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London Winter Walks: Strand on the Inexperienced Chiswick

A stroll alongside Strand on the Inexperienced from Chiswick to Kew Bridge to absorb a rivers-side stroll steeped in historical past, with loads of charming pubs to cease at alongside the way in which…

Photograph: Getty

Strand on the Inexperienced was a fishing village within the Center Ages. Now, though it solely straggles the river Thames for lower than a kilometre, it’s a common stroll filled with historical past, wildlife and a succession of excellent pubs. 

One can begin exploring on the finish of Strand on the prime of Kew Bridge, from the place there are steps right down to the river walkway, or at Chiswick Railway station from the place it’s a 15 minute stroll to satisfy The Thames Path at Strand Finish. 

The hamlet was merely ‘Strand’ from the thirteenth century to the seventeenth century, from the Previous English phrase for a financial institution or shore. This was a fishing group with a ferry service to Kew. In early days there was no path alongside the riverbank, only a sequence of interconnecting wharves. 

The opening of Kew Bridge in 1759 and the royal palace at Kew elevated the recognition of the world. Through the 18th century the village attracted rich residents who constructed some grand houses right here and The Bulls Head, Metropolis Barge and Bell and Crown public homes all got here into existence. 

All of the pubs, together with The City Barge and The Bell & Crown are price visiting, though it’s important to e book if you would like a desk for lunch or dinner. 

Take time to look rigorously on the homes. The river is tidal right here and may rise by as much as seven metres at occasions however that may be a uncommon incidence as of late. You’ll discover how the homes have protected themselves through the years, some with miniature elevated doorways. 

Quantity 65 is marked with a blue plaque noting that the 18th century German portrait painter Johann Zoffany lived there till the tip of his life in 1810. Zoffany was a widely known flamboyant character and attainable bigamist. He turned a detailed buddy of royalty together with the German-speaking Queen Charlotte, spouse of George III. 

Different well-known residents embody actor Donald Pleasance, author Nancy Mitford, newspaper writer Hugh Cudlipp and extra not too long ago actor Rhys Ifans and musician Midge Ure. 

Hopkin Morris cottages in direction of the Chiswick finish of the Strand had been initially erected within the 18th century for the ‘poor of Chiswick for ever’ and rebuilt through the years and restored by Hounslow Council in 1973.  

In the course of the river is Oliver’s Island, so known as after an apocryphal story that Oliver Cromwell took refuge right here when he used the close by Bulls Head pub as his secret headquarters through the English Civil Warfare.

The island was beforehand referred as merely Strand Ayt.  It has been used as a barge manufacturing facility and is now house to Canada geese, cormorants, grebes, herons and swans. Hold a watch out for the playful seals that are more and more present in these waters 

In direction of the Kew finish of Strand you attain The Steam Packet pub subsequent to what was as soon as the Pier Home Laundry, stated to be the most important laundry in London till 1973. That constructing is now the headquarters of native brewer Fuller Smith & Turner. The Steam Packet itself is called after the little boat which used to ferry laundry to and from Kew Pier reverse.  


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