Dave Sergeant

So yesterday did another walk along the North bank of the Thames in London. It was intended to be Hammersmith Bridge to Vauxhall Bridge but it didn't quite work out like that. The weather looked promising so I set off on the usual train, getting off at Richmond and then a ride on the District line to Hammersmith where I had finished last week. Trains getting slightly busier but still only 6-8 per carriage or so. But I was surprised how busy the tube was, not quite fully packed but pretty full.

So off at Hammersmith, through it's busy centre, and down to the river. A view of Hammersmith Flyover you don't normally get. Then the bridge from its other side.

The river looking resplendent this morning in the sunshine. After a stretch though was the first of the diversions off river, this time round the grounds of Fulham Football club Craven Cottage. There was work being done at the stadium so the diversion off the river came earlier than normal but once past the stadium it went down the river again.

Now comes Bishop's Park with Fulham Palace, a very attractive area with a lovely pond. There are occasionally things that just grab you for a photograph and this is one one the.

On along the river until Putney Bridge and then its railway bridge. After Putney there is quite a long stretch off river along the suburban streets of Parsons Green then into the large Hurlingham Park which is largely football grounds with lots of children playing the game. Out of here through a not very clearly marked exit into a busy road in the direction of the river. But the stretch of river there was blocked off by building works so I had to follow another road to emerge at Wandsworth Bridge. Here I was confronted with busy traffic at a junction with traffic lights but no pedestrian buttons so quite a long wait until it was safe to cross. More building work going on at the bridge and along the road I was forced to follow before returning to the river eventually past a huge Sainsbury's. Huge buildings and flats appear on the opposite bank.

After another diversion off the river past the site of the old Lotts Road power station and plenty of traffic to avoid eventually Battersea Bridge and then Albert Bridge come into view. But I got a bit confused with the bridges due to sketchy instructions and for some reason decided that Battersea Bridge was Albert Bridge! Anyway, Albert Bridge, which marks the end of section 1 of the TFL walk, is a magnificent structure, probably the finest in London.

Passing Battersea Park on the opposite bank I reached Chelsea Bridge and perhaps because time was getting on I decided to cross it and pick up the south bank route. But there has never been a through route for the Thames Path on that part of the south bank and I soon found it blocked off by huge building site hoardings with the only way to follow ahead. A maze of pathways through a huge housing estate now being built on what was once Battersea Power Station. Eventually, and having asked a few passing people how to get back to the river (you can't..), I emerged on the busy Nine Elms Lane.

Then I spotted signposts pointing to Queenstown Road station and followed those to catch a train there to Waterloo instead of the planned Vauxhall. Barrier rejected my 'London Terminals' ticket but lady let me through without question. I was already very late for my booked 1pm pub lunch at Hornimans by London Bridge and arrived there from London Bridge station at 1.45. Apologised for being late, they had already given my table to somebody else but found me a little one right at the edge of their outside seating area - literally alfresco, fortunately it stayed dry but decidedly chilly in the stiff breeze from the river. Lovely lunch but didn't hang about afterwards. Good journey back arriving somewhat tired around 4.30pm.

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