Finish: Hammersmith Station (Piccadilly, District and Hammersmith and City)
Distance: 7 km/4.5 miles approx. 2 hours walking
Refreshments/toilets: No toilets at Kew Bridge but public toilets at Hammersmith. Numerous cafes and pubs near both stations. The Ship Pub near Chiswick Bridge and a couple of riverside pubs in Barnes.
Exit Kew Bridge station towards the river and take care crossing the busy South Circular Road. Grab a coffee and a pre-walk ‘safety wee’ at one of the cafe's or pubs near the station before heading across Kew Bridge. Turn left down a few steps and double back beside the bridge. Take the path next to the playground to join the Thames Path. Turn right and you’re on your way to Hammersmith with the water on your left.
As your feet crunch on the gravelly path, enjoy the little colourful houses and watch out for herons and cormorants on the river. If it's been wet you'll need to practice your puddle jumping skills on this stretch of the path. You’ll soon pass under a railway bridge before eventually coming to Chiswick Bridge. Just beyond The Ship Pub the path can become flooded when the tide is super high.
POSSIBLE DETOUR If you can’t continue ahead, then turn right up the road beside the pub and left to detour round this short section. Follow the road until The White Hart pub in Barnes where you’ll be able to join the Path again.
After Barnes Bridge you could explore Barnes. It's a quaint little village, with independent shops, cafes and pubs to visit.
After Barnes, the path quickly leaves the roadside and seems more secluded once again. Look out for rowers from one of the many boat houses, and you'll be able to see Chiswick Eyot (a tiny river island) nearer the far bank. Shortly after this Hammersmith Bridge will soon come into view. Leave the path directly before the bridge, up the slope, and cross over to the north bank. Turn left for a well-earned pint at the Blue Anchor pub before the short walk to one of Hammersmith's stations, where the bustle of busy London will contrast with the peace and quiet of your walk.
Still feeling energetic? Haven't seen enough pubs? You could walk back to Kew on the north side. It's very different over there - you'll walk past many more houses and marinas and leave the riverside at a couple of points (it's very well signed). Or continue to Putney Bridge - north of the river is again more built up and takes you via Fulham Football Club. South of the river, the path is gravelly until nearer to Putney. Don't worry, there are some pubs in Putney too!