Saturday, August 3, 2013

Day 7: Shepperton to Windsor

Section 1
Shepperton to Staines
My plan today is to walk the 15 miles from Shepperton to Windsor.
I timed the trains well and arrived in Shepperton by mid morning. It was a long walk from the rail station to the river and unfortunately the public toilets were out of order. I noticed the village hall was open so I popped in there and 4 ladies were playing badminton. There was a toilet just off the hall  but they wouldn't let me use it as I wasn't from the village! So much for a welcome to Shepperton.





To get to the river, I had to walk through the old village and had a peep inside St Nicholas Church. It was built from flint rubble in 1614.



This bench in the churchyard had a magnificent view of this backwater known as the Silent Pool.
Lovely restaurant in the old square but not yet open.

There was a small boat club near the old village with lots of sailing boats moored alongside. 



Finally I was back on the path once more.


Shepperton Lock. Every lock I have seen always has such a neat, well kept garden. Luckily for me this one  also had a public toilet!






Just beyond the lock was this very welcoming public house but as I had only been walking for less than an hour I couldn't really stop.


This is Dog's Ait or Pharoah island - a private island with numerous bungalows built over it. The bungalows depend on boat links to this bank as you can see from the postbox and bell which you ring if you need to be collected.



Great mailbox for a house on the island.





Maybe they've just noticed the postman is coming.

Lots of wild flowers growing by the riverbank.




I met these two lovely sisters from Melbourne who were walking the Thames Path in the other direction. We had a long chat. They had already been walking for hours as they were staying at hotels along the route. They couldn't believe how hot it is, here at the moment, and have been out  buying tee shirts and shorts.

Some more elegant properties lining the route.



Chertsey Bridge, a stone structure consisting of 7 arches.

 Walking through one of the arches was quite different from others as the path was curved.
 An unusual painting adorned these houses.
 Chertsey Lock

 You can hear the roar of the traffic going over the next bridge before you actually see it. This is the M3 motorway between London and Southampton.


 It was another very hot day and I realised I needed to buy some more water so when I saw this lane I left the path to walk into a local village.







 Every village has a church and this was no exception. This is the church of All Saints and dates back to the 12th cent.
 Matthew Arnold the poet is buried here but I didn't find his grave.



 After buying some refreshments at the village shop I made my way back to the river.

Another boat repair yard. I have been staggered by the number of boat clubs I have seen whilst walking. Rowing and sailing on the Thames is far more popular than I had ever imagined.


Raw water means untreated water and I can only assume that this is one of the collection points where it is tested. In the summer, especially if it is particularly hot, they have to check for a particular type of algae which is poisonous. They then have to purify the water before it reaches the domestic water supplies. There are large reservoirs in this area providing water for London. A few years ago this particular algae was found in one of the main reservoirs so our water was cut off. We had to wait for water tankers to bring supplies and collect from them in whatever containers we could find. It went on for quite a few days so not an easy time for the elderly or those with large families.


You can see the large comb like piece of apparatus being lowered into the water to collect whatever is there.









This next lock is Penton Hook

Numerous swans on this part of the river.




The houses and the red brick church of St Peter tells me that I am approaching Staines.







In the distance is Staines railway Bridge with a brightly coloured train just going across.

 


This is a replica of the London Stone which dates from 1285. The stone marks the former limit of the jurisdiction of the city of London. In 1857 the city corporation handed over their rights with regard to the Thames to the Thames Conservators. It means that until this point the soil and bed of the river is  the interest of Thames Water Authority but from this point it falls to the various landowners. It also meant that fishing was free up to this stone whereas above it private fishing rights begin.






Before crossing Staines road Bridge it is time for a spot of lunch in a nearby inn!
 

9 comments:

  1. It just gets more interesting every day. Fancy meeting two sisters from Melbourne. Good for them. It sure looks like a great walk. How unkind of the Shepperton Ladies. I was bit worried for you there . I'm glad you found one. 15 miles is a long walk and you did it all before lunch. You are one fit lady.

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  2. What a river! is my thought as I continue to read about your river walk. Such diversity of use and purpose, of beauty and utility. And bah to those stingy ladies of Shepperton!

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  4. Yes, one uncharitable act and the whole world thinks badly of Shepperton, especially the Shepperton Ladies Badminton Club.

    I don't think we have white swans here. They are so beautiful.
    PS, I don't know the sisters.

    So many locks. I had no idea.

    PS, I don't know the ladies. There are only four million plus of us Melburnians, but they must have found it interesting that you had been here.

    Off to check the map now and see how far you have gone.

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    1. You need to see a flight of locks on a canal

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  5. I've met a few people walking the Thames path up at Kelmscott but like the ones you met they started at the source. Looks like your going for it but there are no trains after Oxford.

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  6. Another interesting day of walking. Too bad about the toilet. Not very friendly for sure.

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  7. what a great way to explore. So much to see and photogaph.

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  8. Interesting topic shown here, i am now working on it regularly here and would say keep the future posts like this...well done..
    Boat repairs Shepparton

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