A train to Zagreb calls at Ljubljana station.
A walk along the Thames Path from Hampton Court to Weybridge, on 31 March 2018.
The Thames Path leaves Greater London at Hampton Court bridge, and river crossings are now further apart than before. This was the first genuinely new section of the path for me, as I hadn’t walked any of today’s route before. Here be dragons?
Today was a bit damp, with light rain following on from heavy rain yesterday. The river was pretty high, and suprisingly fast-flowing. Which would become a bit of a problem later…
I’ve been surprised at just how many rowers I’ve seen from the tow path.
There are some distinctive houseboats on this stretch of the Thames, perhaps more floating houses than boats made into houses.
A rowing sculpture near another boat house.
The Hampton Ferry doesn’t run at this time of year, not that it would be much use for following the Thames Path if it did.
Port Hampton on Platt’s Eyot has some interesting buildings, where military motor boats were once built, and with the tower and cranes looks a bit like something from a model railway layout (without the trains).
It might not be spring weather, but the daffodils are starting to appear.
Some wartime anti-tank cubes and a hairpin rail.
And time for a quick one at The Wier.
A wave from the crew of a baby narrow boat.
Boats for sale. This could have come in handy later…
There is no risk of getting lost today – simply follow the river bank.
Walton Bridge hasa complicated history, being the sixth bridge here since the first was built in 1750.
D’Oyly Carte Island.
Quite an ambitious set of directions; turn left for Stranraer and Galway, or right for Nice.
FERRY NOT RUNNING TODAY DUE TO RIVER BEING IN FLOOD!!
Admittedly the river clearly was very flast flowing, although there were some boats out. Time to sit down on the nearby bench, eat my sandwiches and study the map to decide what to do next.
The only option is to return the same way I came as far back as Walton Bridge, cross the river there, and then take the Thames Path alternative route along roads to rejoin the main path. But that is quite a long walk to end up only a short distance in a straight line from here. And it looks like it might rain again. And only a mile or so away there is a station with fast trains back to London. What to do?
Aha, just around the corner is the answer to that question. The section of the path Staines will have to wait for another – drier – day.
And next time, I will check whether the ferry is running before setting off.
A walk along the Richmond to Hampton Court section of the Thames Path, on 24 March 2018.
I started off by calling in at the Museum of Richmond, a small free local museum which has good model of the long-gone Richmond Palace as well as the usual local museum things.
Then it was time to head down to the riverbank.
The Thames Path follows the side of the river all the way today.
You would have to try hard to get lost on this section of the Thames Path.
The Twickenham ferry shuttles back and forth.
The constant stream of aircraft taking off from Heathrow ensures that you know that you are in the suburbs of London rather than the countryside.
The 17th century Duke and Duchess of Lauderdale’s Ham House comes into view.
Eel Pie Island.
Teddington, and time for a short diversion over the suspension bridge to the pub.
The pub sign used to show the Dunkirk evacuation, which was perhaps a more interesting choice than the current picture of some boats.
Meanwhile next door, there is no fishing at The Anglers.
A stuffed Wallace on a fence.
To be honest, this section of the Thames Path was a bit disappointing. Tree, river, house, river, tree.
There were people out rowing and canoeing…
… although the biggest rowing event of the day was further downstream.
Unlike Richmond, Kingston isn’t really a river-focused kind of place.
The Thames Path crosses the river at Kingston to follow the north bank (only) for the first time. Until now it had been on the south or both banks. As a result, this is probably the only point on today’s route where it would be possible to take a wrong turning.
I had imagined that the section from Kingston to Hampton Court would have views of Hampton Court Palace, but you just see the wall and then fence…
…until right at the very end.
The end is in sight.
With a detour to have a quick look at the palace.
Only 147 miles to go to reach the source!
A walk along the section of the Thames Path National Trail, heading upstream from Putney to Richmond, on 11 March 2018.
It turned out that the annual Head of The River Race rowing competition was underway, so there were lots of boats on the river, and hundreds of spectators on the path between Putney and Mortlake.
My only experince of rowing is watching the Boat Race, so it was quite strange to see so many people who were out on the banks of the River Thames for the actual sport rather than just for the beer…
Apparently the race was a dead heat.
This section of the Thames Path path follows the river bank all the way, with no diversions around blocks of flats, building sites or gravel handling facilities.
There is the option to follow either either bank of the river, but the general consensus in the guide books seemed to be that the south side is the better choice, so that is the one I went for. It is also not insignficantly shorter, thanks both to the curvature of the river and following the bank more closely.
There is little risk of geting lost on this section of the Thames Path, even without signposting.
Passing the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew.
A view to Syon House on the opposite bank of the river.
Much of the route is lined with trees, although aircraft heading for Heathrow airport are rarely out of earshot.
Richmond comes into view.
That’s a more stylish way to travel. Lilian is a motor yacht built 1916 by Pettersson in Stockholm.
Richmond is reached. I had planned to keep going on along the river to Kingston, but this seemed far enough for one day.
A walk along the second – at least when heading upstream – section of the Thames Path National Trail, from London Bridge to Putney.
The section through central London is one that I’ve walked along many times before, but beyond the London Eye was newer territory for me. The first section is packed with tourists, but numbers thin out as the views of world-famous landmarks of the City and Westminster are replaced by views of flats and building sites. At times I felt the odd person out on this section of the path, being one of the few people who was not a dog walker or a lycra-wearing jogger.
The Thames Path more-or-less follows the river bank, with a few diversions where the river bank is built up or around construction sites. In some places the offical route appears to divert inland even though there is in fact a riverside path; perhaps the direct path might be a recent addition or not a public right of way.