Twelve Poly Ramblers met at Hammersmith station for a circular walk along both banks of the Thames. We split into two groups and agreed to walk in opposite directions meeting for a socially distanced lunch at Barnes Pond. Team Danny set off along the north bank of the river past the fine, mainly eighteenth century, buildings of Hammersmith and Chiswick Malls to arrive at Chiswick Parish Church with its medieval tower. After visiting the church and Hogarth’s grave the river was left to explore the classical gardens of Chiswick House. Returning to the river a short walk along the promenade of Duke’s Meadows brought the group to Barnes Bridge which was crossed to arrive at the lunch stop.
The second group who had a far shorter walk to the lunch rendezvous sauntered the 500m to Hammersmith Bridge before stopping for a leisurely coffee break at the Riverside Studios which was hosting an exhibition by the contemporary artist Paul Muzni. A text from Danny indicating they had already reached Chiswick House prompted a walk across the iconic bridge to the south bank of the river to follow the tree lined towpath to the Leg O’ Mutton Nature Reserve. The banks of the reservoir were resplendent with swathes of Purple Loosestrife and bulrushes and many water birds were seen. Leaving the reserve a short walk along the Barnes riverfront, observed by a cow and a stormtrooper from their balconies, led the group to Barnes High Street to welcome their fellow Poly Ramblers.
After lunch the groups continued their walks back to Hammersmith and planned to meet for a drink near the bridge. Unfortunately Jennifer’s group so enjoyed exploring the Grade 1 listed gardens at Chiswick House with their sweeping vistas, architectural delights, water features and wilderness areas that they missed Danny’s group by a few minutes.
We were blessed with ideal weather and think a pleasant time was had by all.
Danny and Jennifer
Photos by Ida.