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  • Start: West Byfleet
  • End: West Byfleet Station
  • Country: England
  • County: Surrey
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub: The Anchor pub (01932 342507) at Pyrford Lock
  • Ordnance Survey: TQ 042611
  • Difficulty: Medium
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This canal side walk should appeal to science fiction fans and also takes in the birthplace of a world-famous band

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine November 2012

This canal side walk should appeal to science fiction fans and also takes in the birthplace of a world-famous band

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Footnotes: all you need to know
West Byfleet Library Car park (pay and display 2.50 for four hours) Grid reference: TQ 042611 Map: Explorer map 160 Length of walk: A walk of four-and-a-half miles with no stiles and no hills Food/drink: The Anchor pub (01932 342507) at Pyrford Lock, where you can settle back to watch the narrow boats pass by as you sup on your favourite tipple. While youre there: The original Byfleet Boat Club was built by philanthropist and socialite, Frederick Cornelius Stoop, who was an important figure in the Shell and Royal Dutch petroleum companies. He married the heiress of the Dartnell Park estate and later became the owner of the West Hall estate. Route: West Byfleet Library Car park, Birch Walk, Woodlands Avenue, Basingstoke Canal, Woodham Lock, Monument Road Bridge, Britannia Wharf, Horsell Common, Muslim Burial Ground, Woodham Lane, All Saints Church, Priory Close, Broadwater Close, Paxton Gardens, Sheerwater Road, Woodham Lock, West Byfleet Station Recommended by: Bob Hayward for Surrey Area Ramblers

Viewpoint 1
Bordered by water, with the Basingstoke Canal to the north and Wey Navigation to the east, there are plenty of tranquil strolls close to the village of West Byfleet.

Viewpoint 2
Flowing through Hampshire and Surrey, the Basingstoke Canal originally ran from the Hampshire town of Basingstoke to its junction with the River Wey Navigation, 37 miles away. Today, 32 miles of the original navigation have been restored, from the Wey Navigation as far as North Warnborough in Hampshire, as a public amenity catering for boaters, walkers, canoeists, anglers and naturalists. It has 29 locks, all but one in Surrey.

Viewpoint 3
The sandpits of Horsell Common are a site of pilgrimage for many science fiction fans, thanks to their prominence in HG Wells classic novel The War of the Worlds. They are where the meteor lands at the start of the book.

Viewpoint 4
With All Saints Church partially surrounded by a circular bank and ditch, some suspect that there might be a possibility of it being on a prehistoric site. One for the archaeologists amongst us

Viewpoint 5
Sheerwater was the birthplace of the hugely influential Mod outfit, The Jam. Coincidentally, this months lead interview on page 30 is with the bands former bassist Bruce Foxton.


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