Saturday, 19 April 2008

Kingston Bridge to Kew Bridge, Thames Towpath, via Richmond Park – (Surrey) – 12/01/08 – 10 miles approx – Helen

The plan here was to catch the 111 to Kingston Bridge, and walk along the Thames towpath to Kew Bridge, whilst taking a diversion into Richmond Park to do the inner circuit we had missed out on the previous month.

On a cold but sunny day we were already tucking into our sandwiches by the time we had reached the Teddington section of the towpath, just as well I suppose as an opportunistic dog, nearly took to grabbing and eating them for us. Not long afterwards we diverted off the towpath by Ham House and made our way into Richmond Park by Ham Gate. A cup of Coffee at another café, all the while observed by a young deer, gave Helen a lesson in how London folks aren’t as friendly, or as willing to share tables, as Northern sorts are. Undeterred however we carried on, making new friends with some Parakeets singing in the trees above us.

Somewhere at this point however, I experienced something of a brain freeze as instead of coming out at Richmond Gate and rejoining the towpath there, I decided we really needed to come out by East Sheen Gate instead. Despite the clue to my mistake being in the housing on all sides, I persisted in my error until such times as we found ourselves on Sheen High Street. There was no bluffing my way out of this one, especially when Helen wanted to start looking in shops, so I had to endure the humiliating failure of us having to get a bus back to Richmond Bridge, in order to pick up the towpath again.

Once back on the towpath, my lack of planning/direction was conveniently forgotten as we then became more interested in observatorys, meridian lines and the like, beside The Old Deer Park at Twickenham Bridge. If that wasn’t enough to distract us, the Parakeets appeared above us again. Surely they could not have followed us from Richmond Park, flying alongside the bus ? By this time however the light was closing in fast, and following a last reference point where the Grand Union Canal meets the Thames at Brentford, we came off the towpath at Kew Bridge as planned.

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