This part of the Capital Ring meanders from Richmond Bridge to Osterley Lock, mostly along the Thames and the Union Canal. I loved this section of the capital ring, mostly because so much of it was completely new to me! It is a really nice area to wander around that I didn’t know anything about!
We walked along here on a miserable grey day, and it was still lovely, so it must be GORGEOUS when the weather is more pleasant. TFL describes this as one of the easiest sections of the capital ring. It is only 5 miles long, on really flat ground. There are more pubs along this section than any other…so if you just want a teeny bit of a walk, followed by drinks – this is the walk for you!
The walks starts on the Richmond riverfront, so you’ll be able to see the boats covered with perching pigeons. We started quite early in the morning so got to see plenty of rowers and so, so many birds!! You will walk under Richmond Railway Bridge and then Twickenham Bridge. On your right you can see the old deer park…but I am afraid there are no deer here! You cross the Thames at the Richmond Lock and footbridge, where we saw a heron relaxing down below.
Next, you walk along the left side of the Thames for a while, until the path turns off. There are a few posh housing developments that hog the views of the Thames along here, so you’ll have to make do with views of a high wall for a few streets! When you reach the Thames again, there are some lovely view of Old Isleworth where the Thames splits. The route goes past a nice looking pub (the Town Wharf pub) and then over a small stone bridge towards All Saints’ Church.
The next landmark is the entrance to Syon Park. Syon Park is the 200 acre London estate belonging to the Duke of Northumberland. To my shame, I’d never heard of it – but the park is lovely to walk through. It sounds like later in the year you can visit the house and gardens – you can find out more about it here. It was also pretty cool to watch planes fly low as they get ready to land in Heathrow.
After crossing Syon park, walk through a car park past a gardening centre, you will emerge near Brentford Lock. In this area, the housing is less pretty, compared to the wealthy abodes you’ve just walked past in Richmond!
The second half of the walk is less picturesque (along the Grand Union Canal) with more modern and less aesthetically pleasing architecture…but it is still a really nice walk. There was a sign saying you can walk for 139 miles all the way to Birmingham! I wonder if it really stays along the canal the whole way!?
The thing I liked best about the walk along the Union Canal was the street art. I loved the mural along the Brentford Warehouse. I have a few photos, and you can find out more at Positive Arts.
This section was more industrial looking, and as you walk close to the large roads (the A4 and then the M4) you can hear the roar of cars. I still enjoyed the walk. It is really nice to see so many canal boats, but some of them were a little worse for wear…
There are public toilets at Richmond and Syon Park. Or you could pop in to one of the pubs, buy a drink and use their facilities.
I can’t think of many downsides to this section. There are plenty of route signs and the path is not muddy. Once we’d got to Boston manor, we had to take a rail replacement service as the tube was down. However, I assume that is not the norm and so it’s normally pretty easy to access this area.