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Long-Distance Walks with Mark Moxon

London Loop: Day 6: Banstead to Kingston

Kingston Bridge
Keep focused on your destination, for the Thames at Kingston awaits...

After the stunning ridge walking of day 5, this section comes as a bit of a disappointment. Sure, there are some pleasant bits, but there's an awful lot of walking through town, and although a large part of the walk is along the River Hogsmill, there's little charm left in this choked-up old stream as it struggles through a thin green strip, hemmed in on both sides by pretty uninspiring suburbia. Luckily the destination is one of the best ways to end a day's walking; this is the only day on the Loop where you can end your walk with a pint by the Thames (the final day doesn't end anywhere near a pub) and that's got to be worth the effort.

The River Hogsmill

The Bishop Out of Residence pub in Kingston
...as does a rather pleasant riverside pint at the Bishop Out of Residence

From Nonsuch Park the path winds through a thin wood and past the wall of the old banqueting hall of Nonsuch Palace, and a few minutes later you reach the little town of Ewell. I liked Ewell; it's got plenty of interesting buildings along the side of the road, and you get the feeling that you're walking into an area of London that not only has history, but rather a lot of old money invested in it. Perhaps this is no surprise, as today's destination, Kingston, is one of the more exclusive addresses in London, but before then you have to brave the River Hogsmill, which the Loop now follows all the way to the Thames.