This is the main leisure centre in Staines and it’s only 5 minutes’ walk from Staines station. It’s actually an easy route, but it’s not clearly signposted from the station so you may need the directions below.
At the reception desk, say you’ve come for aikido and they’ll let you through the turnstile (you don’t need to pay to get in).
If you’re driving, see the map. There is plenty of free parking at the Leisure Centre.
Your first class is free. After that, you pay per lesson.
We sometimes go to a pub after class (the Old Red Lion, which is close to Staines station) if you’re not in a rush to get home after training.
To walk from Staines station, come out on the South side—that’s the Reading platform (platform 2), which means if you’ve just come from London you are already on the correct side. Just walk out of the station to the road. Otherwise (if you’ve come from Egham, for example), from platform 1 you need to cross the tracks using one of the footbridges.
If you come out of the station and find youself facing a car park with a bus stop, cafe, and newsagent, then you’re on the wrong side! Cross the tracks (there are two footbridges, one inside and one outside the station).
The road right outside the station is Gresham Road. Come out of the station and turn to your right.
Follow Gresham Road as it curves away (putting your back to the station) almost immediately. You’ll pass the church (now on your left) and Alan Nevin shoe repairs and Jewson builders’ merchants (both on your right).
Cross over the road when you’re clear of the corner and it’s safe to do so!
After about 100 yards there is a footpath and cycle path going off to the left (it’s signposted to the Leisure Centre). Turn left here!
This is just before a mini-roundabout with Budebury Road — if you get that far then you’ve just missed the path by about 20 yards.
Walk along the path (there’s a tall fence/hedge on the left, and trees on the right).
At the end it broadens into a road. There’s a Health Centre on the right, and a nursery on the left. Follow the left-hand pavement that runs around the nursery playground, and you’re at the Leisure Centre.
When you come into the Leisure Centre, tell them you are there for aikido and they will let you through the turnstiles. Walk straight ahead, past the squash courts: we can normally be found gathering in the last one.