Thames Path: Richmond and Teddington Circular walk

A lovely section of the Thames: Ham House, Marble Hill House, New Orleans Gallery, a sculpture garden, riverside pubs

Length

6.6 miles (10.5km).

Toughness 1 out of 10 (flat)
Features

This is a lovely Thames Path walk through one of its prettiest stretches through London. It follows long arcs of the river giving sweeping views, and is surprisingly rural for inner London. The return leg is on its opposite bank. You cross Richmond Bridge at one end, and a pedestrian bridge by Teddington Lock at the other. Along the way it passes several attractions - some grand historic houses, some local riverside city parks with a cafe, and a pub crawl of riverside pubs.

The attractions include Richmond (an upmarket riverside town), Ham House (National Trust, entrance fee), Marble Hill House (English Heritage, free), Orleans House Gallery (free), York House gardens and riverside sculpture garden (free), Teddington Lock, Eel Pie Island. Just off route is Strawberry Hill House

The only fly in its ointment, is one section of the river that doesn't have a riverside towpath - about 1 mile or so of residential road walking. No alternative for drivers doing a circular walk, but, for public transport users, there is an option to avoid it.

Walk Option

Twickenham to Kingston

This completely avoids the 'no riverside path' section. It starts at one end of it, but rather than crossing at Teddington Lock (but do, briefly, for the pub), it continues along the riverbank to Kingston station instead

Eat

The Twickenham (west) side - clockwise from Teddington

  • The Anglers. By Teddington Lock
  • Radnor Gardens Cafe
  • Barmy Arms
  • Many places in Twickenham High Street, just inland from York House and the riverside statues
  • The White Swan
  • Orleans House Cafe

The Ham (east) side

  • Many places in Richmond, including a riverside terrace just by the bridge
  • (then nothing)

On the Kingston extension

  • a cafe and a pub in a city park
  • then many places in Kingston itself including 2 pricey riverside pubs just past the bridge, and a Wetherspoons by the station
Nearby

Kew Gardens - further north along the Thames from Richmond

Richmond Park, a large Royal deer park.

Strawberry Hill House, in the 'no riverside path' section.

Travel

Car drivers can park by Teddington Lock for free

Public Transport users can choose between Richmond (Tube), or Richmond, Twickenham, Kingston train stations (train from Waterloo). Contactless should work out fine, otherwise, if doing the linear walk, a return from Waterloo to Twickenham is valid to return from Kingston

Links
  • Marble Hill House : A Palladian Villa in a park on the banks of the Thames. Built by the King's mistress, now a museum. Being refurbished, but will be free. (wikipedia, English Heritage
  • Orleans House Gallery. 18th C. Free
  • Ham House is a 17th C country house in formal gardens. National Trust
  • York House garden is in 2 parts. The most interesting is the Italian style riverside gardens containing the 'Naked Ladies' statues in a water cascade overlooking the Thames. Possibly ancient, they were the property of a celebrated fraudster, so their provenance is uncertain. Whichever, its a great picnic spot.
  • Eel Pie Island. Has artist open days twice a year (July and December). The bridge over to it, and a central footpath is public access (no river views - blocked by fences). There are small blocked off nature reserves at either end.
  • Strawberry Hill House is an 18thC gothic villa built by Horace Walpole - the son of the 1st Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, a man of letters (48 volumes), and MP for a rotten borough. The house was already a tourist attraction in his lifetime. The house is by organised tour. 10-4, Sun-Thu (closed Fri, Sat), but the garden and cafe free, tours £12.50. Half price with the National Art Pass (Art Fund) and National Rail 2-4-1 scheme. Just off route, turn left on Waldegrave Road, by Radnor Gardens, in the 'no riverbank access' section.
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Version

Jul-21 Andrew

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