Staines reservoirs


On Boxing Day, my parents and I went for a walk around one of the reservoirs in Staines (the town where they live).

On the way

We crossed the railway bridge and walked down Leacroft.

Abandoned house at the end of Leacroft. Tagger named after Windows file sharing protocol.
1/60 at f5.6, 23mm, ISO200 51°26′2″N 0°29′42″W

Passing underneath the bypass, we emerged onto Shortwood Common.

Path across the common.
1/125 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°26′5″N 0°29′40″W

Then across London Road.

Blue-pastel home of Ashford Heating Supplies (boarded up but still apparently in use).
1/125 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°26′13″N 0°29′52″W
Back gate.
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°26′16″N 0°29′52″W


Passing what used to be Shortwood school, we joined Stanwell Moor Road, which runs between two reservoirs.

The slope on the left is the King George VI Reservoir.
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°26′25″N 0°29′50″W

After some distance we found the footpath leading up to the top of the Staines Reservoirs. There's a pair of reservoirs, north and south; the path runs eastward between.

Bank of southern reservoir.
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°26′42″N 0°29′46″W
Neat brick building in northern reservoir (there's a matching one to the south).
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°26′47″N 0°29′42″W

In the middle, a clutch of birdwatchers looked out with large tripod-mounted telescopes. Lacking that magnification, we didn't see anything except coots.

Pipes between the two reservoirs. (And coots.)
1/60 at f5.6, 23mm, ISO200 51°26′54″N 0°28′53″W
Looking back across the water.
1/250 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 51°26′54″N 0°28′49″W
Footpath entrance sign.
1/125 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°26′58″N 0°28′53″W

Now in Stanwell, we took a foothpath north and around the edge of the reservoir.

Looking back at a convenient mattress.
1/125 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°27′12″N 0°29′6″W
Cheery graffiti.
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°27′18″N 0°29′5″W

Staines Moor

Beyond the northern edges of both reservoirs we reached Staines Moor, which is probably the best thing about Staines. It's ancient common land, and reliably bleak. It also features two-hundred-year-old anthills.

Peeling sign on farmland off the moor.
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°27′13″N 0°30′39″W
Need a Range Rover? (King George VI reservoir in background.)
1/125 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°27′7″N 0°30′43″W
River Colne.
1/125 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°26′33″N 0°30′59″W


We left the moor, passing under the bypass again.

Bridge under the bypass.
1/30 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO200 51°26′26″N 0°30′54″W

Then along a footpath that crosses a narrow aqueduct on a tiny bridge which Dad says he once saw a heron fly under; it must have held its wings pretty damn still. After that, a foot crossing over the railway line leads to a riverbank path behind the Two Rivers shopping centre (an ugly out-of-town swathe of car parking which mysteriously got sited directly in town).

From a bridge over whatever river this is.
1/125 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO200 51°26′10″N 0°30′53″W

That's it! Then back home.

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.