This delightful route alongside the Thames begins at Kingston station, from which you follow the signs to Hampton Court. Then you are away from the traffic, following a riverside path through the grounds of one of Britain's great historic palaces. Out of the park, the route continues along the Thames in relative tranquillity as you leave the city further and further behind. You pass Lutyens' Hampton Court Bridge, the houseboats of Tagg's Island, and Hurst Park, a former racecourse. At Shepperton, you can either follow the southerly section of National Route 4 via Chertsey to Staines or take the Shepperton and Weybridge ferry across the Thames.
This route can be broken down into 3 sections which are detailed below.
Section 1: Kingston Station to the outskirts of Weybridge
Exit the station and keep right on the pavement to reach a shared-use path (narrow in places) that runs west parallel to the railway. In 350m bear left across two Toucan crossings and use a segregated path past Bentalls and onto a wide paved area used by pedestrians, cyclists and buses. Turn right by John Lewis store and you will see the bridge ahead. Go ahead for a few yards on a mixed traffic road and take the bridge cycle path on the left. Cross the bridge on the segregated path and turn left on the other side into Barge Walk alongside the river. You then have a lovely ride to Hampton Court passing various islands with Home Park on the right and in 3 miles arrive adjacent to Hampton Court Palace.
At the end of Barge, walk cross the busy road using the toucan crossing. Then go left over the bridge and then right to follow the river to Molesey Lock. There are toilets on the left by the lock and also a café. Continue on the towpath passing Molesey Rowing Club where Olympic oarsmen including Mathew Pinsent trained. Beside the boathouse, there is a Sustrans Artwork depicting a rowboat standing on its end. Next, you will see Molesey Cricket ground on the left. This is one of the oldest in the country and they now provide refreshments for passers-by. In 300yards there is a slipway. On the opposite side of the river, you can see Garrick’s Villa, home of the famous 18th-century actor, and also an elegant Houseboat. It accommodates a recording studio and is owned by Pink Floyd. Shortly you will see Hampton ferry. Pass by Sunbury lock and soon you will see The Weir Public House. This is a popular stopping point for cyclists seeking refreshment. A few miles on there are two more pubs, The Anglers and The Swan. The next landmark is the Walton Bridge opened in July 2013. Take the riverside path under the bridge and soon you will be following The Desborough Cut where you will reach the Ferry Crossing point. Take the ferry for section 2A or continue a few yards to the end of the towpath and follow section 2B.
Section 2A: Shepperton Ferry to Chertsey Lock
Cross the river on a ferry (£2.75 inc bike) and take the road away from the river on a segregated path and a quiet road to reach the B375 cross over and take the shared use pavement to Chertsey bridge. Immediately before the bridge turn right into Thames Side, a quiet road passing Chertsey Lock.
Section 2B: Walton Lane to Chertsey Lock
Just beyond the ferry the route leaves the towpath and joins Walton Lane (fairly quiet road). There is a good pub, The Old Crown, with riverside garden on the right. After a short distance turn right into Portmore Park Rd (residential road). At the end of this road join the A 317. It is best to dismount before the junction and get on to the right side pavement. Once alongside the 317 the pavement soon widens and is shared use. In about a mile, partly uphill, the path leaves the busy road (phew!) and in about 120 yards turn sharp right on to a traffic-free shared-use path that passes across the edge of Chertsey Meads. Follow signing to Chertsey bridge (B375). A few yards before this busy road there is a path to your right that takes you under the bridge and brings you to the correct side to cross the narrow bridge. If you are bold, take the centre of the lane so that vehicles cannot pass or dismount and use the very narrow footpath. Immediately after the bridge turn left onto Thames Side, a quiet road, to reach Chertsey Lock. The Kingfisher Pub sits on the corner. There is also a path under the bridge that takes you to the south side and Dumsey Meadow SSI. You cannot cycle here but it is a nice spot for a picnic.
Section 3: Chertsey Lock to Staines Riverside
From Chertsey Lock follow Thames Side under the M3 and alongside Laleham Park (good spot for a picnic). Laleham House, the family seat of Lord Lucan is behind the trees on your right…bonus points if you spot him! Pass Laleham campsite and continue. The way branches at several points - always adhere to the river. Soon you will arrive at Penton Hook Lock where there are toilets. There follows a residential stretch of river with very pleasant views. Continuing on the path will shortly bring you to a railway bridge. Go under the bridge on to a short section of cycle path by the A308. Pass Thames Lodge and then turn left to take you into a landscaped area by the river which you can then explore. There is a good choice of refreshments by the waterside and in the town.
Reaching Staines Train Station
To reach the station (circa 1 mile) return to the railway bridge a go back on the river path about 50 yards. There is a narrow landscaped area here. Dismount and make your way through the landscaped area to the parallel road. Cross over to Richmond Road (opposite). Cycle along Richmond Road. In 170 yards it turns right. Continue to the junction with Gresham Road. Turn left on Gresham Road and go straight over a mini-roundabout and in another 400 yds, you will see the station entrance on your left.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.
To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water, please ensure you follow the Towpath Code.