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Shepperton and Desborough Island

There are currently 2 comments and 2 photos online for this walk.

Shepperton and Desborough Island
Author: pubwalker, Published: 21 Aug 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Shepperton Wine Bar and Grill and Desborough Islandstar1 Shepperton Wine Bar and Grill and Desborough Islandstar1 Shepperton Wine Bar and Grill and Desborough Islandstar1 Shepperton Wine Bar and Grill and Desborough Islandstar1 Shepperton Wine Bar and Grill and Desborough Island
Surrey, Spelthorne
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Shepperton and Desborough Island
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot Shepperton Wine Bar and Grill and Desborough Island boot Shepperton Wine Bar and Grill and Desborough Island
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A 4.5 mile circular walk from Shepperton in Surrey. The walking route is a perfect outing for all the family with something for everyone. There’s a ferry ride, peaceful river side paths, sandy beaches, beautiful woodland and the hustle and bustle of the streets in this corner of Surrey.

The walk includes a short trip on a pedestrian ferry. This runs every 15 minutes (on the quarter hour) from 8am weekdays, from 9am on Saturdays and from 10am on Sundays with the last ferry at 5.30pm each day. The cost is £2 for adults, £1 for children and dogs travel free (correct August 2016). The walk follows a mixture of tarmac pavements and stone/dirt woodland and riverside paths. The latter, whilst generally well made, can get a little muddy in winter and after long periods of rain. The route is almost entirely flat and there are no stiles or gates, just a number of flights of steps. Allow 2 hours, plus extra time to wait for the ferry.

Shepperton is situated between Chertsey and Sunbury-on-Thames in Surrey. The walk starts and finishes on Chertsey Road at Church Square. There is a small free car park in Church Square. If this is full, there is also a pay and display car park (Manor Park car park) a little further east along the main road. Approximate post code TW17 9JY.

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Walk Sections

Start to Ferry Crossing
Start to Ferry Crossing

Start point: 51.3882 lat, -0.4543 long
End point: 51.3827 lat, -0.4569 long

Standing in Church Square car park, facing the road, turn left along the road and follow it as it swings right. You’ll pass the pretty Rose and Chestnut cottages on the left, and then the impressive large Millbrook House.

A little further along, turn left into Ferry Lane signed as the Thames Path (the acorn symbol is the designation for a long distance path). Follow the long wide pavement down Ferry Lane, passing the entrance to Desborough Sailing Club on the left. The path is a shared footpath and cycleway so take care of any bikes along the way. At the bottom of the lane you’ll pass a marine chandlery shop. Fork left here down the jetty signed for the Thames Valley Cycle Route Pedestrian and Cycle Ferry.

Ferry Crossing to Desborough Island
Ferry Crossing to Desborough Island

Start point: 51.3827 lat, -0.4569 long
End point: 51.3832 lat, -0.4501 long

The ferry runs on the quarter hour – wait until the next designated crossing time and then ring the bell to ensure the ferryman knows you are waiting. Pay your fares and you will be taken over to the opposite bank of the Thames. This pedestrian ferry has been running here since the 1500s. The ferry was the scene of one of the encounters between the protagonist and the Martians in H. G. Wells' famous novel The War of the Worlds. A Martian is destroyed by a direct hit from an artillery shell, and its comrades use their heat rays to wreak vengeance on the fleeing crowds waiting to cross the ferry.

On the opposite bank, climb the steps from the ferry and turn left along the gravel path signed as the Thames Path, with the river on the left. On the left you’ll pass a private footbridge leading to a private island with Eyot House. Continue until you reach a stone bridge passing overhead. Fork right here up the flight of steps, turn left at the top and cross the bridge enjoying the views along the river each side. A few paces later, fork left, signed as a public footpath, to join the stone path which is the beginning of your circuit around Desborough Island.

Desborough Island to Walton Bridge
Desborough Island to Walton Bridge

Start point: 51.3832 lat, -0.4501 long
End point: 51.3869 lat, -0.4298 long

Follow the stone path passing under the branches of old oak trees, with the water immediately on the left. Keep left at any forks, sticking to the path closest to the river on the left and follow the path for some distance.

Desborough Island was formed in the 1930s by the digging of a cut to create a straight section of river to shorten the river distance between Weybridge and Walton. The island sits between this new cut of water on the south and the original meandering river to the north. It is uninhabited, being mainly open space, playing fields and water treatment facilities. There are plenty of small sandy bays on the left along the way – perfect for a doggy (or human) paddle. During the second half of the circuit you’ll pass a large cricket and rugby ground on the right.

You’ll emerge out to a T-junction with a tarmac lane. Turn left with the fenced banks of a reservoir on the right. Further along on the right you’ll pass the beautifully ornate brick-built waterworks building dating from 1905. Just beyond this you’ll come to another T-junction with the converted pump house opposite. Turn left and follow the lane ahead and cross the bridge back over the river. Before you reach the main road ahead, turn left down the concrete steps and keep ahead to rejoin the Thames Path with the river on the left.

Further along, the path runs immediately alongside the Walton Lane on the right. Keep ahead to reach Walton Bridge. (Note: Until Spring 2014 there are major roadworks at Walton Bridge and you’ll need to follow a signed diversion on the path. Turn right to cross the road and follow the path swinging through the parkland opposite and passing under Walton Bridge. Beyond the bridge, fork sharp left up the slope to reach Walton Bridge and turn right to cross it.)

Walton Bridge to Russell Road
Walton Bridge to Russell Road

Start point: 51.3869 lat, -0.4298 long
End point: 51.3903 lat, -0.4419 long

Cross over Walton Bridge. This latest design of road bridge was opened in July 2013 and has no piers in the river, enhancing the views down the river and improving navigation for boats. The previous bridge which sits alongside should be fully dismantled and removed by Spring 2014.

After crossing the bridge, take the first road on the left, Walton Lane. (Note: During the construction work you will need to stay on the right-hand side of the main road, walk beyond the turning into Walton Lane, then cross over and walk back to reach this side road.)

Follow Walton Lane winding round several bends, ignoring the footpaths signed off to the right. Towards the end of the lane you’ll pass a number of impressive gated properties sitting behind tall walls. As you approach the mini-roundabout, fork left on the tarmac path across a small green to reach a T-junction with Russell Road.

Russell Road to End
Russell Road to End

Start point: 51.3903 lat, -0.4419 long
End point: 51.3887 lat, -0.4542 long

Cross over and turn left along the pavement, with the river visible over to the left. Cross over the side road, Manygate Lane, and ignore the footpaths signed off to the left. Follow the main road, passing Hallyford School on the right and cross over the side road called Wadham Close.

Keep ahead along Russell Road, crossing the side road called Thamesfield Mews, and continue only until the end of the greensward (the grass verge on your left). Turn left at this point, crossing over the main road and passing through a low wooden fence, then immediately take the right-hand stone path down the slope to a wooden bridge. Cross the bridge and turn right down the wooden slope.

A few paces later turn left again, signed for the Thames Path. This path emerges to a small car park – turn sharp left through the car park to join the next section of the woodland path, with a cricket pitch to the right. Keep ahead over a wooden sleeper bridge and keep straight ahead along a wide grassy ride. At the end, swing right and right again to join the woodland path with the river now on the left.

The woodland path finally emerges into Manor Park car park (the overflow parking area mentioned in the introduction of this walk). Go ahead through the vehicle exit and turn left along the pavement. Continue for a few hundred yards to reach Church Square where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author pubwalker and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "Shepperton and Desborough Island"

This is a nice walk. Parking in the Manor Park car park is now £1.50, so you may want to start the walk at Cowey Sale, where parking is plentiful and free.

The instructions are mostly very clear. However, in the section 4-5 Russell Road to End, the paragraph starting "Pass Willow House" is now completely wrong. I suggest replacing it by something along the lines of:

After crossing the side road called "Thamesfield Mews", continue along Russell Road until the end of the greensward. Cross over the main road and pass through a low wooden fence, immediately taking the right hand stone path down the slope to a wooden bridge. Cross the bridge and turn right down the wooden slope.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Thank you for the update cdyer26, we really appreciate that our customers help to keep the walks up to date, we couldn't do it without you! The walking guide has been updated so that everyone has the latest information.

By cdyer26 on 2016-07-04 10:22:17

Walked in August 2016. The ferry gates are still correct at 29.8.16. The ferry is operated by the adjacent chandlers store Nauticalua, and on our visit it crossed to pick us up right away, no waiting. Further on the path around Desborough Island is good until you reach the point opposite the start of the walk, then runs through the main field until you reach the north east point, at which the woodland path is easy to follow again from Meadow Point. There is an interesting white post there - see my pic and your Laleham walk for explanation. Further on Walton Bridge is complete and two routes may be followed to cross it- we preferred to pass under the bridge and as we did so, to pick up a curving cycle/pedestrian track right that takes you right up onto the bridge. Equally good is just to bear right and follow the near side footway, which avoids the road crossing after the bridge. Last, everyone you'll meet on this walk has a dog!

By loftyc on 2016-08-29 17:46:23

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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2 images to "Shepperton and Desborough Island"

2434_0loftyc1472489229 Shepperton Wine Bar and Grill and Desborough Island Image by: loftyc
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
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2434_0loftyc1472489240-1 Shepperton Wine Bar and Grill and Desborough Island Image by: loftyc
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
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