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Follow my progress as I attempt to walk the length of the UK, from Dover to Cape Wrath, wild camping every night. In this chapter, I need to get round London! I walk from the end of the North Downs Way in Guildford, and follow the River Wey Navigations to join the River Thames at Weybridge. Then I follow the Thames Path to join the Grand Union Canal at Slough. You can read about my preparations for this walk here, chapter one here and my full gear list here.

If you’d like to see an overview map of my whole route from Dover to Cape Wrath, it’s here.

Day 5 (continued): Guildford to Byfleet

I left Guildford in the afternoon (having started my day in Brockham). My excitement at finally heading north towards Cape Wrath must have got the better of me. I ended up walking far too far today. I reached the M25 before it dawned on me that I ought to stop and find somewhere to camp!

Leaving Guildford on the Wey Navigation

This stretch of the Wey Navigations was interesting and great flat walking after the rolling hills of the North Downs Way. This is probably another reason why I walked so far today.

Triggs Lock on the Wey Navigation

The Wey Navigations is owned by the National Trust. It is older than the canals by about 100 years, and was one of the first British rivers to be made navigable. Barges have used it since 1653.

Narrow boat on the Wey Navigations

Just like the North Downs Way, the route looks built up on the map. However, stretches of it felt quite remote. It passed through some really lovely scenery.

The M25. Oops – I’ve walked a bit too far today.

Suddenly I realised that I was about to cross the M25. I was very worried about finding somewhere to camp after that. Luckily I managed to find a spot tucked away in some woods. It was very hot and the mosquitoes were a pain though. I was too tired to cook any dinner, so I just made myself a coffee and collapsed into bed.

Camping spot in the woods. Looks fine, but it was hot and mosquito-filled.

Day 6: Byfleet to Slough

I woke early again this morning. There were still too many mosquitoes so I didn’t bother with coffee or breakfast, and left around 5.30am. It started raining at about 8am so I stopped for breakfast under a tree. I often start walking very early in the morning. I enjoy the solitude, but I usually find I can’t eat anything until later in the morning.

The Wey Navigations finished at Weybridge, and I was sorry to finish this part of the walk. It had been lovely. Before I planned this route I knew nothing about it – despite being a life member of the National Trust for decades!

Joining the Thames Path

A cycle way took me from the Wey Navigation to the Thames Path at Chertsey. It was easy walking again past Runnymede and Windsor, then I cut a mile or so across Slough to join the Grand Union Canal.

Once I join the Grand Union Canal I will be following it until I reach the Oxford Canal just north of Daventry. Read the next section of my travels here: Dover to Cape Wrath: Chapter 3

Further reading:

Striding Edge Narrow Boat

The Thames Path – Cicerone Guide

Harvey Trail Maps – The Thames Path

My 11 wild camping rules

Land’s End to John O’Groats, via the three peaks

Wildwalkinguk is a blog run by myself in spare time, and I pay for its running costs myself. I do have some Amazon affiliate links and adverts on the site. If you click on these adverts or links and buy what you need (it doesn’t have to be the item I’ve linked to), the company will pay a small commission to us. This money goes towards the costs of hosting the blog. I would be extremely grateful if you could consider using our links when you next need to buy something from our advertisers. Alternatively, you can buy me a coffee here. Thank you so much for your support. Mark.

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