 miles, in 15 sections, around the periphery of the outer London boroughs.

Words and Photography by

Harry Hawkins