The walk was estimated on TFL's downloaded instructions as 10.8 miles. Our fitbit told us 12.5 miles.
We alighted at Banstead Station - in zone 6 so no cost on our freedom passes - turned immediately left at the station and soon found ourselves walking across open ground with trees and the greenery of a golf course. We then struck suburbia which I so love . It always gives me a warm feeling of cosy comfort - everyone in their neat little houses, all different, with established trees and pretty front gardens, sleek cars sitting on neat driveways. I think it stems from living with my aunt and uncle in various corners of suburbia during their army postings.
We were walking into Storm Doris. How she pushed us to a standstill! We tacked across Warren Farm, a surprisingly large open area of field and woodland run by the Woodland Trust Reserve. We sat on the Macdonalds Bench and looked east to Sutton church steeple on the skyline.
My ambition was to see Nonsuch Palace or what remains of it. Sadly, lack of signage took us the wrong way on into Ewell. Oh, for my canals where you can't go wrong! We found ourselves plunged again into suburbia trying to find our way back to the London Loop.
We should have turned right immediately after crossing Warren Farm and not gone straight ahead.
Beware - the downloaded instructions are not clear about whether or not they are directing you to stations at the end of a section and directing you onwards to the next section.
We guessed our way through suburbia and luckily hit the LL at a charming enclave of Ewell Castle School, Church Lane, the old church tower and graveyard and St Mary the Virgin church.
The next section was a surprising delight as we found ourselves walking along the Hogsmill River (named after Mr Hog, a local big cheese at some time) that, if you know your art history which I didn't, is the river which inspired Millais' 'Orphelia' and Holman Hunt's 'The Light of the World' and 'The Hireling Shepherd'. I suppose it was a nice day out for our pre-raphaelites, to potter off to the country for a day's painting!
The river was charming and meandered its way north to join the Thames at Kingston. It was our companion along with all it's horrible litter for the reminder of the walk.
We finally hit Kingston in the dark, having spent 5 instead of the predicted 4 hours. Too late to see the saxon coronation chair but we did walk over the medieval Clattern Bridge, the oldest bridge in Surrey still in use.
Another missed signpost, or was it even there, had sent us hightailing in the wrong direction. Luckily my walking companion had a google app on his phone and we were corrected. If I had been on my own I would have been in trouble as it was dark by then. I do carry a compass but next time I will take the ordnance survey and not rely on TFL's rather dodgy directions.
The next section takes us passed the end of Heathrow - could be exciting but that is for April when daylight hours will be longer.
Looking across Warren Farm east to Sutton
My walking companion, Cos, and Clattern Bridge in Kingston, oldest bridge in Surrey in use.
Ewell Parish Church and old mill cottages
'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace!'
Thanks to John Cleese and Michael Palin.