Mum and I decided to follow another route from a book of local walks. This time it was a walk to Chertsey (on the other side of the river) and back.


Once across Staines Bridge we walked along The Hythe (an old road with picturesque pubs) until it ran out and we were decanted onto the main road. Almost immediately we crossed into a housing estate, looking out for a footpath on the left. There was some concern we might not find it, because I don't think the estate was there when the book was written. But it was there.

Ex-gravel pit

According to the book, we would now be walking alongside a gravel pit. Instead there was a field. Possibly they filled the land back in, which might explain the bridge we found.

Dangerous field.
1/15 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO400 51°25′21″N 0°31′28″W
The bridge is awaiting refurbishment...
1/30 at f5.6, 23mm, ISO400 51°25′21″N 0°31′28″W
...but refurbishment does not appear imminent.
1/30 at f8, 23mm, ISO400 51°25′20″N 0°31′26″W

Despite the warnings, we walked across the bridge. It's a bridge over nothing; there's a lake to one side (presumably part of the gravel pit they let fill with water), but only ground beneath.

The wooden base is somewhat rotten so we stepped on the parts that rest directly on steel support beams, thereby avoiding the risk of a lethal metre-high fall. The 'alternative route', incidentally, is a footpath in the field directly to one side.

To Chertsey

Continuing, we reached a field that has a name I can't remember and is dedicated to somebody or other. Apparently it is a wildflower meadow, if you don't turn up in the middle of winter.

1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO400 51°25′16″N 0°31′17″W

After we read the next direction from the walk book, the search for Green Lane began.

Bridge over stream.
1/15 at f4, 23mm, ISO400 51°25′9″N 0°31′19″W

We followed paths through scrubland, not really knowing which way was correct, until we reached a tall fence blocking the way to an industrial estate. Oops.

After retracing our steps we did eventually find Green Lane, which starts off looking pretty much what you would imagine from the name, but becomes a normal tarmac road (lined with slightly random houses) as you get closer to Chertsey Lane (the main road).

We had to walk along Chertsey Lane for a mile or so until we reached the Thorpe Park roundabout. The theme park was closed for the winter. (By the way, it was originally built on the site of yet more gravel workings.)

There we turned off along the road beside Penton Hook marina.

Opposite one of the marina gates.
1/60 at f4, 23mm, ISO400 51°24′29″N 0°30′14″W

Next, through an estate of not-very-mobile homes, then across Chertsey golf course. Nobody was playing golf, possibly because dusk was beginning to set in.

We took a break on an iron bench by the riverbank, near the clubhouse. It was at this point that a group of men walked past carrying a large black sofa. Hmm.

One of the benches. In honour of somebody's coronation, 1902.
1/30 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO400 51°24′18″N 0°29′36″W
Killer gate.
1/15 at f2, 23mm, ISO800 51°24′17″N 0°29′35″W

Ferry Lane, now just a footpath and somewhat lacking in ferry, took us away from the river again, alongside a small reservoir and waterworks then onto a bridge over the M3.


Across the motorway, we passed farm buildings to reach Chertsey centre just as it was getting dark.

Swans near the farm. No cheating - they really were almost spookily bright.
1/30 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO800 51°23′40″N 0°30′3″W
Fully tooled up alleyway (streetlight, CCTV, something else that might be an infrared illuminator).
1/15 at f2, 23mm, ISO800 51°23′35″N 0°30′9″W
Chertsey church with Christmas decorations.
1/30 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO800 51°23′32″N 0°30′13″W
'Heritage' road sign, nice building in background.
1/30 at f2, 23mm, ISO1600 51°23′32″N 0°30′13″W

Back home

Somehow there seems to be an approximately infinite distance between Chertsey town centre and Chertsey Bridge, but we made it in the end.

The rest of our walk was fairly familiar - just following the Thames back to Staines. Familiarity was particularly helpful for the stretches in total darkness.

M3 bridge.
1/4 at f2, 23mm, ISO1600 51°23′37″N 0°29′9″W
Pool of light on a speed bump; reflections across the river.
1/15 at f2, 23mm, ISO1600 51°23′45″N 0°29′11″W
Fence around of a block of riverside flats in Staines.
1/8 at f2, 23mm, ISO1600 51°25′18″N 0°30′38″W

That's it! Thanks for looking.

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.