This is an interesting walk through Bushy Park to Hampton Court Bridge and then following the rivers Mole and Ember to Molesey Heath. The walk continues through Field Common and West End Common to end in beautiful woods beyond Esher. There is then the option to visit the National Trust gardens at Claremont or continuing to Oxshott. Waterproof footwear is strongly advised.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D) From Teddington Station, leave Teddington station via platform 1 & turn left down Victoria Road. Turn right at the T junction then 1st left into Avenue Gardens. Cross the road and enter Bushy Park via Teddington Gate & follow the path to the left of Chestnut Avenue towards the Diana fountain. Leave the park through Hampton Court Palace Gate which lies just beyond the Diana fountain and cross the A309 by the pedestrian crossing to enter Hampton Court Gardens by the Lion Gate. Turn right to follow the sign to Tiltyard Café with the maze on your right. Turn 2nd left then right through a doorway in a brick wall, the Tiltyard Restaurant is to your right. Turn left and continue on through an archway to the front of the Palace. Turn right down the drive to the main gate. Turn left over Hampton Court Bridge to reach Hampton Court station & the R68 bus terminus.
(1) From Hampton Court station & the R68 bus terminus, cross the A309 immediately outside the station and turn left towards a BP garage. Very shortly you cross the River Mole, where its confluence with the River Ember makes a dramatic picture. 50m further on, turn right down a pathway through white barriers & between high wooden fences, then over a bridge into Molember Road. This bears left and emerges at the end, 400m, between 2 pillars into Summer Road.
(2) Turn right up to a busy main road, and sharp right again over a bridge across the Mole, cross the road at the island and bear right though a small garden towards the old police station. Turn left down Walton Road (B369) and follow it for about 250 m , crossing over Matham Road and turn left into Matham Road, (it is a horseshoe) and then right into St Mary’s Road in front of St. Mary's church. This road leads into Bell Road. Pass the Bell Inn (1550) famous for its weirdly crooked architecture, and the early 19th century terrace of houses. Bell Road then bears right past another two old houses, the Old Manor House and Quillets Royal (1530).
(3) At the end of the road (facing the entrance gates of no. 30) turn sharp left onto a bridle path. The path crosses the Mole at Tanners Bridge bends right, then take the left fork which leads to the Ember. The clinker path continues alongside the Ember for 150m, passing a concrete bridge, then swings away from the river just before a padlocked high gate, and continues around several bends with playing fields on the right and the bank of the Island Barn Reservoir sometimes visible on the left. The path runs at first between fences, later hedges. Ignore all paths to the left keeping the playing fields on your right. When the path bears left into a meadow with a playground on the right and houses beyond, follow it diagonally across to a bridge with brick pillars. Cross the bridge, turn left and follow the track beside the Mole at the back of houses. When the path crosses a road at a concrete bridge, continue ahead on the track, signposted Molesey Road which, after 100 m, goes between concrete posts.
(4) When the track ends at a road, turn left across the brick bridge and go through a pedestrian swing gate to Molesey Heath Open Space. Take the path ahead and almost immediately fork right with the 3 bar, wooden Moseley Heath Local Nature Reserve sign on your left. Take the right fork after 120m & after a further 10m take the fork right heading slightly uphill. Keep left at the top and head towards a barrier in front. Climb the steps up the bank, from which there are views in all directions and follow the path ahead, keeping along the edge of the escarpment with flooded gravel pits below on the right. Some 350m further on, descend the steps on the right and turn left. Follow this path across the access to the gravel workings through a broken metal gate to reach an asphalt track fenced with wire netting on the further side. Turn left, signposted Hersham and follow this almost to the gates of a caravan site. Just before the gate take the footpath on the right between 2 tree stumps. The path runs between high wire fences.
The path leads to the Mole near a concrete bridge. Turn right on the wide track beside the river.
(5) After another concrete bridge and flood control system on the left, continue on the rough track opposite through a brick archway under the railway. The path beyond runs between fences and the view is totally rural. Grey herons, green woodpeckers, jays, magpies, kestrels, lapwings and many small birds are often seen along this stretch. Follow the path for 150m and just where it bears left, a white building with a green roof comes into view on the ridge on the left. Below it, almost hidden in the trees, is a 15th century red brick building built by Bishop Wayneflete as a gateway to the old manor house of Esher. It is usually called Wolsey's Tower, because the fallen cardinal rested in the manor house before continuing to Richmond. The path continues between fences with an open field on the left and a golf course on the right.
(6) At the end of the 3rd field and immediately after passing through a broken metal gate turn sharp left at a footpath sign. Follow a line of five oak trees and keep on this path until you pass between an old farmhouse & farm buildings, (the house dates from 1650), now South Weylands Equestrian Centre. Turn sharp right at the brick wall and follow the main drive to the road, looking back from the drive for another view of Wolsey's Tower across the meadow.
(7) Cross over the A244 road and turn left. After crossing the Mole by the Albany Bridge, turn sharp right into the West End recreation ground. Cross this diagonally, keeping the football posts on your left and the cricket pitch on your right, head for the far left corner of the park and a white sign in front of a gap in the hedges. The path emerges at Garson Close which leads onto Garson Road. West End Common is ahead with its picturesque pond and Prince of Wales public house on the left. Garson Farm shop is to the right.
Option 1 Claremont Gardens – shortcut – 1km (0.5 miles)
At this point, if you are short of time, a quicker way to Claremont Gardens (but missing the dramatic view from '”The Ledges”) is as follows:-Turn right along the edge of the common towards the woods, then left in front of the tree-line. After 50m take the path on your right into the woodland which goes between wooden rails. Keep ahead on the gravel path, across one intersection. After 400m the path bears left over a stream, goes up a few steps and through a wooden barrier. Immediately after take the broader path bearing right and after 60m take the grassy path on your left, which ends at West End Lane Car Park.
(8) Beyond the car park turn right up to the main road. The bus stop is to the left and opposite it is the entrance to Claremont Landscape Garden. This is the earliest surviving English landscape garden, started before 1720. (A)
Option 2 Claremont Gardens – scenic route – 3km (2 miles)
The main walk continues by turning right, passing Garson’s Farm Shop, and continuing on the road to where it bends right with a house ahead. Here take the path going half-left through a narrow belt of trees for 200m to a T junction with an information board. Turn left and follow this path for 400m until you reach a fork. Take the path on the right and follow it to a little knoll with a seat, a view back over farmland and a steep drop down to a small lake below.
Turn left here and the broad track climbs gradually, along the edge of the escarpment with a wooden fence on your right and dramatic views through the trees and the River Mole glinting far below, “The Ledges”.
Continue past 3 benches on your left. At the 4th bench by a post marked The Ledges, (300m), take the track heading left into the woods. (If you reach the end of the wooden fence on your right and / or the pylons you have gone too far, retrace your steps and turn right.) After 100m turn left at the cross roads, (2 tree stumps stand either side of the path ahead). 100m further take the path left at a low mound with 4 trees. Follow the path downhill and turn right at a tee junction with a bench. The path bends left then left again & shortly after passing another bench on your left veer right and keep on the broader gravel track which leads to West End Lane Car Park.
(8) Beyond the car park turn right up to the main road. The bus stop is to the left and opposite it is the entrance to Claremont Landscape Garden. This is the earliest surviving English landscape garden, started before 1720.(A)
Option 3 Oxshott Station
Turn right at West End Common, past Garson’s Farm Shop, and continue on the road to where it bends right with a house ahead. Here take the path going half-left through a narrow belt of trees for 200m to a T junction with an information board. Turn left and follow this path for 400m until you reach a fork. Take the path on the right and follow it to a little knoll with a seat, a view back over farmland and a steep drop down to a small lake below.
Take the path heading down the steps to the Mole and follow the river until the sign post bearing left to the car park. At the top of the hill / steps, turn left & shortly after bear right when the path forks. Keep ahead on this path for 350m ignoring several paths to the right or left and take the path heading right 50m before a car park, which emerges at the A307. (If you miss the turning and arrive at the car park, turn right along the road for 50m).
Cross the road by the bus stop to a lay-by at the other side and follow the path ahead, which crosses one intersection with wooden barriers either side to reach Black Pond. Follow the path as it bears left then right to the A3. Cross the bridge and turn left towards Oxshott Heath. Keep ahead at the next sign post then after 50m take the path left signposted Oxshott Heath.
Follow this path for about 1km until you come to a T-junction with a 3 pointed finger post. Turn left and after 150m take the path into the woods on your right. Follow the path when it bends right & left over a wooden plank bridge until you read Sandy Lane Car Park.
Cross the road and take the path ahead still through the woods. Keep ahead until you reach the sandpit and then follow the path right around the rim until you reach the far side. Turn right on the path by the post with a white arrow and follow this path until you emerge at the war memorial. Turn right and after 100m take the stepped path down to a finger post. Turn left and the keep ahead at a blank information board down a narrow alley to reach Oxshott station.
D : km 0 - alt. 11m - Teddington Station
1 : km 2.99 - alt. 10m - Hampton Court station & the R68 bus terminus
2 : km 3.84 - alt. 10m - Esher Road
3 : km 4.62 - alt. 12m - Bridle path
4 : km 7.22 - alt. 13m - Fieldcommon Lane
5 : km 8.51 - alt. 12m - Concrete bridge
6 : km 9.3 - alt. 15m - 3rd field
7 : km 9.9 - alt. 15m - A244
8 : km 13.04 - alt. 26m - Car park
A : km 13.25 - alt. 37m - Bus stop
Teddington Station TW11 0BB; TQ 15911 70812 is operated by South West Trains from Waterloo and is in Travelcard Zone 6.
Hampton Court Station & R68 bus terminus KT8 9AE; TQ 15265 68387 is operated by South West Trains from Waterloo and is in Travelcard Zone 6.
Car Park: By the Diana Statue & Fountain in Bushy Park.
Claremont Landscape Gardens KT10 9JG; TQ 12693 63166; is owned by the National Trust for opening times & prices please see https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/claremo... landscape-garden The nearest public transport is the 515 Guildford to Kingston bus for the timetable please see http://www.londonbusroutes.net/times/515...
Oxshott Station KT22 0TA; TQ 14030 61026 is operated by South West Trains from Waterloo and lies outside Oystercard & Freedom Pass zones, Surbiton is the closest station within these zones.
Refreshments: Pub and farm shop cafe at West End common, cafe at Claremont Gardens, various options in Oxshott town.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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