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The Crown and Twickenham Riverside

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The Crown and Twickenham Riverside
Author: Claire, Published: 17 Mar 2016 Walk rating : Rating:star1 The Crown and Twickenham Riverside Walking Guidestar1 The Crown and Twickenham Riverside Walking Guidestar1 The Crown and Twickenham Riverside Walking Guidestar1 The Crown and Twickenham Riverside Walking Guidestar1 The Crown and Twickenham Riverside Walking Guide
Middlesex, St Margaret's
Walk Type: River or lakeside
The Crown and Twickenham Riverside
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Crown and Twickenham Riverside Walking Guide
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A 2.5 mile circular pub walk from The Crown in St Margaret’s near Twickenham. The Crown is a friendly and individually styled community pub, where you can enjoy delicious food with friends or maybe just a drink with your four-legged friend in the bar. The walking route explores a stretch of the nearby River Thames as well as several beautiful local gardens and parks, including Marble Hill Park, Orleans Gardens and York House Gardens.

The walk is almost entirely flat and follows surfaced paths throughout. There are no gates or stiles on route, but you will need to negotiate a number of flights of steps. There are a couple of stretches of walking on quiet access roads so take care of any traffic at these points. Dogs are welcome within all the parks and gardens. Allow 1 to 1.5 hours.

The walk starts and finishes at The Crown at the junction between Richmond Road and Orleans Road in St Margaret’s. The best way to arrive is by public transport. The pub is just a 5 mins walk from St Margaret’s rail station and many buses run along Richmond Road. If you are coming by car, The Crown does have a very small car park. Approximate post code TW1 2NH. If you wish to use this, please arrive in the morning ready to complete your walk for lunch at The Crown when food service begins at 12pm. Alternatively, there is an English Heritage pay and display car park at Marble Hill Park (Waypoint 1) which costs £3.50 for 3 hours (correct March 2016). This is accessed via the vehicle entrance gate for Marble Hill Park, just a little further east along Richmond Road, approximate post code TW1 2NN.

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Walk Sections

Start to Marble Hill Car Park
Start to Marble Hill Car Park

Start point: 51.4513 lat, -0.3189 long
End point: 51.4514 lat, -0.3129 long

Standing on the front pavement with your back to The Crown, turn right and follow the pavement passing the mini-roundabout and continuing along Richmond Road. Cross over the side road, Montpelier Row, and immediately afterwards turn right through the gates leading into Marble Hill Park. A few paces in, turn left to join the tarmac path heading through the trees, running parallel with Richmond Road across to your left.

A little further along you will have excellent views of Marble Hill House across to your right. The Palladian villa was built in the 1720s for the remarkable Henrietta Howard, mistress of King George II when he was Prince of Wales, and friend and confidante of some of the cleverest men in England. Both the poet Alexander Pope and the author Jonathan Swift (of Gulliver’s Travels fame) spent many hours at Marble Hill House as guests of Henrietta. Today, the house and grounds are managed by English Heritage.

Towards the far end of the park, the path merges with the vehicle access road. Follow this ahead and then, just before the road swings right, turn right onto the tarmac path leading you through an avenue of trees. On the left-hand side of this path you will pass the pay and display car park for Marble Hill Park.

Marble Hill Car Park to Thames Path
Marble Hill Car Park to Thames Path

Start point: 51.4514 lat, -0.3129 long
End point: 51.4482 lat, -0.3106 long

Continue on the tarmac path, heading south (signed to Marble Hill House). Across to the right you will be able to see the old coach house. Ignore the path on the right which leads to the house, simply keep ahead passing some fenced woodland areas on your right.

When the fence on the right ends, take a small detour across the grass to your right to visit the circular area of hedge. This conceals a small garden retreat known as a grotto, an artificial imitation of a cave. Once adorned with shells, the grotto was used as a cool secluded spot by Henrietta where she could sit and rest during her walks with friends around the grounds.

When you have finished at the grotto, return back to the tarmac path and turn right to continue your journey along this. At the bottom of the park, pass through the gate ahead to reach a junction with the Thames Path, with the River Thames directly ahead.

Thames Path to Champions Wharf
Thames Path to Champions Wharf

Start point: 51.4482 lat, -0.3106 long
End point: 51.4466 lat, -0.3247 long

Turn right along the Thames Path, with the river running on your left. Across to your left, on the opposite river bank you will be able to see Ham House. As you reach a wall ahead, go straight on through the gateway into Orleans Gardens. Continue ahead through these gardens, still following the line of the river on your left.

Leave Orleans Gardens via the slope ahead and turn left along the access road, called Riverside, passing under a metal footbridge. Follow the road as it dog-legs right then left and you will pass Twickenham Yacht Club on your left. Further along, the road bears left leading you under an arched stone footbridge. You may notice an elaborate fountain across to the left, we will be visiting that up close later on.

On your right you will pass Dial House, which was the home of the Twining family (of Twining Teas fame) from 1722. Continue along the main access road and you will see Champions Wharf on your left. This has a lovely riverside seating area, ideal to sit and watch the river and the boatyards on Eel Pie Island opposite.

Champions Wharf to Church Street
Champions Wharf to Church Street

Start point: 51.4466 lat, -0.3247 long
End point: 51.4465 lat, -0.3279 long

When you have finished at Champions Wharf, continue along the access road (ignoring the side road, Church Lane). Join the riverside promenade and you will find an information board on your left about Eel Pie Island. The island was a major jazz and blues venue in the 1960s. The Who and The Rolling Stones are just two of the bands that performed on this tiny island.

Just before you reach the footbridge to Eel Pie Island, turn right into the side road, passing a rugby ball sculpture (well, you are in Twickenham) on your right. Follow this road, Water Lane, away from the river and, just before you reach the junction with the main road, turn sharp right into Church Street.

Church Street to Japanese Garden
Church Street to Japanese Garden

Start point: 51.4465 lat, -0.3279 long
End point: 51.4473 lat, -0.3231 long

Follow Church Street, leading you through a range of small shops. At one time, this would have been the main street in the town. Just before you reach St Mary’s Church, turn right along Church Lane, passing the church on your left. St Mary’s was in existence before 1332 and is the burial place of Alexander Pope.

At the end of Church Lane you will come to a T-junction with the Riverside access road that you walked along earlier. Turn left for just a few metres and then turn right to re-enter Champions Wharf. Standing facing the river, turn left through the archway to enter York House Gardens. Take the first path on the left, which leads you to the viewing platform for the fountain. This fountain, created by the last private owner of York House, the industrialist Sir Ratan Tata, comprises a number of white marble sculptures and is known as The Naked Ladies. The garden was created as a setting for his garden parties and the fountain was the central attraction.

With the fountain on your left, turn right through the formal area of lawns surrounded by hedges and benches. You will emerge to a circular area with a pond. Turn sharp left and cross the stone footbridge to reach the other half of the York House Gardens, with York House ahead. Turn right, passing through the arch within the garden wall and go down the steps to reach the next quadrant. Turn immediately right, crossing the wooden bridge within the Japanese Garden.

Japanese Garden to Lebanon Park
Japanese Garden to Lebanon Park

Start point: 51.4473 lat, -0.3231 long
End point: 51.4474 lat, -0.3211 long

Beyond the bridge, follow the path as it swings left to reach a junction by a circular floral border. Bear right and follow the path as it swings left, leading you directly ahead along the edge of the garden (with a flower border and wall running on your right). As the path opens out into a vehicle access area, keep ahead passing the ornate metal urinals on your left. You will come to the tennis courts ahead.

Turn right to leave York House Gardens through the gateway onto Sion Road. Cross over and turn right along the pavement. Just after Waterman’s Lodge, turn left into Ferry Road. Follow this road as it swings right and then, halfway along the garage block on your right, turn left onto the side branch of this road (Little Ferry Road). You will emerge to a T-junction with Lebanon Park.

Lebanon Park to End
Lebanon Park to End

Start point: 51.4474 lat, -0.3211 long
End point: 51.4515 lat, -0.3188 long

Cross over and turn right along the pavement, heading back towards the Riverside. Turn left along the Riverside access road, signed towards Marble Hill. Follow the road as it dog legs right then left, passing back under the metal footbridge. Immediately after the bridge, turn left to enter the grounds of Orleans House.

Take the path along the left-hand edge of the gardens and up the steps to reach the house ahead. The Palladian villa was built in 1710 for James Johnstone, Secretary of State for Scotland. In the early 1800s it was occupied by Louis Philippe Duc d’Orleans (later King of France) during his exile and was later renamed to denote this association. Whilst much of the property was demolished in the 1920s, the Octagon Room was saved and today houses a gallery.

Turn right along the paved area, passing the house on your left. Beyond the house, keep ahead through the metal bollards to reach a junction of paths alongside an old black lamppost. Take the stone path at about 10 o’clock which leads you into the woodland. At the far end you will come to the exit gate onto Orleans Road. NOTE: Take care here as the gate opens directly onto the road. Pass through the gate and turn left. At the end of the road you will come to The Crown on your right for some well-earned hospitality.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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