Thames Path – Hampton Court to Weybridge

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?

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

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…

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

I’ve been surprised at just how many rowers I’ve seen from the tow path.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

There are some distinctive houseboats on this stretch of the Thames, perhaps more floating houses than boats made into houses.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

A rowing sculpture near another boat house.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

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.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

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).

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

It might not be spring weather, but the daffodils are starting to appear.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Some wartime anti-tank cubes and a hairpin rail.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

And a type 1 coal tax post: number 97 on this list of them all.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Sunbury Lock.
Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

And time for a quick one at The Wier.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

A wave from the crew of a baby narrow boat.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Riverside buildings.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Feeding the birds.
Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Boats for sale. This could have come in handy later…

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

There is no risk of getting lost today – simply follow the river bank.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Walton Bridge hasa complicated history, being the sixth bridge here since the first was built in 1750.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

D’Oyly Carte Island.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Quite an ambitious set of directions; turn left for Stranraer and Galway, or right for Nice.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Oh bother.

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.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

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.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

And next time, I will check whether the ferry is running before setting off.

Thames Path - Hampton Court to Weybridge

Thames Path – Richmond to Hampton Court

A walk along the Richmond to Hampton Court section of the Thames Path, on 24 March 2018.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

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.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

The Thames Path follows the side of the river all the way today.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

You would have to try hard to get lost on this section of the Thames Path.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

The Twickenham ferry shuttles back and forth.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

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.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

The 17th century Duke and Duchess of Lauderdale’s Ham House comes into view.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

Eel Pie Island.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

Teddington, and time for a short diversion over the suspension bridge to the pub.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

The pub sign used to show the Dunkirk evacuation, which was perhaps a more interesting choice than the current picture of some boats.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

Meanwhile next door, there is no fishing at The Anglers.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

A stuffed Wallace on a fence.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

To be honest, this section of the Thames Path was a bit disappointing. Tree, river, house, river, tree.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

There were people out rowing and canoeing…

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

… although the biggest rowing event of the day was further downstream.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

Unlike Richmond, Kingston isn’t really a river-focused kind of place.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

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.

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A church.

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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…

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…until right at the very end.

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The end is in sight.

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With a detour to have a quick look at the palace.

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

Only 147 miles to go to reach the source!

Thames Path - Richmond to Hampton Court

Thames Path – Putney to Richmond

A walk along the section of the Thames Path National Trail, heading upstream from Putney to Richmond, on 11 March 2018.

Thames Path - Putney to Richmond

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.

Thames Path - Putney to Richmond

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…

Thames Path - Putney to Richmond

Apparently the race was a dead heat.

Thames Path - Putney to Richmond

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.

Thames Path - Putney to Richmond

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.

Thames Path - Putney to Richmond

There is little risk of geting lost on this section of the Thames Path, even without signposting.

Thames Path - Putney to Richmond

Not far before Kew Bridge is a pair of sound mirrors. They are not quite as impressive as the listening ears at Dungeness in Kent.

Sound mirrors - Kew

Passing the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew.

Thames Path - Putney to Richmond

A view to Syon House on the opposite bank of the river.

Thames Path - Putney to Richmond

Much of the route is lined with trees, although aircraft heading for Heathrow airport are rarely out of earshot.

Thames Path - Putney to Richmond
A pink building on a grey day.

Thames Path - Putney to Richmond

Richmond comes into view.

Thames Path - Putney to Richmond

That’s a more stylish way to travel. Lilian is a motor yacht built 1916 by Pettersson in Stockholm.

Thames Path - Putney to Richmond

Richmond is reached. I had planned to keep going on along the river to Kingston, but this seemed far enough for one day.

Thames Path - Putney to Richmond

Thames Path – London Bridge to Putney

A walk along the second – at least when heading upstream – section of the Thames Path National Trail, from London Bridge to Putney.

Thames Path - 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.