The Kingston to Hampton Court riverside walk in Surrey is a lovely walk that brings you from Kingston-upon-Thames bridge to Hampton court palace. This walk is also referred to as “the Barge walk” as you will see many moored barges along the riverside.
- Difficulty: Easy – flat
- Length: the Barge walk is a 3-mile walk + walk from station or car
This walk can be extended to a loop through Bushy park, this makes it a 5-mile walk (in total)
What will you see in this Itinerary?
This itinerary will show in detail where to start and end this river walk. It will also show you an option to extend your walk with a walk in the nearby beautiful Bushy park, with stopovers in 2 different playgrounds for the kids.
Getting to Kingston Barge Walk
Different options are possible, here is one with free parking on Sundays, access to two different playgrounds for kids + walk in Bushy park to complete the loop.
How to get to the Barge walk?
Coming by train
Arrive at Hampton Wick station. From there you can walk toward the Eastern Entrance of Bushy park (refer to the map or download the keynotes)
Alternatively, you can arrive at Kingston station. From there, walk toward Kingston Bridge, which you need to cross. Walk on the left side of the bridge. Just after the bridge on the left, you will see the beginning of the Barge Walk
Finish at Hampton Court station, or walk back to Hampton Wick station through Bushy park (with two playgrounds on the way for kids).
Coming by car
Although there are many options regarding where to park, we recommend parking near Bushy park (see the grey area on the map), which is a very short walk away from the beginning of the Barge walk, but which will allow you to also walk back from the end of the ballade through Bushy park, with its wild dears, birds and playgrounds.
If you take this option, you can start your walk with a playground stop if you have young kids.
Kingsfield playground, next to Pistachio café
This playground is located at the Southeastern exit of Bushy Park. It is near the Kingsfield Concrete Skatepark and the Pistachio café. If you need your coffee or tea fix then there is a cafe inside the park, below we have attached the menu of what you can find at the café while the kids play. Try their toasted doughnuts; they sell out fast.
We spent around 25 minutes in the playground which was great as it motivated the kids to get ready for the walk ahead. They were also happy to do start a “long” walk because they knew they would visit an even bigger park at the end of the walk. Our kids love playgrounds as they are a bit younger but if you have older kids then you can skip the playground and start the walk directly.
The Pistachio café will make this first stop a nice moment as well.
Walking to the beginning of the Barge Walk
From Bushy park, start to walk towards Kingston-upon-Thames located just on the other side of the bridge. The walk entrance of the Barge walk is located just before the bridge on the right.
Note: on the other side of the bridge you also have a lot of shopping, cafés, and restaurants like the famous Bill’s Kingston restaurant.
The Barge Walk
From there you will be walking along the riverside with a view on Kingston-upon-Thames, Surbiton and Hampton Court on the other side of the river.
It starts with a view of many of the Kingston riverside pubs and restaurants. Good to know for another outing.
To walk or to bike, that is the question
On this side of the river, there are two pathways; one pathway to walk closer to the river and one for biking on the side of Hampton Park and Golf.
We really enjoyed the lookout on the river, with barges moored (mainly “residential” barges) or passing by on the river. Our kids spent a long time looking at the differences between barges and commenting on the colours and sizes.
There is also quite a few interesting things to see across the river, from busy cafés and restaurants on the Kingston side, to massive villas with private decks in Surbiton and Hampton Court.
Two islands on the river: Ravens Ait Island and Thames Ditton Island
Ravens Ait Island is a privately owned island that operates events such as weddings, private, public or corporate events.
Thames Sailing Club
On the way you will often notice small sailing boats, often very static as there is not often that much wind. This is the Thames Sailing Club which is located on the other side of the river, in Surbiton.
Along the walk you will find many benches, ideal for a picnic. So pick the one with your favourite view and enjoy a snack (which hopefully you will have packed).
Here you will not find any massive industrial barge, but mainly you will see “residential barges”. Lots of them moored but some of them passing by.
You will also see many small electric boats going up and down the river. Those boats can be hired from two companies located in Kingston-up-Thames, such as GoBoat Kingston.
Other boats passing by range from simple to high spec private boats.
Getting to Hampton Court Palace
Not far from the end of the riverside walk, you will pass in front of an entrance to Hampton Court Park.
Feel free to get inside if you’d like to extend your walk. It also gives you another view of the Hampton Court Palace and gardens.
Note: You can also Hampton Court Palace and its beautiful gardens, check out these wonderful tours that you can do.
Coming back to the car
Walk through Bushy Park
From Hampton Court Palace, walk north toward Bushy Park entrance on Chestnut avenue. As soon as you enter the park, take the trail on the right that will bring you to the main playground in Bushy park.
Second bushy park playground
This is a big playground with climbing structures, sandpit, slides and a set of swings for youngsters and bigger kids, including a massive swing structure.
Return to the starting point, near the first playground
From Bushy park main playground, head toward the East entrance where you started the walk.
On the way, there is a big chance to come across deers walking around or resting. Bushy park is also home to a multitude of birds, including ground-nesting ones like the skylark, reed bunting, meadow pipit and stonechat. So please stay on the main trails during springtime to avoid disturbing the birds and damage the ground nests.
You will soon reach the far East of Bushy park, with the first playground you may have stopped at earlier.
We hope you liked this walk. You can read more articles about the UK and near London destinations here:
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