Tuesday 6th November – 32nd meeting of 2012

Down in numbers this week due to holidays, illness and family commitments, just three of us met at Waterloo for a three and half miles walk from Barnes to Fulham. One of our group have purchased a really good book of 30 London walks and this would be our first attempt at one.

Overground train to Barnes Bridge, a walk down High Street with a coffee and chat to start us off. The walk was well documented and after a quick look at it we felt confident that we would follow it ok. We went passed the duck pond. It looked very picturesque and the colour of the trees superb. The weather was good, sunny without wind and not cold. Barnes is a very nice area and has a village feel to it.

On route we passed St Mary’s church and went inside.  A really very light and friendly feel inside with an amazing clever ceiling which must have been added to cut down on heating cost.

We passed The Temperance pub which fascinated  me as it must have started life 100 years ago as Temperance Billiard Hall but now is a thriving pub. Amazing but very good use of a fine building.  Stained glass windows, tiled walls and strong wooded doors, superb!!

We followed on to the river passing lots of different types of architecture and fine houses. At the riverside walk we saw lots of boathouses. This is a working part of the river as many of the boathouses were opened with men and boys busy launching boats and rowing.  The London Wetlands was on the route.  We thought maybe we could return and visit the Wetlands on one of our meetings as it looked an interesting area. 

The walk took us across Putney Bridge and into Bishop’s Park.  We went into All Saint’s church which was at the edge of the bridge.  This felt very different to St Mary’s and had quite cold dark feel about it.

Walking through Bishop’s Park was good and had a surprise inside with a lovely man-made beach!! It had been built in the 20’s and has been recently renovated and looked great.  Real sand at the end of a paddling, swimming pool.  I would image a very popular place in the summer.  We verged off the planned route a little and went into Fulham Palace.  A very interesting building.  We walked around the parts that were open and came across a delightful restaurant.  We were going for a creamed tea but they didn’t have any scones so we settled for tea and cake!! Very civilised.  There was quite a bit to see there, a walled garden and large gardens but not all open today so we could add this to our list of return visits!

We followed on and the walk ended at Fulham underground.  From here we got a train back to Embankment and trains back home.

This was a very pleasant day.  The walk was easy to follow from the instructions in the book, many land marks to help you and also lots of information of interesting points on route.  We did verge off a few times for places that we were interesting in so I’m sure we did more than the planned three and half miles more like four and half but all very enjoyable.