From Shepperton Lock
Proceed straight on (downsteam direction), turning sharp left and go up Ferry Lane
At B376 turn right
At roundabout, take 3rd exit - Sunbury B375
Cross over mini roundabout and at next roundabout, take 3rd exit - Walton A244
Cross over Thames, and stay in LEFT hand lane
Turn LEFT at lights signed Hampton Court A3050
Straight over next set of lights and continue on to Grovelands School on righthand side
Immediately after this, at roundabout take 1st exit (left) signed to Leisure Centre
Drive down straight road to mini roundabout
Take 2nd exit (right)
PARKING - on verge on right approx 50m after roundabout. Just pull up on to the bank. Do NOT park in Weir Pub carpark or obstruct access.
This is a very long walk to the lock. Leave your car and follow lane which bears left marked Sunbury Lock. Turn right and walk along river bank for approx 300metres, cross footbridge and turn right, walking another 100m to the Rollers beside the lock. You can cross over the little bridge above the rollers to stand on the grass between the rollers and the main lock (beside the little hut in the photo).
ROLLERS - if, like us, you have no idea what these are I will try to explain. They are metal rollers sunk down into concrete which presumably certain small boats (not DW kayaks) can roll down. There are two sets of rollers side by side separated by a concrete "path". The DW paddlers have to portage here i.e. they must get out of their boats and carry them. There are concrete "paths" at each side and in between the two sets of rollers. The crews walk down one of these paths - two crews can portage the rollers at any one time - a DW official will shout at approaching boats telling them which side they should aim for(i.e. "come to the right or come to the left"). You, as supporters, will only be allowed down on to the concrete paths once your crew is getting out. (In fact we were told that only one supporter would be allowed down on to the rollers but nobody enforces this and most crews seemed to have the usual two supporters tending to them. However there is very little space so common sense has to prevail as to whether both of you go down or not.)
Certainly you must NOT wait down on the rollers but up on the bank above by the lock itself from where you can get a good view. Once you see your crew approaching, you can prepare to go down the steps to the rollers to be ready for them.
The rollers get quite fraught if several crews arrive at the same time. If one boat comes along and has the portage to itself then it was perfectly ok. Just beware that the concrete paths can be slippery - warn your crew not to rush along. Apart from the danger of falling, you have little enough time as it is to give them something to eat and drink as the portage is very short. They do not have to run the whole length of the lock - the rollers are in a little "cut" to the left of the lock and once the paddlers are past the rollers themselves there is a short path down to the river where they get back in.
Do remember to tell them, as they get back into the water, that they have completed ONE HUNDRED MILES
of the course! Good morale boost for crews and supporters alike.
SUGGESTION - some crews chose to get out before they got to the rollers i.e. just under the footbridge you will have walked over 100m short of the rollers. They will have a longer portage but will avoid the tricky bit of getting out at the rollers.
FOOD - you will pass a very nice looking pub beside the river as you walk along the towpath. Lots of tables outside. If you allow enough time, remember to take some cash with you for some refreshment on the way to or from the rollers.
MAP - Click for OS map