A walk in Staines-upon-Thames, part of which is easy access, taking in Lammas Lakes, Staines Moor, a short stretch of the River Thames and several smaller meadows that form an oasis for wildlife within the suburban area. This walk is published through a collaboration with Surrey County Council.
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/A) Leave the Lammas Recreation Ground car park via the vehicle entrance, cross the B376 with care and you will see the entrance gate for Church Lammas Lakes directly ahead. Pass through the enlarged kissing gate, noting the duck ornament adorning the gate post. Directly ahead you will find a viewing platform on the first pool (Ashby Pond) with a bench, as well as an information board giving more details about the lakes. Church Lammas Lakes are a former sand and gravel site that have been restored for wildlife and make a great site for bird watching. Standing facing the viewing platform, turn left and follow the path as it swings steadily right, with the water to your right. Soon you will be walking between two lakes, Ashby Pond on the right and the largest lake, Lammas Water, on your left. You will come to a junction in the path, turn right here for a small detour to reach a circular seat around a large tree, which makes a great bird watching spot for Ashby Pond. Keep your eyes peeled for a flash of blue over the water as the resident kingfisher patrols the area. When you have finished, return back to the main path and turn right to continue along this. Further along you will see a viewing platform for Lammas Water across to the left, accessible across the grass verge. This is the ideal spot for enjoying the water birds. The name Lammas probably comes from a saxon word, Loaf-Mass. To celebrate the harvest, farmers would bake a loaf of bread with the first cut corn which was blessed in a special service called a Loaf Mass. The area from which the corn was cut was given this name. Continue on the path with the upper half of Lammas Water on your left and the third lake, Moor House Pool, on your right. Moor House Pool has an island at its centre, creating a great sanctuary for the water birds. At the top of the lakes you will reach a fence ahead. If you are not restricted to the surfaced paths, you could explore the unmade paths that continue around the boundary of the lakes. However, for this easy access stretch, turn round and retrace your steps back along the surfaced path. As you draw level with the end of Moor House Pool on your left, you will see a grass path to the left. If the ground is firm enough it is worth taking a short detour on this, passing houses on the right to reach a bird hide, from where you can watch the wildlife without causing a disturbance.
(1) When you have finished at the hide, return back to the main path and turn left, continuing back towards the start point. Stay with the main path as it leads you past Ashby Pool on your left and then swings left to reach the entrance kissing gate. Leave the lakes via the kissing gate to reach the B376. This marks the end of the easy access section of the trail, so if you are restricted by this, cross over the road back into the car park. Before you leave, it is worth following the paths ahead through the recreation ground to see the facilities (crazy golf, playgrounds and bandstand) and to enjoy the River Thames frontage. For the main route, do not cross the road, instead turn left along the pavement (with the road running on your right). Follow this pavement passing horse paddocks on your left and St Mary's Church across to the right. Immediately beyond the paddocks, turn left into Vicarage Road and follow this passing Duncroft Manor on your right. Towards the end, you will pass the entrance gates for the Manor Park housing complex on your left. 50 metres later, just after the last house on the right, turn right onto the signed public footpath. Follow this path, staying close to the hedge line on your right. Keep straight ahead towards the road, cross over with care and go through the gate to take the public footpath directly ahead (signed to Stanwell Moor). Follow this stone track uphill between fences and it will lead you across the bridge over Wraysbury River and railway. The grass verges beneath this are another wildlife haven. Beyond the bridge, the track swings right running parallel with the A30 on your left. You will come to a gate ahead. Pass through this and turn immediately left to follow the path through the A30 underpass. You will come out to the edge of Staines Moor, by a kissing gate and information board.
(2) Staines Moor is an area of about 2 square kilometres of grassland with the River Colne running through its centre. The moor has been common land, with open access to the public, since 1065. The moor is still used for grazing animals and anyone is able to register to gain entitlement to graze stock here. Cattle and horses graze the grassland regularly and help to conserve the grassland for wildlife. Well over 300 types of plants and more than 130 types of birds have been recorded here as well as countless insects and small mammals. The area is well known for its skylarks which sing from high in the sky in the summer months. If you wish to extend the walk, you can do so by exploring Staines Moor. When you are ready to continue, go back through the A30 underpass and keep straight ahead through a kissing gate to enter a rough meadow. Follow the obvious grass embankment path and, as you approach the metal railings ahead, follow the grass track across the bridge over a water channel. Beyond the river bridge, the path bears left to reach a kissing gate. Pass through this and follow the narrow path, with a fence on your right, which leads you to a stile at the rail crossing. NOTE: This is a designated pedestrian crossing point but there are no signals so take good care to look and listen for trains before you cross. Cross the railway via the two stiles and then follow the surfaced path as it swings left with the railway to your left and Wraysbury River to your right. Further along, the path swings right still following the line of the river. You will emerge out to the end of a road, close to a retail outlet on the edge of Staines-upon-Thames town centre. Stay with the right-hand pavement which leads you onto a paved slope and across a wide bridge over Wraysbury River. Keep ahead and you will pass the Old Station building on your right and a sculpture denoting the former site of Pound Mill on your left.
(3) During the 1800s and early 1900s the mill here was used for milling mustard and was one of the main industries and employers in the town. The old Staines West railway station was built next to the mill in 1865, by converting the mill owner's house into a station building. The mill closed in the early 1900s and the station closed in 1965. The station building remains today (converted to offices) but the mill, platforms and rail lines were all demolished. You will come to a junction with the B376. Cross over with care and turn left along the pavement, passing the old mill cottages on your right. At the junction with traffic lights, stay with the right-hand pavement as it swings right into Hales Street. Take the first right turn into Church Street. Walk along the length of Church Street. Today the street houses a number of desirable residences but the names (such as Old Maltings) and dates (many from 1700s) of the buildings give clues as to its history. In fact, this is one of the oldest streets in the town and would once have been home to merchants associated with the mill. At the end of the road you will come to a T-junction with Vicarage Road, with St Mary's Church ahead and The Bells pub on your left, an ideal point to stop for refreshments.
(4) Cross over and turn left along the pavement, passing The Bells on your left. As the road swings right, you will draw alongside the River Thames on your left. Sitting within this stretch of the river is Church Island, a private island which houses a number of residences. Just beyond house number 153 on your right, cross over the road to enter Lammas Recreation Ground. There is a beautiful stretch of paved walkway with benches here, directly alongside the River Thames, should you wish to pause again and enjoy the views. In the 1900s people regularly swam in the Thames here, but local councillors worried that there was nowhere for people to change into appropriate bathing costumes. In 1922, John Ashby donated this land to provide a recreation ground and changing hut. From the entrance gate, fork right and follow the tarmac path which leads you towards the bandstand, passing the crazy golf course on your right. Just before the bandstand, keep right at the fork. Turn right at the T-junction and follow the main tarmac avenue back to the car park where the walk began.(D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 17m - Lammas Recreation Ground car park
1 : km 0.69 - alt. 18m - Hide
2 : km 2.03 - alt. 16m - A30
3 : km 2.68 - alt. 18m - Wraysbury Road
4 : km 3.03 - alt. 18m - The Bells
D/A : km 3.48 - alt. 17m - Lammas Recreation Ground car park
The first one mile stretch in Lammas Lakes forms an easy access route with only one enlarged kissing gate and surfaced paths, making it suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs, etc. For walkers looking for a longer outing, the walk can be extended (up to 5 miles) by exploring the full expanse of Staines Moor. The full route is almost entirely flat and you will need to negotiate a couple of kissing gates, some single gates, plus two stiles (both of which have open fence surrounds for dogs to pass through). You will need to cross the railway at a designated but unsignalled crossing point, so look and listen carefully for trains before you proceed at this point. Whilst most of the paths are firm, Staines Moor can be very muddy or waterlogged at times. Staines Moor has grazing cattle and horses, although the open access area is very large so it should be easy to give them a wide berth. Allow 1 hour for the main route plus extra time for stops and exploring Staines Moor.
There are public toilets available in Lammas Recreation Ground at the start of the walk and if you are looking for refreshments the route passes The Bells pub at the junction between Church Street and Vicarage Road (waypoint 4). Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 160 Windsor, Weybridge and Bracknell. This walk follows public footpaths and bridleways which cross private and public land. Information is included for your interest, but please respect people's privacy, keep dogs under control and remember the Countryside Code.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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