Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day 5 Barnes Bridge to Teddington

Walking with a friend we started today's walk at Barnes Bridge
I am now on map #2 of this walk. So far I have walked on the South bank of the river. There is a path on the North bank but it is not continuous. Further along the walk, the path changes from one side to the other.

 Not a great start as we could not get onto the towpath.

 Luckily it wasn't too far to walk along the road before we were back on the path.

Once on the narrow path we followed it as it made its way between an assortment of houses, apartments and a variety of other buildings.

Herons were plentiful today.

As the path widened we could see the next bridge crossing the river.

Chiswick Bridge, one of three bridges opened in 1933 as part of a scheme to relieve traffic congestion west of London. The bridge is probably known as being close to the  finishing point for the Oxford and Cambridge boat race. The boat race has been held between Putney and Chiswick since 1845. It is 4 miles and 374 yards upstream but with the flow of the tide. Before getting to the bridge you walk by the Ship inn.

Across from the Ship  is the remains of the eight storey block of the old Mortlake brewery
On the other side of the pub is a row of beautiful pastel painted houses.

Once across Chiswick bridge the path opens out, taking you past Putney Town Rowing Club.

Just beyond the path is another new development.

This is Kew rail bridge. It was opened in 1868 and has wrought iron lattice work girders. You just get a glimpse of them through the trees.

After pruning the trees on the island or ait in the middle of the Thames, the large branches are being loaded onto a barge

The banking has been built up here in front of these riverside cottages. I assume it is part of the flood protection.

The boats stop at this pier on their way upstream to Richmond and Hampton Court or downstream towards London.

Kew Bridge  is where the North circular road becomes the South circular or vice versa depending on which way you are driving. There is always a traffic jam here.

Across the river you can see the tower of the Kew steam engine museum

Kew Palace the former home of George III

Here is the Grand Union Canal joining the Thames. This used to be the very busy Brentford Docks

The path takes you round the wall of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the largest living plant collection in the world and a World Heritage Site.

Syon House and park. This has been the home of the Duke of Northumberland for over 400 years. The gardens were designed by Capability Brown in the 18th century. In 1547 the body of Henry VIII rested here overnight on its way to Windsor for burial. In the morning the coffin was found open with dogs chewing on his bones.


This white temple-like building is one of the lodges of Syon Park.

There are large pools of water separating Kew Gardens and Thames path.

This is Isleworth Ait. An ait or eyot (pronounced eight) is a small island found on the Thames or its tributaries. They are usually long and narrow and have been formed from the accumulation of sediment over a long period of time.
This is a view of Old Isleworth with its old church. The church was burnt down in 1943, not as a result of the war, but 2 boys and a box of matches. The 14th cent tower survived and a new church was built onto it.

This is Richmond Lock and Weir. It was built in 1894  to prevent the water in the Upper tidal Thames draining away when the tide went out.

Twickenham Bridge
Running alongside Twickenham bridge is the railway bridge.

Asgill housebuilt in 1758. In the grounds is the beech tree, one of the great trees of London.

For centuries the Thames was the main transport route providing access from London to the palaces in Richmond and beyond. Boat building continues today in the arches alongside Richmond Bridge. It is remarkable that the craftsmen still use the same method that was used in the days of King Alfred the Great.
The waterfront at Richmond

The old town hall
Richmond Bridge is the oldest bridge over the Thames. Built of stone between 1774-79 it replaced a ferry sevice between the north and south banks.

This plane tree by the side of the river is the tallest of its kind in London.

The middle of the three arched grotto is a subway allowing you to go under the road and come out in the terrace gardens. This is where you can leave the Thames path and go uphill to Richmond Park.

Cattle grazing in Petersham meadows. The Thames regularly floods the meadows here.

At the top of Richmond Hill you can see the Star and Garter home for disabled servicemen.
Marble Hill House built in 1724-1729 by George II for his mistress Henrietta Howard.

Between the trees you can just see Ham House , a 17th century country home.

Eel Pie island is a private island in the middle of the river near Twickenham. It has a number of houses on the island as well as a nuture reserve and artists studios situated in and around a working boatyard. The island is open to the public twice a year but I have yet to visit.

This is a Sand Martin bank over on Eel Pie island. The birds are members of the swallow family and we could see some flying around but too fast for my camera.

This is the Thames Young Mariners, based at a lagoon formed from an old gravel pit. This is where I learned how to canoe and sail a dinghy. Not bad at kayaking but pathetic at sailing. Forever getting the sails of the boat tangled up in the overhanging branches. Walking this path has brought back so many memories that it's a bit like 'This is your life'. I went to college at Strawberry Hill which is just a couple of miles from here hence using this area for water sports. I also lived in Teddington for a number of years.

The path is quite wide here and gravelled with a number of willows dipping their branches in the water. It can flood here at high tide but it was very dry today.

This obelisk was erected in 1909 to mark the boundary between the Port of London Authority and the Thames Conservancy.
We have now reached Teddington Lock . There are 3 different locks forming the biggest lock system on the Thames. This marks the end of tidal Thames.
The lock keeper's house. The locks are opened and closed electronically not manually and there were 3 lock keepers working here when we stopped to watch.

This is Teddington Bridge taking you over the river to the village on the other side.

The Anglers. This pub's garden overlooks the river so a great place to end our walking for the day with a refreshing cold drink.

We were going to walk to the railway station about a mile away to get back into town but then we had a brainwave. We could get the boat back as it has to stop at the lock on its way back from Hampton Court to Westminster.

According to the map we had walked 10.5 miles today. Altogether I have now walked over 33 miles.


  1. Nice to have a friend along. Did you stop for tea along the way or lunch?

  2. Intriguing walk along the river! So much to see along the way. The lodge of Syon Park is quite surprising all in white.

  3. Thoroughly enjoying this blog though I thought the barge with the branches on had sunk.

  4. What a great anecdote about Henry VIII.

  5. I am enjoying following your walking travels.

  6. Wow! Lovely photos and enjoyed the journey with you ~ thanks .

  7. Must say, you are having a wonderful tour... Great photos...

  8. I can see the scenery changing, more open spaces and less high density buildings. Dogs eating King Henry V111 I find that funny but probably shouldn't.


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