Sunday, October 2, 2022
Kew Bridge to Fulham
I did get out and walk the Thames Path yesterday, as planned. I went about nine miles, from Kew Bridge (above) to Lots Road in Chelsea. It was a beautiful warm day (t-shirt weather!) and perfect for walking.
I have a lot of pictures, so I'll share just the first batch in this post, covering the stretch from Kew Bridge to Fulham.
The path took me past quaint but surely expensive riverfront houses, some with interesting address plaques. I'm not sure what polar bears have to do with the Thames, but I like them.
My map told me to watch for blue plaques on the houses, signifying that someone famous once lived there. The example it gave was Johan Zoffany, a painter. I'd never heard of Zoffany (and I didn't see his plaque) but I did see one for actor Donald Pleasence.
There were lots of rowers out on the water, as is often the case on this stretch of the Thames...
...and some familiar brand names on buildings on the opposite shore. This was once a brewery but it's permanently closed and is now the object of a redevelopment campaign. Farther downstream there's a beautiful old furniture storage facility once owned by Harrod's, now converted to apartments.
This woman came down to the river to feed the birds. As you can see, she was getting mobbed.
And speaking of birds, this sculpture stands atop a tall pole in Duke's Meadows near Chiswick. It was made of recycled materials by artist Kevin Herlihy and students at Cavendish Primary School, and although the route map erroneously describes it as a gull and chicks, it is in fact called "The Fantastic Herons."
This shows how low the water level is in the Thames. The river is partly tidal, but this is pretty far upstream and it didn't seem to vary much all day. I wonder if this low water level is due to our recent drought. Can you see the woman who walked her dog all the way to the end of that concrete walkway so it could take a dip in the river? (I suppose the fact that there's a walkway there suggests those mud flats are often exposed.)
I walked past the troubled Hammersmith Bridge, which is no longer open to traffic because of structural issues. It's now being used by pedestrians only, while various governmental entities wrestle with how to repair it (and who should pay).
And I circled around the riverfront Fulham football stadium, Craven Cottage, where crowds in black-and-white striped jerseys were gathering for a game. I happened to see Billy Badger, the Fulham club mascot.
As I said, this is just the first leg of my walk. I'll share the rest with you tomorrow.
Incidentally, although I was motivated to get out of the house by the fact that roofers were supposed to be here yesterday, doing their noisy repairs, Dave said they never showed up!