The Thames Path from Hampton Wick

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Medieval undercroft at KingstonHampton Wick to Richmond - then on to Kew and Chiswick. We conduct our bikes from Hampton Wick across Kingston Bridge on the cycle path opposing the traffic flow. We can proceed down a slope in front of the retail shop and turn right, under the bridge. Immediately, we are able to look through glass at the undercroft of a medieval building.

Recreation groundWe proceed toward Kingston Railway Bridge. The large blue boat opposite is a converted Thames coal barge. We pass through Canbury Gardens, along a tarmac road, then follow the marked cycle route. We immediately pass a sports ground which was once the air strip where aviation pioneers Tommy Sopwith and Harry Hawker flew their planes from 1912 to 1920.

Teddington LockTeddington BridgeWe pass Trowlock Island and arrive at Teddington Lock. The path to Richmond is indifferent in parts, with a poor surface, largely enclosed by trees. I think you should wear protection against getting insects in your eyes. At one part one can glimpse Eel-Pie Island, famous or infamous for it's part in the 60s rock scene. This part of the path could be avoided by going across the Ham Lands and going by road to Petersham.

Ham House at HamStar And Garter Home for disabled servicemenPetersham Meadows

There we encounter Ham House and find views across Petersham Meadows to Richmond Hill and the famous Star And Garter Home for disabled servicemen. There are reasonable toilets at the far end of Petersham Meadows.

Richmond BridgeSculpture by Christine Byron

After passing a huge plane tree, we arrive at Richmond Bridge, where we find a lot going on. I diverted to photograph a bronze sculpture by local artist, Christine Byron. We pass by the site of Richmond Palace, built by Henry VII, in 1501.

We soon pass under the Art Deco, Twickenham Bridge. Old Deer Park is on our right and can be reached via a quaint bridge. Another famous venue, The Craw-Daddy, was over to the back. We see the marvellous old Thames Barrier, built in 1894. Nowadays we could cross free of charge, but the presence of a turnstile office indicates that pedestrians once had to pay.

We follow a fairly plain trail, on a rough path, towards Kew. We see Isleworth Old Town and pass Syon House, some way back from the far bank, and Kew Gardens, close at hand.

We now pass under Kew Bridge and view the famous Strand On The Green, on the opposite bank. We pass under the rail bridge with it's surprisingly ornate support, and on to Chiswick Bridge.

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