London A to Z Runs : I   4 comments

I is for “Isis.” Not the muslim caliphate but the ancient name for the mighty River Thames, flowing from South Gloucestershire to the sea and west-to-east across our fair city (although some will have it that the Isis is only the proper name for the river in the vicinity of Oxford ). What better place to resume the A to Z runs (abandoned with the waning winter daylight after the H for Heathrow Run in November) than on the banks of Father Thames?

I didn’t know that the annual Cambridge/Oxford Boat Race was this weekend when I planned this jaunt but television crews were setting up every step of the way.  The Hammersmith Bridge, above and, with some detail, below, is at about 1½ miles into the event and the rest of my route covers most of the remaining race course.

Lot’s to see along the river, such as the little ‘service station’ island toward the Chiswick end of the run.  Of course, I was here to refuel in the pubs (this map from Londonist isn’t comprehensive but is at least a good guide for your own trip). Along the way, I found lovely venues named The Dove, The Bull’s Head, The Ship, and The Bell & Crown, although there are many more (you could pub crawl this area for months).

There is a lot of nice, modernist and Art Deco architecture along this part of the Thames Path, too, but my favourite was really neither, Gustav Holst’s house:

There are dozens of rowing clubs dotted along the shore of this busy, polluted waterway.  At my passing, the tide was pushing the waters the wrong direction which probably serves to concentrate the toxic waste, and yet there were still mudlarkers looking for treasures and rowers out for a wee paddle.  The pollution doesn’t really bother me, either, and I passed by not a little jealous.

The last bit of the run veered away from the Thames to get back to the Tube and the (I think) beautiful Chiswick Park Station:

Now, to rack my brains for something to do for “J.”

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