The Wandle Trail - Map and Illustrated Guide

The Wandle offered wonderful trout fishing up to the latter part of the last century. The Wandle Trail was established by the Wandle Group in association with the Wandle Industrial Museum in September 1988, launched with a walk with over 200 participants, led by Colin Saunders. 'The Wandle Trail Map and Guide' was put together in 1996 by the Wandle Industrial Museum with the support and help of London Borough of Merton, and sponsorship from Brown and Root.

It is now at the core of the efforts of the Wandle Group and we are integral to the Wandle Trail Working Party, which includes all the 4 Wandle Boroughs, Wandsworth, Merton, Sutton and Croydon.

This original guide aimed to encourage and assist those who wish to explore the River Wandle and its heritage. Whether taken as a short stroll or a long walk it provided a brief outline of the main points of interest and the principle features of the route.

The full length of the Wandle Trail is a 11.5 mile long route that follows the River Wandle from Sutton, through Merton to where it enters the Thames in Wandsworth. Two thirds of the riverside is accessible to the public.

One of the main changes since 1996 has been the opening of Croydon Tramlink, whose stations at Phipps Bridge, Belgrave Walk, Mitcham, Ampere Way and Waddon Marsh all service the Trail. The line is broadly the same as the railway shown in the Guide, but more stations have been added.

The book 'The Wandle Trail' published by the Museum (£1.50p) or the 'Wandle Guide' book published by Sutton Leisure Services for the Wandle Group (£4.95p), as well as the smaller booklets referred to in these notes, all available in the Shop or by mail order.

Today the area around the River Wandle combines gracious parkland and industrial wasteland, urban street and garden suburb, far removed from the rural landscape of earlier centuries when the river margins harboured bleaching fields, osier plantations and watercress beds.

Successive generations have left their mark on the landscape. Many of the parks through which the Wandle flows are formed by the remnants of manors, estates and pleasure grounds laid out by the gentry and the prosperous to express their wealth and status.

However nothing was to have such a profound impact on the river as the demands of water-powered industries. This continuously redefined the Wandle during the centuries in which mills proliferated, manufacturing copper and iron, oil, leather, paper, snuff and printed textiles.

The Surrey Iron Railway, the first public railway in Britain, operated from 1803-46 using horse-drawn waggons to transport goods as far as the Thames at Wandsworth.

From the late 19th century onwards a tide of house building engulfed the valley, transforming Surrey villages into London suburbs. The Wandle diminished in significance and decreased in flow. Fortunately at the same time individuals began to work together to protect the environment and its heritage; a task which is continued through a variety of organisations to the present day.

I am the website administrator of the Wandle industrial museum (http://www.wandle.org). Established in 1983 by local people to ensure that the history of the valley was no longer neglected but enhanced awareness its heritage for the use and benefits of the community.

In The News:

Outdoors, Catch of the Day  Bonner County Daily Bee
Opt to Act for Life Outdoors  Outside Magazine
NWA outdoor briefs  NWAOnline
This new mountainside retreat in Himachal wants you to enjoy the outdoors  Condé Nast Traveller India - The Last Word in Travel
Outdoors notebook | Sports  Lebanon Democrat

Camping and Outdoor Activities: Get Involved with Nature

Camping mixed with outdoor activity is a great way to... Read More

Ten Skills - A Backpacking List

Have you ever had a backpacking trip that was a... Read More

Review: Russell Shortos The Island At The Center Of The World

Up to now the preponderant view held by many historians... Read More

Zambezi Sharks Under Threat at Protea Banks

Sharklife.co.za has been fighting an ongoing for the protection of... Read More

Kenya Safari Top Five National Parks

The Kenya safari circuit is one of the best in... Read More

Where to Find Some of the Best Beaches in the World

We think that Cape Town has some of the best... Read More

My Five-Ounce Sleeping Bag

Okay, it wasn't quite a sleeping bag. However, it was... Read More

Hiking in the Forest Knowing When to Slow Down

One morning in mid summer, I headed out for some... Read More

Three Places to Interact with Dolphins in Hawaii

Visitors to Hawaii frequently see dolphins from shore or on... Read More

Driving in Greece - How Bad is it?

Generally speaking, Greek drivers are not the best in Europe,... Read More

Its an Alien World in Every River

When you look at a river, what do you see?... Read More

Penguin Parade

Phillip Island is a small island and nature reserve off... Read More

A Holiday in Rajasthan

Romancing History ? A Holiday in RajasthanRajasthan, the name evokes... Read More

Unforgettable Cape Cod Vacations: The National Seashore Gift

Take a captivating trip through the Cape Cod National Seashore... Read More

Side-Tripping in Montana

Nightlife in Big Sky, Montana is more exciting than you... Read More

Spanish Courses in Spain

Spain: sun, sea, sand and Spanish... discover us! Spain, a... Read More

Experience The Real Florida

Every year around 40 million visitors come to Florida for... Read More

Things to Make Your Gap Year in Africa Easy!

The kind of things you pack when you go on... Read More

Backpacking Journals ? Preserve Your Backpacking Experiences

Backpacking is a great way to escape the rat race... Read More

Tips for Mountain Bikers in Spain

As any keen mountain biker will know, there are some... Read More

Botswana Safari Top Five National Parks and Game Reserves

A Botswana safari is an excellent trip to undertake because... Read More

Cheap Safari in Africa For $70 a Day - Heres How To Do It

You would think that a cheap safari in Africa for... Read More

Rigid Inflatable Boats

A rigid inflatable boat is defined as a hard-hulled boat... Read More

River Rafting in Colorado

The sport of river rafting was practically invented in Colorado.... Read More

Taking an Alaskan Cruise ? What to Pack

Packing in general can be a hassle. But when going... Read More