Dave Sergeant

This 6 mile walk from Inner London Ramblers starts at Acton Town station and works its way down to the Thames at Kew then along to Brentford and the Grand Union up to Boston Manor. I have done parts of this before but much was new.

It is a short walk from Acton Town station to the entrance of Gunnersbury Park with just the obstacle of the North Circular to tackle on the way. Gunnersbury Park was the grounds of a country mansion with various owners over the centuries including the Rothchilds. It became a public park in 1926. The Temple is on the large Round Pond.

The large mansion is now a large museum which I may visit in the future.

The Orangery faces the Horseshoe Pond. Nearby the Gothic Ruins built around 1840 as a folly to hide the nearby stables.

Away from the houses is extensive parkland with the somewhat hidden Potomac lake at the southern border where I exited the park.

From the park the walk continues to Carville Park (North) which is playing fields. Then the busy A4 has to be crossed followed by the M4 above on the Chiswick Flyover.

The other side of the motorway is Carville Park (South), another of London's hidden gems which despite the noise of the traffic was quite pleasant. The house within the park dates from 1777 and is now residential flats.

The walk now proceeds down to the Thames at Kew Bridge. The London Museum of Water and Steam with its prominent tower, originally a water pumping station, seems another interesting place to visit.

The walk now follows that of the Thames Path along the north bank towards Brentford. Because of all the development along this stretch the tow path is quite narrow in places and there are several diversions via Brentford High Street, one of which is not that clear. The route passes the Music Museum and Watermans Art Centre and the quite pleasant Watermans Park. Thames Lock on the Grand Union Canel comes into sight but there is a bit of diversion before getting there. It has a spectacular weir.

Thames Lock is eventually crossed followed by a diversion through a quite pleasant part of Brentford before reaching the Brentford Guaging Locks which are crossed via a long footbridge.

The walk now goes along the Grand Union canal following the path of the Captital Ring with the huge GlaxoSmithKline complex dominating the view. It should have then crossed the canal to enter Boston Manor Park on the opposite side but the bridge was closed for repair and is scheduled to be replaced with a new bridge later this year. So I had to back track and follow the A4 to reach Boston Manor Road.

The house and grounds of Boston Manor Park are also undergoing work and the entrance I should have used was for site traffic only. I was able to view the house though there was no entrance to the park from there. Even the attractive lake was being refurbished so I was able to see very little of the park. I continued to the Harvester in Boston Manor where I had a very pleasant lunch before returning to tube station and returning home. A pleasant walk but not quite completed as intended.

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