Explore local wildlife and history on this 3-mile walking route and short train journey between Tolworth Station and Chessington Station.
You can break off the walk halfway for a shorter version (2 miles) and once finished you can return to the start in a few minutes on the train.
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On your way around, follow this easy read guide and discover fascinating local history and wildlife where Greater London meets Surrey. For further exploration, you can also join a number of walks, trails and parks connecting into the route.
TOLWORTH COURT FARM FIELDS
The fields in this area have been used for farming since at least the 11th century, probably as part of an important manor. The fields are now a local nature reserve rich in wildlife. Roe deer can be seen and look out for herons and frogs in waterlogged parts of the fields to the northern end. Although there has sadly been a decline in UK species over the past few decades; butterflies, owls and mammals can still be seen. Part of the walk passes through the centre of the fields here along a ‘drovers’ route where cattle would be taken from the Surrey countryside up towards central London.
Read on to find out what you can discover on the walk
The Bonesgate Stream runs to the edge of Tolworth Court Farm Fields where it joins the Hogsmill River. This continues on into Kingston where it joins the River Thames. Listen out for the sound of the water rushing over the ledges and stones along the path and you may also catch a glimpse of a Kingfisher or a Grey Wagtail.
John Everett Millais is understood to have painted his famous work, Ophelia, further along the Hogsmill River not far from here. When you reach the road at the William Bourne public house you can walk up to Chessington North station for a shorter route and take the train back to Tolworth. If you are continuing, pick up the walk on the other side of the road continuing along the Bonesgate Stream towards Castle Hill.
The second half of the walk runs past
the mound at Castle Hill which is listed as a
scheduled monument. It is thought to have been an enclosed hunting lodge in the medieval deer park of Chessington Park which stretched across this area of Chessington. The lodge may have been used for entertaining as well as hunting and there are indications that a dam across the stream was used for a water mill. A brass Roman coin has also been found in the area near the mound. The route takes you along the stream and follows round to
come out along the main track which is part of Horton Country Park.
From Horton Park, the walk crosses open fields and leads back over the Bonesgate Stream along a footpath up to Green Lane. At the top of the Lane is St Mary’s Church which has stood since the 12th Century. The church was thought to have been visited by knights on their way to the crusades, who carved crosses at the side of the door that now leads to the vestry.
The walk resumes by continuing away from the church down Green Lane, where a signpost takes it up some steps to join a footpath along the side of the former Chessington Golf Course, passing the only public viewpoint of the countryside to the south from this hill. If you listen carefully you may catch the noise of the lions roaring when given their food at Chessington World of Adventures!
HORTON COUNTRY PARK
The Country Park is 400 acres,
half of which is public open space designated as a Local Nature Reserve with a strong emphasis on nature conservation. The land forming the park was purchased from London County Council who had used it from the 1890s as part of a larger area with a number of hospitals.
Some of the woodlands in the park are designated as ancient woodlands dating back before 1600. The park is rich in wildlife including Herons, Chiffchaff and Great Tits. The route takes you along part of the track through the park, turning off across the fields towards Chessington.
SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAYS
The footpath comes out on Garrison Lane, turning left you can see Chessington South Station, where you can catch the train back to Tolworth. The station was opened just before World War II. Once on the train, just after passing Chessington North Station, look out of the right hand side windows to see local football club Corinthian-Casuals F.C. Established in 1882, this club was once considered by many as the best team in the world and are credited with helping popularize the game throughout Europe, South Africa, Canada and South America including in Sao Paulo with their Brazilian namesakes Corinthian Paulista F.C.
Allow up to 2 hours. Walking shoes or comfortable footwear recommended.
HOW TO GET THERE
Car - Parking is available at Tolworth Railway Station KT5 9NX. Please do not park in or near Tolworth Court Farm Fields entrance.
Train - South Western Railway
between Waterloo and Tolworth.
Bus - Towards Kingston 406, 418, 613, K2
Towards Ewell or Hook 406, 418, 613, K2
OTHER WALKING ROUTES IN THE AREA
Thames Down link
Hogsmill River trail - Kingston rail station to Malden Manor station
Hogsmill River trail - Malden Manor station to Ewell West rail station
Chessington Countryside walk