Brompton Summer Adventure *Feel Good*! Forget Cancer! Bikepacking around London - River Wey
Good morning! I'm back! So it's Saturday morning, and I'm heading to Waterloo Station Cos I'm going to catch the train a little bit upstream up the Thames And I'm going to do another river. So today it's going to be the Wey River This adventure along the River Wey is one of a series that I'm doing, close to home along the rivers that flow into the Thames. So far I've ridden the Roding, the Lea and the Mole. The Wey has its Sussex source in the South Downs on one of the highest points in southeast England twice as high as the other three rivers I've done. The Wey flows 50-odd miles through the Surrey hills, cutting through the North Downs on its way to the Thames. My plan was to ride two days from the Thames up to the source, camping one night along the way It's been a little while since I've been out on the bike actually because unfortunately my cancer came back. So I've been having a load of treatment for that. So I had an operation and I'm actually on chemotherapy now. So I have got hair at the moment but
it might not last longer than this trip actually But this is week three of my first chemo cycle, and I was pretty poorly in week one But I got quite a lot better in week two and this is the beginning of week three and i feel good actually. So I'm being super careful. It's going to be a little bit more complicated than it is normally to do a ride. But I don't think it's going to stop me So, yeah. So here I am! To help make the trip super-manageable, I took the train 25 minutes from Waterloo to Walton-on-Thames, and started from there It just feels so nice! So that is the mouth of the Wey The River Wey was made into a canal in the 1600s, part of it anyway So the first section of my ride was along the canal towpath Lovely day isn't it! Absolutely gorgeous yes. Are you camping? Yes!
Oh fantastic. Aw well I haven't done it yet! Well good luck! Enjoy! Thank you Ooh, it's a little bit tricky with the dust actually Bit tricky here Lovely day isn't it! Oh it's beautiful. In the shade. Are you walking far? No, back to Byfleet. Oh yeh. Got my paper that's the main thing
You've got your what? Paper. Paper! Oh my Dad does that. He goes on his bike. I walk. That's nice yeah What paper do you get? Telegraph. Oh. Okay. He's a Guardian reader, oh dear, so there we differ... Bye! Warm isn't it! It is! How come he's doing all the work? Now I was at Pyrford Lock. I'd done about 10 miles along the canal, and I decided that I would head cross country for a while.
Right so I've left the Wey for a bit, which I'd planned to do anyway but actually I was glad I did it because it was great but it was quite tough I'm going to just explore a little bit here, because I think there's a ruined Tudor palace. And I know that sounds really unlikely... There, where it says moat There's a little bit on a bridle way, and then I think it's a track I'm in the edge of Woking now, and this is the actual Wey River as opposed to the Wey Navigation. It's really lovely So the next thing is Guildford, and i'm going to go through Guildford on the river and then climb up to a chapel. Let's see if this works Well I'm in Guildford now. I'm trying to follow the river
Oh god that looks lovely! Can I hitch a ride? But I think I need to go a little bit further along and then there maybe is a path I can pick up, because I'm on the wrong side Guildford sits where the River Wey goes through the North Downs and the chapel that I was looking for was high on the hills above the town What a super spot! My god. It's just fantastic I'm gonna camp along the banks of the river, hopefully. It sounds absolutely gorgeous There's a campsite, and i'm gonna go there, so that I don't feel like I'm all on my own in the middle of nowhere camping. Because i'm on chemotherapy and
This is all a bit crazy really, to do this anyway. I realise now what all this is. We are kind of on top of the railway So, basically, that way's north, so the river has come from there, and then the hills over there and hills that way are the North Downs So I'm now going to carry on that way That looks like quite a good total that, 201. It is. Yeah we've been bowling and charging around since one o'clock, and it's dry, so there's not much in it for a bowler
So, they were cruising at one point, so to get them all for for 201, we're happy with that It's the second oldest club in the country, so it's always in the paper Are you going to win? We've got to! We've been sliding down the table. You've got to! It's a big win. Well you've got your Mum supporting you! So that's it! yeah So dinner tonight is gonna be chicken pilaf, without chicken, using soya granules, and i'm using quinoa What a brilliant spot! I mean I know it's not wild camping but it's kind of the closest you could get to wild camping without doing it. Super nice. Right, so, today the plan is to ride to the source of the Wey Beautiful day The source was just 15 miles away now, on a hill called Blackdown I'd read that the source is a proper spring hidden in woods, which sounded exciting So I was thinking if this was the right road, and then I saw that! So i'm nearly there now I've gone wrong! To get to the source you don't go along the river. You have to go a little other way.. The source is apparently here
Cotchet Farm. So that's wrong. I'm on this. I need to be on this. I always go wrong at the last minute Right I think I can take this Actually, it's nicer to do the climb like this, than on the road really Ooh I thought that was the end, but it's not Check where I am... Well it's water! But actually I read that that's not it Oh this is it! It's really cold Ahh! So the next thing is to go to Haslemere, which is the nearest train station