Monday, 26 November 2012

London Loop- Banstead Downs to Kingston Bridge 23rd September 2012

Myself and my friend set off for Banstead Station, on reaching Victoria we were told no trains were going to Banstead today due to planned engineering works.You can tell the Olympics are over,train companies and TFL are happy to go back to inconveniencing  travellers every weekend!! So we got a train to East Ewell nearby to Banstead.
On leaving East Ewell we took a wrong exit and walked around in a huge circle,a quick look at the guide book showed we would be missing out on the Banstead downs and a load of road walking. So I decided I would do the Downs on the next section and joined the Loop in East Ewell.

So after some road walking we enter Warren Farm a 53 acre property given to The Woodland Trust in 1994 after long arguments about turning it into a housing development. Nice to see another piece of Green London saved.

Warren Farm
Dan reading about stick n flick. No one likes to see discarded dog waste bags. We are trying to encourage people to use 'stick and flick' in the forest, If your dog fouls the path in the forest please use a stick to remove the waste from the path into the undergrowth where it can break down naturally. If your dog fouls near the information centre, carparks or other sensitive areas we ask you pick up the waste and use the normal waste bins provided.

Now we follow a few concrete paths into Non Such Park.  It is the last surviving part of the Little Park of Nonsuch, a deer hunting park established by Henry VIII of England surrounding the former Nonsuch Palace. The western regions of the larger adjacent Great Park of Nonsuch, became known as Worcester Park after the 4th Earl of Worcester was appointed Keeper of the Great Park in 1606.

Non Such Park

It was raining light and not too uncomfortable for the time being. We continue through the Park and into some woods where it was a little more sheltered from the weather.As you walk through the woods there are marker stones that mark where The Nonsuch palace once stood.

We exit the wood to see the low brick walls that enclose a grassy platform which was once the banqueting hall of the Tudor Nonsuch Palace.This is all that remains on the Palace.
 Nonsuch Palace was a Tudor royal palace, built by Henry VIII in Surrey, England; it stood from 1538 to 1682–3.

Henry VIII never saw the Palace completed and Elizabeth I made more use of it. Henry VIII had the village of Cuddington destroyed to make way for the palace,and the Warren Farm were once worked by the medieval villagers.

We now walk down the hill,down to steps to cross the busy A24.Then we walk on a path beside some houses that leads out onto Church Street.

I walk past the early Victorian Ewell Castle which is now a school.

Opposite is the parish church St Marys, that stands amongst trees but all I can see is a tower,the rest of the medieval church is gone.Replaced by a church built in 1848 further along the churchyard.
A little further along is Well House built around c1700.Final home of Arthur and Margaret Glyn 1902-1946.He was a banker and also represented the City of London and Coventry in Parliament.

Another amazing home on Church Road
Church Road
At the end of Church Road we crossed over to grab a few snacks from a shop before continuing right towards Bourne Hall Park.

We now reach the grand entrance to Bourne Hall Park.This is what remains of the 1770s mansion.

As we enter the park by a lake,we can also see a library,museum and coffee bar that looks like a flying saucer has landed.

Bourne Hall Park
We now exit the park and cross a road and I take a picture looking back into Bourne Hall Park.

Now we are on another path and the rain is getting a lot heavier. We now follow the Hogsmill river.

We follow the path along and under a old railway bridge and duck under the pipe crossing the path shortly after.

 Now we turn right across some grass and follow the Hogsmill river again.
Hogsmill River
A little further up we saw wild parakeets flying about,then we come across some stepping stones in the Hogsmill. We didn't need to cross these as the path continues onwards,but the child in us said differently and we just had to have a go!

We cross the river a few times via means of bridges before leaving for a bit of road walking. It is doing this period of road walking that we lose the Loop. due to not being able to use the guide due to high winds and torrential rain and having to walk with our heads down. So we either missed the loop signs or there weren't any! So we walked on and end up near Worcester Park Station. We follow road signs towards Kingston and eventually cross the A3 via a subway. By now I was very wet,miserable and disheartened.Why won't this bloody rain let up for a bit! We pass Fulhams FC Academy and by looking on google maps I see we can rejoin the Loop after crossing a footbridge.
Now after crossing the bridge we are back on track. A short walk through some open ground and we are back onto road walking walking towards Berrylands Station.
We walk down Chiltern drive and past Berryland station,through the tunnel and onto Lower Marsh Lane and past the sewage works. We walk past the Cocoanut Pub. Is this misspelt deliberately or a mistake?

We eventually enter Kingston, where we lose the Loop again!! But after a bit we are back on track.

We come across Kingston's Guildhall.

We cross the road to Clattern Bridge.

Now after seeing The Hogsmill River rise from the springs in Ewell, we see the river reach its end where it joins the Thames.
 The end of todays Route ,Kingston Bridge.
But we seemed to have missed the Coronation stone,that I really wanted to see. So after a bit of walking about ,following Dans Navigation skills still no luck. I had a look and saw it is in the car park of The Guildhall. So we walked back to there.

The coronation Stone is where seven Saxon Kings were crowned. Starting in the year 900 with
Beyond the Guildhall is the Medieval market place of Kingston and its busy shopping centre.
Italianate Market hall of 1840,fronted by a gilded statue of Queen Anne rescued from an earlier town hall.

We now made our way to Kingston Train station, there was a bit of a wait for a train so we had a drink in Costa Coffee ( A hot chocolate with cream for me and a Cinnamon Latte for Dan). Much needed to try and warm us up.After a few trains changes and shivering on platforms we were home. A very wet and cold 12.2 miles in total.I spent the next day ironing my guidebook trying to dry it out!