By way of Twickenham- overground to Jubilee to Waterloo to the Great Southwestern Railway to Twickenham out in zone 5! This is the farthest I have traveled. And so many stops and new names… I read about this open day in the Londonist email… “EEL PIE ISLAND: There’s a rare chance to set foot on Twickenham’s mysterious Eel Pie Island this weekend. The artists who work in the studios on the usually-private spit of land in the Thames open their doors for the public to see them at work. You can buy their art directly from them — but take cash, as not all of them can accept card payments. Eel Pie Island (Twickenham), free, just turn up, 22-23 June (and 29-30 June)”
Arriving in just under an hour we alighted the train at Twickenham in zone 5 and took the correct but quite circuitous route out of the station to walk down the Main Street to lunch at Avocado and Lemon. I had a sandwich which was very good and Brad had Eggs Benedict which he like very much. What we didn’t know at the time was two blocks further on there was a little market where the street had been closed and there were plenty of restaurants that had put out tables and chairs so you could eat and enjoy the sight of the market. I’m not saying we made a mistake, just that you never know what lies ahead.
Ahhh. I can’t say enough good about this day. I had read a description of a typical English village only this one, Twickenham, was said to be a bit more upscale than most, and if I knew what an English village felt like this would be it. Beautiful homes , small shops, a village gathering, people strolling. What’s not to love.
We crossed over a small footbridge and wandered the length of Eel Pie Island, about 4 minutes end to end. Very eclectic, very glad we went, very piled high with debris… at least on the artist side of the Island.
On the opposite side of the Island from Twickenham were more upscale private homes. Nothing lavish that we could see but certainly well tended to and cared for.
As we wandered back into Twickenham Brad pointed out the high water mark dating to March 1774 I think.
Then we wandered through the church yard.
And off towards Richmond, a larger town a couple of miles down the Thames Path.
As we left Twickenham the path wove us through Gardens, past fountains and then alongside the river past grand old estates and the river full of small boats and fields on the other side. There is a ferry service that will take you across for a pound. There is even some history of the Hammerton ferry you can read about here.
There were a few beautiful overlooks on the way, one to Ham which is a big house on the National Trust and one to a big Hotel up on a hill.
The sight of Richmond when it came into view was of a bustling waterway town – pubs, benches, patches of grass all filled with people enjoying the day. This is so different from anywhere I have ever lived in the U.S. especially Miami where everyone tends to huddle in the house or the car.
and then there were the signs we passed.