It has only been ten days since our last leg of the Thames Path but the weather is noticeably colder now and coats and hats were the order of the day. The travel involved to get to and from the start and end points is also getting increasingly more convoluted which perhaps indicates that we are getting further from the heart of London (see map below for confirmation of this).
Where is all the tarmac?
Another way we could tell that we were leaving the big smoke was the nice paved path suddenly stopped as we were leaving Putney to be replaced by a stoney path. Walking boots were now the order of the day.
Putney itself is clearly an affluent part of the city as the banks of the Thames were lined with boat houses of all the biggest and poshest private schools. There were quite a few rowing boats from the schools out on the water being put through their paces with their rowing master skimming alongside shouting instructions via a megaphone disturbing the otherwise tranquil setting.
At Barnes, there was another posh school taking up the banks as St Paul’s School ran for what seemed like miles as we meandered past.
This stretch was much more rural than the last three and, for the first time I think, we managed to walk the whole eight miles without being diverted away from the banks due to building works. The path was for most of the way tree-lined and all you could hear was the sound of birds including parrots (parakeets maybe?) which was slightly out of place but welcome nevertheless.
The final stage of the walk was past Kew Gardens before turning off and heading into Richmond and the slow train back home.
As you can see from the map below we have now traversed London from West to East and, if you look closely, you can see the diversions that we have had to take on previous legs compared to the lovely smooth line on the walk today.
Start: Putney Bridge
Distance: 9.74 miles
Cumulative: 35.47 miles
To go: 154.76 miles