Monday, January 30, 2023
Teddington to Mortlake
Despite gray skies and intermittently drizzly weather, I got motivated yesterday morning and took another walk along the Thames Path. You may recall that I've finished the north shore path, so I'm now beginning the south. I would have thought the logical way to do that would be to simply hop across the river more or less from where I finished, in East London, and walk back to the west. But no -- the trail guides produced by Transport for London have me starting all the way to the west again, and walking eastward.
So it was back to Teddington, where I saw the giant lock and weir last September when I was walking along the north bank.
The big anglerfish above, made of recyclable plastics, stands on the grounds of an arts center in Teddington.
The path along the south shore is much woodsier than the north shore. This obelisk stands seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It marks the westward boundary of the jurisdiction of the Port of London Authority, which oversees navigation on the Thames.
The path is woodsy because it passes through a conservation area known as the Ham Lands. They were named for Ham House, a 17th Century mansion "containing a unique collection of cabinets and artwork," according to the web site. I was just lucky enough to see it covered with scaffolding, its statuary wrapped in a white tarp. I did not go inside.
On I walked to Richmond, where I got a coffee and sat overlooking these boats. They look like they need some maintenance. They're very...fertilized. Maybe the boat owners simply abandon them over the winter and then scrub them up for use in the spring and summer?
I saw plenty of birds but fortunately, no obviously sick ones.
The path wound beneath the bluffs and bridges at Richmond and on toward Chiswick. I saw these detectorists across the river, exploring the tidal mud flats near Isleworth.
(Blogger does not like the word "detectorist," but from what I can tell it is indeed a real word.)
This is what the path looked like east of Richmond -- a raised, narrow causeway with mud flats and swamps on either side, including what the TFL guide poetically called "tide-washed willows."
I walked around the perimeter of Kew Gardens, and had a good view of Kew Palace -- the smallest of the royal palaces and the former home of Kings George II and George III -- and glimpses of the greenhouses and other structures. I passed beneath the Kew Railway Bridge, built in 1869.
Finally I arrived in Mortlake, across the river from Chiswick, having walked 6.8 miles altogether. I caught the train from there back to Waterloo station.
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That was a good walk with much of interest to see. I can't say I like the plastic sculpture.
There are so many abandoned river craft in England.
I'll wear detectorists and spell checker is happy with that. I think I would prefer detectionists, which spell checker is unhappy with. Ideally detectors, but that is the name of the machine they use.
The Kew railway bridge is terrific.
Great walk despite the grey day. Thank you for sharing.
Shouldn't the sign read "BIRD FLU HAS STRUCK"?
I wonder what the bird flu has stuck to.
It looks like another great walk. Tide-washed willows. Yes, so poetic. Going through my mind are all the mundane (and more descriptive) ways to say that.
Shame it was such a gray day but there sure is a lot to see on your Thames Path walks. The Ham House site shows over-the-top opulence on the inside. You will have to visit one day and see if you find evidence of the ghosts that supposedly are there, according to the website.
Richmond? Is that the Lass of Richmond Hill one? I thought it was miles and miles from London! The stuff I learn in here.
The plastic sculpture is a strong statement!
It sort of felt like the theme of this walk was decay and the demise of the natural world (the plastic anglerfish). But it was still lovely.
I just finished reading a book a few months back that heavily involved the Port Authority of London and it's history. The book was about a cargo ship supposedly pirated in the Gulf of Aden (I think), and the man sent to investigate it for Lloyds of London was murdered. I learned a lot about a subject I knew nothing about before reading it.
It took me a moment to discern what I was looking at in that anglerfish photo. I could literally feel my brain going..."Um, um...okay. Bottles, plastic bottles...some sort of art thing commenting on pollution?"
Have you ever been to Kew gardens? That's a place I'd like to go.
Another thing my brain worried about here- of course if there was a sick seagull, he/she would definitely try to hide it, right? Seagulls are wily, man.
That was quite a walk, Steve. I love seeing all the sights that you see and share here. The photo with the two detectorists and the gulls is great. Makes me wish I was there in the photo.
Your photos capture the mood of the day very well. It looks chilly and wintery. I've never been this far to the west so it's interesting to me to see these places. I do have to admit, I'm not fond of that plastic bottle sculpture.
I love the walk and the sights but can't help thinking that anglerfish PROVES what a waste plastics are to the world.
I missed why you had to go back to walk the trail instead of just doing it backwards!
That bird flu sign looks like something from a horror movie. Lovely pics and I read up about Ham House, lots of money. Some thing never change. Rich people building big ass houses.
10KK Good On Ya - Dig Those Photos As Well
Excellent angler fish- LONNNNNGGGGGG walk! Your legs and feet are the stars!
I thought about staying in Richmond or Chiswick, buying a year pass to Kew and just spending all day there for days. Pretty sure I would not tire of it.
River walks and garden- sounds about right, especially in Autumn.
You are a walking machine- I think you may have covered the entire city and surrounding area. Well done! And with a camera and skills!! We all benefit.
Those boats do need some work! I enjoyed the series about detectorists.
I love the angler fish! When my son was very small, he enjoyed making little illustrated books and many of them featured angler fish. Plastic is a huge problem, though. I always think back to the scene from The Graduate. One word: plastics!
I'd love to see loads of schools and companies go plastic free, even if it results in more anglerfish. Some boat owners do nothing with their boats over the winter and clean them up when it's getting warm, and some use the winter to have extensive cleaning and maintenance done on their boats. Those boats do look as if they need some love.
You must be very fit. That is a lovely walk - at least the bits you shared with us!
I wonder if the boat owners realise how green they have become
I'm curious. Not a word about those two people on horseback at the Ham House?
"They're very...fertilized" - wonderful sentence!
The tight fence around the obelisk is intriguing.
Chris from Boise
I didn't see an angler fish in that plastic, I saw a football helmet. Those boats! I can't begin to imagine the amount of scrubbing necessary to get them sparkling again.
What an interesting walk and a pretty one. I had heard of Ham House before and just looked it up -- it looks beautiful and that it has lovely gardens as well. It would be fun to go inside. Is a detectorist the same as a mudlark? This was a good excursion!
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