On this second stage of our monthly “Thames Path in London” project the weather treated us kindly. It was a mild day with almost no breeze and some sunny spells. We started at low tide and during the next three hours the tide brought the waters high up the embankment walls. The stretch from Richmond to Mortlake began by crossing Richmond Common and the courtyard of the old palace (where Elizabeth I died) to join the river; we shortly came to the Richmond Lock flood control apparatus. With graceful Brentford views across the river to our left we passed on the right the Old Deer Park, then the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Old Kew Palace. In Kew Green we stopped on benches for a breather, then on the S bank path past Mortlake Bridge and the Budweiser Brewery, well known from the Boat Race course, and a series of distinctive regency houses, to reach Barnes Bridge Station wher we said goodbye to Joanna. The remaining section comprised a leafy track in autumn colours past a reservoir and school playing fields, then a final two miles along Barnes Reach past the Wetlands bird sanctuary to reach St Mary’s Church at the foot of Putney Bridge. There we found refreshment in the Wetherspoons in Church Square. This had been a satisfying tramp; the eight miles went quickly.
Next stage on Thursday 14 December, Putney Bridge to Vauxhall. We will start at 10.00, to enable us to have a celebratory lunch (£12.50) at Bonnington’s Cafe, cooked for us by veggie chef Iga Strapko (booking via Steve or Veronica needed).