Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day 6:Hampton Court Bridge to Shepperton (Section 2)

Section 2 of Day 6

Hampton Court Bridge to Shepperton

Leaving Hampton Court Palace behind I need to cross Hampton Court bridge as the next stage of the walk continues along the South bank of the river.

This area on the South side became known as Mulesley when  the survey of 1086 took place and it was noted that there was a community of about 200 living here including 'villeins and serfs'. During Henry VIII's reign the manor of Moulsey and its land became part of Hampton Court to provide more accessible  hunting ground for the King. It wasn't until the Victorian times that this area was known as Molesey as it is now called.

Molesley lock was built in 1815 in an area prone to shallow water. In times of drought some of the heavier barges couldn't travel down the Thames for weeks. It is the second longest on the river.

A number of islands can now be seen  between the two banks of the river. The largest of the islands has some very impressive houseboats there.

Opposite Tagg's island is the Molesley boat club.

The pathway veers away from the riverside briefly and into Hurst Park, once part of Hurst Park racecourse.

In the distance you can just get a glimpse of Sunbury Court built around 1770.

Then the tower of Hampton Church comes into view.

This beautiful church was built in 1831.

If you want to cross the river at this point you need to summon the ferry by ringing the bell. If you look below the sign to the right you can see the bell.

The other picture shows the motorised ferry
coming across to collect someone. The cost of a trip across is £1.30.

The walk now follows the riverside all the way to the next bridge.

Water lilies are becoming more abundant the further upstream I walk and the river, no longer affected by the tide, is much clearer. Many small fish can be seen swimming around the moored boats.

On the other side of this decorative stone balustrade is a reservoir.

The next lock is Sunbury where a barge is just making its way through.


The bridge ahead goes over onto one of the many Thames islands.

Here is a kissing gate in need of a little repair.

A very welcome sight on a hot day. I couldn't resist a sit down and cool drink whilst listening to the sound of the water passing over the weir.

I liked the look of the deck chairs outside this pub but I had only just stopped at the last one so time to press on.

It was just a short walk  from the marina  to Walton Bridge which was the end of my walk for today.

A new road bridge has been built here but the old one is still in place which was the one I needed to cross, to walk the mile to the nearest rail station in Shepperton.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day 6 Teddington to Shepperton

Section 1 Teddington Lock to Hampton Court Palace

Today I am walking from Teddington station to Shepperton station a distance of 12.5 miles

Walking from Teddington station to the path I couln't help but think about my student days. For my final year at college I lived above this shop. I shared with two other girls and my room was the second window from the left on the second floor. It was OK until the ceiling of the kitchen fell in! Anyway on to the path for Day 6 of my walk. The High street in Teddington leads you down to the lock.

It was at Teddington Lock in 1940 that a flotilla of small boats gathered downstream of the lock ready to be used in the evacuation of Dunkirk. Between May 26th and June 4th of that year a range of naval vessels, fishing boats, pleasure boats and any other civilian ship that was serviceable rescued  over 300,000 British, French and Belgium troops from the beaches around the French seaport of Dunkirk. 

This is the weir which regulates the flow of water.

I have now crossed the bridge over the weir and the lock and so this is the view from the other side of the weir.


Steven's eyot named after the boatman who had the only house on this piece of marshland. Nowadays the Boatman's Inn stands in its place.

This looks like an old boating club but I couldn't find any information about it.

Canbury gardens which runs alongside the river.

A rower just getting ready to go out. I can't believe how narrow the boats are that they row.

Dragon boat racing. The teams look as though they are on a team building day out!

 The  rower glides smoothly through the water making it look effortless.

Some large elegant properties on the other side.

Wild sweet peas clinging to the rails.
There was no mistaking the heavy scent of the honeysuckle that was entwined around the metal railings.

Turks Pier where the passenger ferries stop.

The elegant stone arches of Kingston Bridge.

This is where the Thames path crosses to the North side of the river. Although there is a path on the south side, it only goes as far as Surbiton and you can't cross the river there.
View from Kingston Bridge. As I cross the river I am going from the London borough of Kingston upon Thames to the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. There are 32 boroughs altogether of which 20 are in inner London. Kingston and Richmond are both outer London Boroughs.
After leaving  the flat I shared in Teddington in 1974, I moved to another one in Hampton Wick not too far from this bridge.

The roadway takes you down to Barge walk and this walkway follows the long curve of the river  for the next 3 miles.

This side of the river is quite rural as on the other side of the pathway is Home Park golf course which eventually leads to Hampton Court Park. All along the path are these railings giving the walker views of the park.

In the middle of the river is the small island called Raven's Ait. Can only assume it got the name from ravens living on the island.

There are benches all along this stretch giving ample opportunities for a rest.

The map shows how the river curves around Hampton Court Park and Home Park

This gate takes you away from the river and into the park.

The Pavilion.
 The only surviving one of four garden pavilions, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, built in the grounds of Hampton Court palace in the last couple of years of William III's reign, before he died in 1702. In February 2012 this was on the market for £10 million - a real bargain.

People still arrive by boat to visit the Palace or by bicycle.

These are the Tijou screens, twelve iron gates each with a different design of birds, flowers and heraldic shields.

This is the first view you get of Hampton Court when you approach from this side. This is where the royal barge carrying Henry VIII would stop so he could enter the Palace from the river.

Around the bend is Hampton Court Bridge.

Hampton Court is the largest palace in England. It was the property of Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York but Henry VIII took over ownership in 1528 and added hundreds of rooms as well as tennis courts and gardens.
These magnificent chimney pots have such intricate designs.

What better place for a lunch stop than here in the rose garden.