The Thames Path kew bridge to Hammersmith

Newly empowered by the adoption of Adobe Slate as my parallax blogging app and platform of choice, Helen and I decided that we must only do cool things worth showing off from now on. So today we set out at the crack of 2pm to continue our Thames Path adventure weekend, this time from Kew Bridge to Hammersmith.

7up Free and a creepy advert

A few stops on the overground from Willesden Junction to Gunnersbury, and a bit of a walk through faux-Chiswick, the Thames opened up before us. Well, sort of; the tide was miles out and the river looked almost dry. This gave us the opportunity to descend to the makeshift beach and cover our footwear in Thames spenge, while Helen called her dad.

We'd chosen this direction for the walk so that we'd end up where there are riverside pubs since there are none at this end, apart from the three we went past in close succession.

Suddenly there were a great many paddle boarders.

After really not very long, the path comes off the river and onto the road. I was unfamliar with this route having previously only walked on the south side and it was a very minor disappointment to spend so long without being able to see the Thames. Just past '"Thames VIllage" a private development has deemed their private path accessible by the public, bless them.

There's a lock to the estate's marina, and a shifty 'dangerous' bridge across it.

On the eastern side of Chiswick Bridge we enter a long stretch of tree-lined path next to a road, without much of a river view apart from the Budweiser brewery. By now I am both dehydrated and desperate for a piss. So at Barnes Bridge we cross to the south and into a pub; only soft drinks are purchased, remarkably. Neither of us are that interested in coming back for the Psychic Night coming this week.

Barnes Bridge station is almost literally on the bridge. This is great.

There's a plaque for Gustav Holst on a flat near the bridge. I've heard of him and everything. Back over the bridge and we briefly get lost, because it's confusing. But soon we enter a bizarre long, thin, stepped park absolutely teeming with families and barbecues and picnics and football. There is an ait, which we learnt just yesterday means "small island, typically in the River Thames" - I love the fact there's a word with such a geographically specific meaning. Also there are gorgeous views and mediocre obelisks.

At the end of the park we're back on the road, but still next to the water. The tide has come in massively and the flood warning signs are obviously required - though forty shlllings seems a bit steep for parking fines. We walk past the Fullers brewery and then back onto the path with pubs, which are all rammed as expected.

There are amateur sailors sailing badly in tough conditions.

And before we know it, here's Hammersmith. There's a vague idea to get some tins and sit in the park, but that lacks a sensible toilet strategy. Riverside seems unlikely but outdoors would be nice and after Hammersmith Bridge, which is awesome anyway but made extra so by a cat, we find a pub with empty seats in the sun.

It's a proper locals' boozer and we're served our Guinness and Pimm's by the landlord in a frighteningly white and well ironed shirt with immaculately pressed trousers. Almost all the punters know each other and the guvnor. A man with no Big Issues but clutching some Evening Standard magazines gets a bit of shrapnel and we try to play a game on my phone, but really we're listening to the incessantly gay man on the next table talk such hippy happy clappy trappy bullshit I honestly wonder if there's a scientologist in our midst.

Helen is scared to order a second drink lest her accent cause a fracas. Opposite they are building fancy flats.

After that we realise it's pretty late and we're fucking starving, as too will be the cat. So we wander to Hammersmith bus station, and I realise I need a piss. The whole experience is terrible. For a start, it costs 50p and i don't even need a shit - for such money I really want to get the most from this. And then, this advert...

SERIOUSLY?

The hot water almost burns my hand and the dryer almost breaks my wrists and deafens me. Perhaps the 50p cost is to cater for the excessive electricity required to power all this stuff. Horrific. The 220 to Willesden Junction can't come soon enough. And how comes I didn't know about Scrapheap Challenge before?

Created By
Darren Foreman
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