Brentford to Hammersmith

Our usual end of year walk came a couple of days earlier than usual as we were travelling up to Matlock for a couple of days before the New Year to where our younger son and family now live.  The trains were not back to work normally on December 27th with engineering work still taking place on some lines so we decided not to travel too far. Even so we had to change our normal route to Brentford, as there were no trains running there, but it was simple enough to take the train to Twickenham and get a bus to Brentford – and the same bus route would take us back from Hammersmith to Twickenham for the train home.

I grew up in the area and occasionally visited Brentford in my youth, more usually simply going through it on the bus on our way to Kew Bridge and Kew Gardens – back when the entrance fee was a penny. Then it was a cheap family day out, and my parents were keen gardeners, with my father growing large quantities of fruit and veg for our family and some relatives in our and their gardens and on an allotment, as well as looking after one of the best gardens in Hounslow for a few paid hours a week.

Brentford was  notable for several things as we peered out from the top of the bus. First came the canal, usually busy with boats at the lock and in front of the large goods sheds. The High Street had its interests too, not least the beehive on the Beehive pub (my father was a bee-keeper on a moderately large scale too) and then came the gas works, on both sides of the road with its powerful smells, and the River Thames as we scrambled down the stairs to get off at Kew Bridge.

Bits of the old Brentford remain, both along and off from the High St, but much has changed, particularly both by the canal and the river, with large blocks of flats replacing much of the docks and industrial sites.

One small disappointment was that a part of the Thames path was closed; at least the detour was no further than the actual route, though it did deny us seeing the boat yards still he from the path at the back of the image above.  There is so much to see along by the river on the way to Kew, and beyound at Strand on the Green it gets more picturesque with a couple of well-known pubs. Despite being December, it was warm enough in the sun to sit comfortably on a bench to eat our sandwiches.

Unfortunately the path soon leaves the river, but we were in any case on our way to Chiswick House, or rather the gardens around it, where we stopped for coffee and cakein the rather more modern cafe.

A short walk along the busy Burlington Lane took us to a footpath leading to Chiswick Church, and Hogarths tomb, and, a few yards further on, back to the river.

The sun was going down as we made our way along Chiswick Mall and then Hammersmith Mall to the bridge, turning away there to make our way to the bus station. It took us some time to find our bus stop, thanks to some rather poor signage inside the shopping centre, but soon we were on the way home after a very pleasant walk.

Many more pictures at Brentford to Hammersmith


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My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

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