Stage 2 Kingston Bridge to Barnes Bridge 9.4 miles
This stage consists of a walk along Kingston river front followed by a chance to explore some of the highlights of Richmond Park.
Instructions to reach start:
Leave Kingston Station and cross Wood Street at traffic lights. Go ahead into Dolphin Street and continue to Bentalls Centre where Dolphin Street turns sharp right. Turn left along Fife Street. At junction turn right along Clarence Street. After John Lewis cross road at traffic lights to start at right hand side of Kingston Bridge.
Go down steps and turn right beside River Thames. Continue past Turks Pier on left and continue along Kingston Riverside to enter Canbury Gardens where 30 yards before bandstand turn right along enclosed footpath and continue along Lower Kings Road. At junction cross road to go ahead along Kings Road. Continue past junction (do not go down Wyndham Road). Cross Park Road and continue to end of Kings Road and turn left into Kingston Gate of Richmond Park (1.6 miles).
Pass toilets on left of gate and go ahead along right hand side of road until reaching signpost. Cross road and turn right to take path on left between trees up hill (path contains steps towards end). At top continue on path to left. At fence corner on left continue ahead to clear path through trees. At fence corner turn right. At multi-path junction amongst ancient oaks continue ahead and at next multi-path junction continue ahead (fence on right). Join 2 paths from left to continue with fence on left, passing High Wood Gate, to enter Isabella Plantation on left at Broomfield Hill Gate. (2.7 miles)
Study notice board at entrance (plan is to take Bluebell Walk to Thomson’s Pond, then follow Thomson's Stream to Peg’s Pond and to exit through Bottom Gate). Turn right past building with phone on right. Continue on path to junction. Turn right and continue to next junction. Turn left and in 5 yards take right fork and continue on path to arrive at left hand side of Thomson’s Pond. Go around pond in anticlockwise direction and just before stepping stones take path on right to pass Bog Garden on left and reach junction. Turn right to reach Peg's Pond. Continue in clockwise direction around pond and exit through Bottom Gate (new toilet block on left) (3.2 miles).
Turn right through car park and continue on road to signpost. Cross road and continue on grass track. Take right fork and continue at cross track passing trig point like stone on left. Continue on path passing path through barriers on right to reach pond. Go anticlockwise around pond and at seat turn right to cross lane. Turn left on next lane to reach road (beware fast cyclists). Cross road and grass to turn right on first path to reach Pembroke Lodge Car Park where there is a café and toilets (4.2 miles).
Go through main gates on left into Pembroke Lodge. Just before lodge at signpost turn right and then take left fork towards house. At house continue (good views on left). Take left fork and visit King Henry’s Mound (hopefully for a view of St Paul’s Cathedral). Retrace steps and then turn right through John Beer Laburnum Walk to Poets Corner. Go up steps to visit Ian Drury bench. You used to be able hear Ian Drury’s music by plugging your headphones into the socket at the side of the bench. However the socket now seems to be missing. Exit gate and cross road to reach dark track. Turn right and follow track which veers left. At junction turn left and at notice board take right fork to Pen Ponds (5.8 miles).
Continue between ponds. White Lodge can be seen on the hillside to your left. At road continue passing café on right. At corner where track turns left take path on right and continue to Robin Hood Gate where there are toilets (6.8 miles).
Take path on left to reach signpost to Clubhole Gate Path. Turn right and just before bridge turn left keeping Beverley Brook on right. Continue on left hand side of brook for ¾ mile to first of two bridges. Cross bridge and continue with road on left. Continue to leave Richmond Park at Roehampton Gate (7.8 miles)
Immediately after exiting gate turn left along path marked Beverley Brook Walk. Go through another gate and turn right (brook on right, football pitch on left). Ignore gate on right. At Beverley Brook notice board turn right with fence on left. At junction turn right along Hertford Avenue and at next junction cross Upper Richmond Road at traffic lights and turn right. Turn left along Priests Bridge and then turn left along White Hart Lane passing through railway level crossing. At end turn right to reach Barnes Bridge station (9.4 miles).
End of walk refreshments can be found at the White Hart (just before station) or the Bulls Head (just after station). The White Hart is expensive but its food and drink are good and it has a nice riverside terrace. The Bulls Head has cheaper beer and has a restaurant and contains a nightly live jazz venue that costs around £10 a head in a room at the back of the pub.