“For the nearby village of Barnes, in the South West of the capital, is one of London’s loveliest spots, possessing all the classic attributes of country life” (Perry 358).
Sonny and I began our day at Hammersmith Underground station, exiting at King Street, walking through St.Paul’s Centre to get to Hammersmith Bridge.
As we approached Hammersmith Bridge on this clear, warm spring day, we admired the view of the Thames from the approach.
We exited Hammersmith Bridge and headed right on the Thames path to Barnes. This path is filled with plenty of pedestrians, doggies and cyclists passing through. It seems like it’s never ending but you seem to forget that you’re even in London anymore as crew teams and individual rowers practice in the Thames to your right.
If you fancy a little sidetrack you can access the Leg O Mutton Reserve along your walk or keep proceeding towards Barnes.
From the nature trail you can access Leg O’ Mutton Reserve, an 8.2-hectare reservoir that is a reservoir for birds. (361)
Once you exit the trail that you’ve been on for about 20 minutes, you are in the village of Barnes which doesn’t feel like London at all. For me, it briefly reminded me of Sausalito a seaside town just across the Golden Gate Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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We stopped at The Terrace and admired the view as we took a brief break and gathered our bearings. The long walk through the reserve is rewarded with what lies ahead in Barnes.
At the corner you will find the Bull’s Head which is a popular local jazz club and around the corner, you’re able to grab lunch.
Barnes High Street is filled with lovely local shops and Nicola Perry recommends stopping at the J Seals Butchers, The Real Cheese Shop, and Barnes honey shop Bees of Barnes. Related: A Guided Walk Through Hampstead Village
We proceeded down Barnes High Street and decided to grab a few bits to eat at the Farmers Market which can be found on Saturday’s at Essex House. Barnes Pond provided a lovely backdrop to the lunch we picked up at the Market.
We decided to reward ourselves with a drink at The Sun Inn which Nicola recommends as well. The service was excellent from the knowledgeable bar staff. The tasty bar-bites were wholesome British classics, with a twist. We highly recommend the pulled-pork pie, with beetroot piccalilli!
“The Sun Inn is a pleasant place to stop off before walking through the green and traversing the wide expanse of Barnes Common beyond.”
After soaking up the British sun we headed past Barnes Pond again towards Barnes Common to the London Aquatic Center via Queen Elizabeth Walk.
“The true wonder of postcode SW13 — a world away from Hammersmith’s postcode W6–comes when you venture onto Barnes Common, and step into glorious countryside.” (362)
As we exited the Aquatic Center walking towards 117 Church Road we admired the Olympic Sound Studios where Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and more recorded. We headed back towards Hammersmith Station using Castelnau which you will find “a mile-long stretch of exceptional classic villas.” ( 362)
You can find the full detailed outline and map of this walk on Page 358 of “The Country Walk” In Nicola Perry’s book 33 Walks in London You Shouldn’t Miss.
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