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|The Mute Swan and Bushy Park|
|Author: pubwalker, Published: 17 Nov 2013||Walk rating : Rating:|
|Surrey, Hampton Court|
|A 5 mile circular pub walk (can be shortened to 3.5 miles) from the Mute Swan at Hampton Court. The Mute Swan is beautifully located for lunch with family, friends or work colleagues, or a relaxing drink and a bite of supper after a busy day's exploring. The walking route follows a loop through the adjacent Bushy Park, the second largest of London’s Royal Parks. Enjoy the long tree-lined avenues, open parkland and the more formal water gardens plus meet the herds of fallow and red deer that roam freely within the park. |
The walk is almost entirely flat and there are no stiles or steps to negotiate, just one kissing gate (which can be avoided by using the adjacent vehicle gate) and a couple of gates into the water gardens. The paths are a mixture of tarmac and sand/stone surfaced path plus one section along a wide grass track. All the paths stay quite firm for most of the year. The park is open during daylight hours. The water gardens (which can be excluded from the walk if necessary) are closed on Mondays (except Bank Holiday weeks when they are open on Monday and closed on Tuesday). The park has free roaming red and fallow deer so take care with children and keep dogs under close control. The deer can become aggressive towards dogs in the rutting (Sep and Oct) and birthing (May to July) seasons, so the park authority recommend not taking dogs into the park at these times for your own safety. Allow 2 to 2.5 hours.
The walk starts and finishes from the Mute Swan pub on Palace Gate, Hampton Court, East Molesey, Surrey - directly opposite the Hampton Court Gates. Approximate post code KT8 9BN. If you are arriving by car there are a few pay and display bays (max stay 4 hours) directly outside the pub. Alternatively you can park in one of the free car parks within Bushy Park. If you are travelling by train the nearest station is Hampton Court which is just south of the river – come out of the station and cross over the river bridge where you’ll find the Mute Swan on the left hand side, before the roundabout.
|Start to Hampton Court Gate|
Start point: 51.4046 lat, -0.3422 long
Standing facing the Mute Swan, turn right along the pavement. Over to the right you’ll pass the entrance to Hampton Court Palace, a former palace of Henry VIII. The palace is famous for its hedge maze, planted in the 1690s for William III of Orange. The maze has featured in many novels including Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat.
|Hampton Court Gate to Brick Bridge|
Start point: 51.4067 lat, -0.3371 long
Cross right over the main entrance road and then fork left onto the stone path heading diagonally through trees. You will come to a T-junction with a tarmac path alongside the end of a section of canal. Turn left along the path and this will lead you to a T-junction with the main access road.
|Brick Bridge to Water Gardens|
Start point: 51.4121 lat, -0.346 long
Cross over the bridge and follow the main tarmac path as it swings slightly left, with a fence running on the left. You will pass the entrance to the woodland gardens on the left. Keep ahead on the path as it once again becomes stone/sand. At the next crossroads keep ahead once again, leaving behind the fence and following the path as it strikes out through an area of open parkland.
|Water Gardens to Chestnut Avenue|
Start point: 51.4227 lat, -0.3537 long
Go through the gate. Keep ahead for a few paces and you will come to a junction of paths with the water cascade to your left. Take a moment to enjoy this.
|Chestnut Avenue to Diana's Car Park|
Start point: 51.4169 lat, -0.3344 long
Cross over the road with care to take the tarmac path opposite. A few paces in, take the left-hand fork (signed to Hampton Wick Gate). You will pass a lodge property over to the right. About 100 yards later, fork right down the wide grass path heading diagonally through the bracken.
|Diana's Car Park to End|
Start point: 51.4119 lat, -0.3325 long
Do not enter the car park, instead fork left at this corner to join the stone path veering away from the parking area. Follow this path all the way to its end where you’ll reach a T-junction with a children’s play area ahead. Turn right along the tarmac path, continue beyond the play area and you’ll pass the end of a section of the canal.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author pubwalker and may not be reproduced without permission.
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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