The best winter walk in W4

Dec 26, 2022
A stroll along the Thames at Strand on the Green from Chiswick to Kew Bridge takes is steeped in history and crammed with history, wildlife and a succession of good pubs.
Start exploring at the end of Strand at the top of Kew Bridge, from where there are steps down to the river walkway, or at Chiswick Railway station from where a 15-minute walk meets the Thames Path at Strand End.
For centuries the area has attracted wealthy residents who built some grand homes here and The Bulls Head,  City Barge and Bell & Crown  public houses all came into existence.
Number 65 Strand on the Green is marked with a blue plaque noting that the 18th century German portrait painter Johann Zoffany lived here until the end of his life in 1810.
The Resident Chiswick
Other famous residents include actor Donald Pleasance, writer Nancy Mitford, newspaper publisher Hugh Cudlipp and more recently actor Rhys Ifans and musician Midge Ure.
Hopkin Morris cottages towards the Chiswick end of the Strand were originally erected in the 18th century for the ‘poor of Chiswick for ever’ and rebuilt over the years and restored by Hounslow Council in 1973.
In the middle of the river is Oliver’s Island, so called after an apocryphal story that Oliver Cromwell took refuge here when he used the nearby Bulls Head pub as his secret headquarters during the English Civil War.
The island was previously used as a barge factory and is now home to Canada geese, cormorants, grebes, herons and swans. Seals are increasingly found in these waters.
Towards the Kew end of Strand you reach The Steam Packet pub next to what was once the Pier House Laundry, said to be the biggest laundry in London until 1973. This building is now the headquarters of Chiswick brewer Fuller Smith & Turner. The Steam Packet itself is named after the little boat which used to ferry laundry to and from Kew Pier opposite.
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