Take a riverside walk

The stretch of riverbank between Barnes and Hammersmith is a peaceful nature reserve and a walk along the tow path is one of those hidden London secrets.


Early on a summer's morning you can take a solitary stroll  - sharing your peaceful journey with single scullers rowing silently by - while listening to bird song and watching the sun glint on the river. The views across the river towards Chiswick are glorious - look out for the historic houses on Chiswick Mall, the tiny island of Chiswick Eyot and the church where Hogarth is buried - and the scenery on the Barnes side is almost totally rural. Roughly half way between Hammersmith and Barnes bridges you can take a detour off the tow path to find the Leg o'Mutton reserve - a former reservoir which has been allowed to revert to nature and is the home to numerous bird species.

Beyond Hammersmith Bridge the stretch of river between Barnes and Putney becomes livelier as it is overlooked by mansion flats and the magnificent Harrods Depository - once a furniture storage site for the famous department store and now a very exclusive block of flats with wonderful river views.

The walk from Barnes to Hammersmith Bridge takes around 35 minutes and if you want to stroll further extending your journey towards Putney Bridge will add another 25 minutes. The good news for walkers is that there is sustenance to be had at either end of the walk - in Barnes you can prepare for your walk with a refreshing pint at the Bull's Head or the White Hart and in Putney you'll find the Duke's Head is a nice spot to recover from your exertions.


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