Dave Sergeant

This 6 mile circular walk from Inner London Ramblers follows the Thames from Barnes to Hammersmith and back and includes an exploration of the grounds of Chiswick House. It partly covers one of my previous Thames walks but Chiswick House and the Leg o' Mutton reservoir are new. And this time I could walk across Hammersmith Bridge.

The walk starts at Barnes Bridge station and immediately crosses the railway bridge there directly off the platform. Barnes Bridge is one of only three railway bridges in London that can be crossed on foot. At the far end is seen the new footbridge underneath the bridge which when completed avoids a lengthy and not very interesting diversion of the Thames path.

Across the bridge and after a short diversion round the new bridge works Dukes Meadow on the north bank is reached, a length stretch of terraces. The rather rural section on the south bank that I will walk later is seen.

After a short stretch of road walking and crossing the busy Burlington Lane the grounds of Chiswick House are entered. The house is now closed for the winter but the extensive grounds are very pleasant and I spent an hour or so wandering around by the suggested route.

The Classic Bridge over the lake. Then the large conservatory, also closed for the season.

Out of the Chiswick House estate and down to the river again passing through Chiswick Parish Church. Here is the grave of the artist William Hogarth with its large urn and inscription.

The route now follows that of the Thames path along Chiswick Mall. Further on is the Dove, where James Thomson wrote the words of Rule Brittania and which claims to have the smallest bar in the UK. But too early for lunch. Into the pleasant Furnivall Gardens and then into Hammersmith and the bridge, still under repair, which I crossed.

The bridge from the south bank. The walk here is surprisingly rural for somewhere so close to central London.

After a while a short diversion away from the river brought me to the Leg O' Mutton reservoir. After it stopped being used as a reservoir in 1960 it became a nature reserve and very pleasant it is too, being a quiet reserve separated from the river. The path goes right round the reservoir but I walked just half of it to emerge back at the river at the other end. A short walk brought me back to Barnes where I had a pleasant lunch before making my way home on the train.

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