Stage 3 Barnes Bridge to Baker Street 10.7 Miles
This stage involves a walk alongside the Thames to Hammersmith followed by some pleasant road walking to reach and explore Holland Park. A circuit has been devised to visit some of the highlights of Kensington Gardens. Finally there is some more road walking to reach Baker Street.
If arriving by train from London, exit station, turn right under bridge and then take the next right up a flight of stairs and right again up a further flight of stairs.
Cross Barnes Bridge along pedestrian walkway to right of railway line and descend steps. Ignore Thames Path sign on left and continue along river path. Go past Emanuel School Rowing Club, taking care due to occasional slippery surface. Go ahead along the Thames Path to pass Dukes Meadow and Corney Reach on left. The footpath ends by, turning left away from the river and exiting through a gate towards Chiswick Parish Church. Turn right along Chiswick Mail. At Black Lion Pub turn right to continue along Thames Path passing Dove pub before turning right and continuing along Thames Path. Just before Hammersmith Bridge turn left (2 miles).
Continue along Hammersmith Bridge Road to pass shops on left, crossing road at traffic lights and then turning left under flyover. Continue along path to left of St Paul's Church. The church has an excellent café and toilets. Turn left at traffic lights to cross to traffic island and immediately turn right to cross road straight ahead. Go down steps on right and enter shopping centre by Underground entrance to left of Yardbird pub. Continue and at main thoroughfare veer left eventually exiting shopping centre by statue. Turn right and just past bus station, turn left to cross Hammersmith Road at traffic lights.
Turn left along Bute Gardens, which veers right and then turn left along Luxembourg Gardens. Cross Brook Green to left of tennis courts and continue in same direction along Dunsany Road. At junction veer right along Addison Gardens to eventually cross railway bridge. Crossing Holland Road, continue along Lower Addison Gardens and then turn right along Holland Villas Road. At junction turn right past black bollards and then left along Addison Crescent. At next junction cross Addison Road at pedestrian crossing and continue ahead along Oakwood Court. Cross Abbotsbury Road and turn left. After 30 yards, turn right to enter Holland Park at Abbotsbury Gate (4.2 miles).
Go ahead passing tennis courts on right and Rose Garden on left. Just beyond toilets turn left to pass under arch to left of Holland Park Cafe. Take right fork, past Boy with Bear Cubs statue. After a few yards go up steps on right and turn left passing Holland Park House on right. Turn left to go along right hand side of Dutch Garden, passing 16th century clothed male statue on right, to reach large chess set on left (chess pieces may be stored elsewhere during the winter months).
Turn left past left hand side of chess board. Continue to pass water feature and former ice house (now gallery) on left and just before Rose Garden turn right. At junction turn right past exhibition space (former Orangery) and Belvedere Restaurant (former Summer Ballroom) on right and musical instrument sculpture on left.
At junction turn left downhill. Just before car park turn right to pass Holland Park Junior Playground, Ecology Centre and Nature Play Area on left. Continue to enter D-Garden. Walk clockwise around D-Garden passing Tortoises and Triangle and Time Sundial. Leave D-Garden at point of entry and take 2nd path on left over cross tracks to reach Kyoto Garden on left. Go up steps to enter the garden, which often contains peacocks, large goldfish, and a heron that appears to stare frustratingly at the goldfish that are too big for a heron to eat. Walk anti-clockwise round pond. Cross bridge over stream and exit through bamboo gate.
Turn right and then turn right again at junction to pass Lord Holland’s statue on left. Turn right at next junction and continue passing Holland House (former youth hostel which has recently closed) on left. At major junction just before sports field, the impressive front entrance to Holland Park House can be seen on the right. Turn left to exit Holland Park to left of dog toilet (5.5 miles).
Go past white bollards and continue ahead along Duchess of Bedford Walk and cross Campden Hill Road. Go ahead along Holland Street and continue until junction with Kensington Church Street. Cross road at traffic lights and go ahead along York House Place and continue in same direction to enter Kensington Gardens (6 miles).
Go ahead and just past elaborate golden gate turn left to enter Kensington Palace passing statue of King William III on left. Continue to pass visitor entrance and café on left. Turn right to go up steps and turn left passing Sunken Garden on right and continue to reach Orangery Restaurant. Turn right to exit Kensington Palace.
Go ahead and at junction turn left along Broad Walk to eventually reach entrance to Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground on left. There is also a cafe, and the famous Elfin Oak (a sculpture made from the hollow trunk of an oak tree that is carved with figures of fairies, elves and animals). Walk clockwise around the outside of the playground, noticing in particular its centrepiece the popular pirate ship, and return to Broad Walk. Take path on half right and continue over series of cross tracks to t-junction. Turn right across grass to reach Round Pond.
Walk clockwise around pond and just after a switchback path cross grass to pass to right of bandstand and continue in the same direction. At crossing path turn left and after a few yards go straight ahead at cross tracks to enter South Flower Walk. Turn left along path eventually exiting through gate. Walk anticlockwise around Albert Memorial in order to fully appreciate this masterpiece. There is also a good view of Royal Albert Hall (7.6 miles).
Facing rear of memorial (back of Prince Albert can be seen) turn left and take next path on left to reach junction. Turn right past toilets to next junction. Turn left and when path veers left continue ahead on new path and then take first path on right to pass Serpentine Gallery on right. At multi-path junction take path half left towards Physical Energy Statue passing Queen Caroline's Temple on right. On reaching statue take path half right towards obelisk (Speke's Monument). Facing away from monument take 2nd track ahead on left (grass track next to well-worn track on its left). Continue along this path to reach “Look Out For” information board. Take another well-worn path across grass to right of bushes and continue to reach path beside Long Water.
Turn left along path to pass Peter Pan statue on left. Continue to reach the newly restored Italian Gardens. Turn right to enter gardens, then turn right and turn left between fountains to reach statue of Jenner. Turn left and exit gardens. Turn left and at junction turn right to pass Buckhall Lodge on left and exit Kensington Gardens through gate (8.6 miles).
Cross the West Carriageway with care and enter Hyde Park and continue in same direction on path to right of North Carriage drive and sandy track. Ignore fork on right and shortly after pass small riding enclosure on left. Go past Cumberland Gate on left and follow around outskirts of park, carefully avoiding cycle lane, to reach 2 green domed buildings. Turn left on a path directly opposite these buildings to leave Hyde Park by Upper Brook Street Gate (9.6 miles).
At traffic lights cross Park Lane to reach Brook Gardens containing Animals at War memorial. After visiting memorial cross remainder of Park Lane and proceed along right hand side of Upper Brook Street. Enter Grosvenor Square (now managed by the Royal Parks) to left of General Eisenhower statue. Take centre path through square to pass statue of President Roosevelt on left and Eagle Squadron Pilots Memorial on right. Go ahead to visit the 9/11 Memorial Garden. Turn left to exit square.
Cross two pedestrian crossings and go ahead along Duke Street. Cross Oxford Street and Wigmore Street and reach Manchester Square. Walk clockwise around square to reach Manchester Street. On the corner is the home of the Wallace Collection that includes “The Laughing Cavalier” by Frans Hals. The art gallery is free to visit and can be a nice break during the road section.
Turn left along Manchester Street and where it ends turn left along Dorset Street. Turn right along Chiltern Street. At junction cross Marylebone Road at traffic lights to reach Baker Street Station (10.7 miles).
After walk refreshments can be found at the Metropolitan (Wetherspoons) which is a few doors away from Baker Street tube.