Brentford to Marble Hill House
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OS Map of Brentford to Marble Hill House

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Brentford to Marble Hill House

The walk goes from the little town of Brentford, where the Brent River meets the Thames, along the Thames Path to Twickenham. Currently Brentford is being transformed by major developments of riverside flats. The walk passes by Syon House and Marble Hill House with views of Ham House across the river, a reminder of the time when this stretch of the river was home to many grand houses. This route starts on Brentford High Street. For public transport access from central London travel from Waterloo to Syon Lane station or go to Hammersmith by tube and catch the 267 bus.
1. From the Brent Lea bus stop walk about 50m west and turn down a pedestrian path between brick walls, signposted to Syon House.
2. On the left as the path turns right you have views into the Syon House garden with its large glass dome of the Great Conservatory. This dates from around 1830 and was one of the first to be built from iron and glass. Syon House remains in private hands. The heart of the building is a medieval great hall. But in the 1760ís Robert Adam was involved in redesigning the interior which is very lavish and in the neo-classical style (i.e. way over the top). The whole is contained within a rather dreary four-square battlemented exterior. There are refreshment opportunities in the Refectory, part of a garden centre next to the House.
3. Follow the path just to the right of the brick wall. Off to the right is the parkland remaining from the original Syon estate. Behind the wall, in the grounds of the house, are buried the hidden remains of the abbey, dissolved in 1538.
4. Old Isleworth. Leave the park and follow the river bank towards the iconic London Apprentice pub The street leading into Old Isleworth is lined with interesting old buildings.
5. All Saints church has an ancient tower and a more modern chancel.
6. Mill Plat. The road crosses a small bridge over the Duke of Northumberland's River, a 16th century artificial watercourse dug to improve the flow to watermills in this area. After the bridge turn left to rejoin the Thames and continue along the riverbank until the Capital Ring signs instruct you to turn inland. At a small roundabout turn left along Richmond Rd.
7. Railshead Rd. Turn left down Railshead Rd. and then follow the towpath beyond Richmond Lock, Twickenham Bridge and a railway bridge. The name Railshead has nothing to do with trains but dates from at least the 15th century and refers to the stakes (or rails) at the head of a weir.
8. Duckís Walk. The towpath continues past the closed ends of suburban cul-de-sacs and riverside villas until the path reaches Bridge St.
9. Richmond Bridge. Cross over Bridge St. and follow the slipway down to the right of Richmond Bridge.
10. Gloverís Island. Continue past an island (Glover's). Is it named after the cartographer who drew the 1635 map of Twickenham, Brentford and Isleworth, now on display in Sypn House? Also note the bat friendly street lighting and the raft on which someone has been living for at least the past 20 years.
11. Ferry to Ham. If your taste for stately homes is not yet sated you can always take a ferry from here across to Ham House.
12. Orleans Gardens. Cross over the road through the gate into Orleans House Gardens. Follow the path around to the right of the art gallery then ahead to the North Stables where there is a very nice cafe, Karmarama.
13. Karmarama. Leave the cafe by taking the path next to the school playing field, emerging through a small wrought iron gate onto Orleans Rd. Turn left and continue to the end of Orleans Rd, past a pleasing variety of terraced houses and cottages.
14. Public Transport Links. Turn right and almost immediately left and continue down Crown Rd. to St. Margarets station. Or catch buses towards Richmond or Twickenham and all points beyond in Richmond Rd.

Total distance 9.2 km (5.8 miles).

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Syon House Great Dome Conservatory

Syon House

Marble Hill House

Orleans House

Karmarama Cafe

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