Kew Bridge to London Bridge and Tower Bridge - following The Thames Path.

This 13 or so mile long section of The Thames Path starts at Kew and follows The River Thames via Battersea to arrive at Tower Bridge.

The River Thames was once a major location for import and export and as it gets into London the river's banks were originally lined with many warehouses and wharfs - obviously meaning access to the river bank for a Path was restricted or impossible. However many of these warehouses are being or have been ripped down or simply converted into what are often very expensive flats but fortunately the planning requirements have been such that public access to the water's edge had to be allowed for wherever possible. From Kew Bridge The Thames Path exists on both sides of the river so you can always use the bridges to switch sides to walk along where any significant construction occurs. The following is about walking along mostly on the south bank as The Thames Path is often bordered by lots of foliage and trees for quite a few miles as opposed to the other side which looks more paved.
The nearest underground station to Kew Bridge is at Kew Gardens which is on the District Line - from the station the Thames is around a 10 minute walk away. Alternatively Kew Bridge Railway Station is situated on the North Bank and just a few hundred yards from Kew Bridge itself - this is on the Hounslow Loop Line and currently operated by South West Trains. At the other end the nearest tube station to London Bridge (and Tower Bridge) is just a short walk from London Bridge on the South Bank - this has the Jubilee and Northern Lines.
View of Kew Bridge from The River Thames Path.
Kew Bridge
One of the brick ends of Kew's railway bridge - River Thames, London, England.
Kew Railway bridge
Mortlake Brewery which is situated right next to The River Thames in London, England.
Mortlake Brewery
Barnes Bridge as seen from The Thames Path, eastern side of London, England.
Barnes Bridge
From Kew Bridge for quite some distance The Thames Path is along a tree-lined and quite wide gravel path which follows close to the river bank - especially on weekends this can be quie a busy stretch used by walkers, cyclists and joggers. The Path soon reaches Kew Railway Bridge which has particularly nice brickwork supports. Later on the Path reaches Chiswick Bridge - well known since this marks the end of the annual Oxford and Cambridge boat race. Also just by the bridge is the old Mortlake Brewery - this still has a cobbled path in front of the brewery walls. This can be a little muddy or even flooded here but if so it's easy enough to divert. There is a short road section at Barnes but the shady Thames Path is soon regained. The Path continues under the quite beautful Hammersmith Suspension Bridge and goes on by Harrods Depository - then skirtis a wetland area. The boat houses situated immediately before Putney Bridge mark the start of the boat-race. Interestingly Putney Bridge has a church either end - denoting an ancient river crossing - The Thames Path actually goes round St. Mary's Church.
(for photos of bridges mentioned see our Bridges crossing The Thames between Caversham and Tower Bridge in London item).
Hammersmith Bridge - beside The River Thames on the eastern side of London, England.
Hammersmith Bridge
Harrod's Depository building, River Thames bank in London, England.
Harrods Depository
Putney Bridge - beside The River Thames on the eastern side of London, England.
Putney Bridge
St. Mary's Church at Putney, London, England.
St Mary's Putney
Fulham railway bridge crossing The River Thames, London, England.
Fulham Railway bridge
The River Wandle joins The River Thames - eastern side of London, England.
River Wandle
Wandsworth Bridge - beside The River Thames on the eastern side of London, England.
Wandsworth Bridge
A wharf near Battersea - the buildings are not really built on top of it.
A Battersea wharf
From the church there is a short section on the road before reaching Wandsworth Park - which by the way has toilets at the far end corner. After the Park follow the signs to reach Bell Lane Creek - this is a branch of the River Wandel along which there used to be quite a few mills and water-wheels (long since gone). A few short diversions follow but generally the route follows the river bank - passing Wandsworth Bridge and Wharfs and offering really good views across the river. At Battersea the small church of St Mary is close to the path and soon on the north bank the old Lots Power Station dominates the scene.
Having passed Battersea Bridge the unusually painted pink green and gold of Alberts Bridge appears - note the old toll-kiosk and the sign that "all troops must break steps when marching over". Battersea Park is across the road from the Thames - these public gardens were opened by Queen Victoria in 1858.
Lots Power Station minus it's roof - being refurbished - London, England.
Lots Power Station
Battersea Bridge with some beautiful clouds above it - London, England.
Battersea Bridge
The gracefull lines of Albert Bridge, River Thames, England.
Albert Bridge
Grosvenor Bridge crossing The River Thames in London.
Grosvenor Bridge
Having passed by the gardens the path reaches Chelsea Bridge - from here there is a significant detour required to get round Battersea Power Station - a huge amount of re-construction and work is being carried out here and possibly when everything is complete the Thames Path may well have a route placed which will avoid such a detour.
However an option is to cross over Chelsea Bridge to the River's north bank and walk along as far as Vauxhall Bridge - for a start there is a really good view of Battersea Power Station and when you cross back over the river there are good views of the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye and Big Ben. You also get to see the SIS Building with it's unusual design and colour.
A pair of excellent old Battersea Power Station cranes - beside The River Thames, London, England.
Battersea Power Station cranes
Battersea Power Station - which is situated beside The River Thames - East London, England.
Battersea Power Station
River Thames Battersea - beside The River Thames on the eastern side of London, England.
River Thames Battersea
London Eye - beside The River Thames on the eastern side of London, England.
London Eye
Once over the to the south bank the Thames Path goes past the front of the SIS Building and then as it progresses along many quite famous locations appear - for instance Lambeth Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, London Eye. The area around here tends to be really busy with tourists - plus there are many river-side cafes and pubs plus the occasional hawker. One of THE sights has to be just passed Waterloo Bridge when you get a really lovely view of St Pauls' Cathedral especially if the Sun is out.
Having passed the Millenium Footbridge the Path takes you to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Once having gone under Southwark Bridge and then having passed the Anchor Inn the Path goes under a railway bridge into Clink Street - this was once a dangerous place with dark grimey street but has now been really cleaned up. The Golden Hind is then passed followed by Southwark Cathedral and then the Thames Path arrives at London Bridge.
SIS Building (where the spies live) next to the River Thames - beside The River Thames on the eastern side of London, England.
SIS Building next to the River Thames
Lambeth Palace entrance gatehouse - London, England.
Lambeth Palace
Big Ben (now called the Queen Elizabeth Tower) seen from The River Thames Path in London, England.
Queen Elizabeth Tower
The Palace of Westminster - England's Parliament - viewed from The Thames, London.
Palace of Westminster
Once over the to the south bank the Thames Path goes past the front of the SIS Building and then as it progresses along many quite famous locations appear - for instance Lambeth Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, London Eye. The area around here tends to be really busy with tourists - plus there are many river-side cafes and pubs plus the occasional hawker. One of THE sights has to be just passed Waterloo Bridge when you get a really lovely view of St Paul's Cathedral especially if the Sun is out.
View looking down The Thames towards Blackfriars Bridge - London, England.
Blackfriars Bridge
Ransomes Dock and Lock by the Thames in England.
Ransomes Dock
Southwark Bridge crossing over The River Thames in England.
Southwark Bridge
Beautiful view of St. Pauls Cathedral next to The River Thames in London, England.
St Pauls Cathedral
Having passed the Millenium Footbridge the Path takes you to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Once having gone under Southwark Bridge and then having passed the Anchor Inn the Path goes under a railway bridge into Clink Street - this was once a dangerous place with dark grimey street but has now been really cleaned up. The Golden Hind is then passed followed by Southwark Cathedral and then the Thames Path arrives at London Bridge - from the middle of which some really good views of the beautifully designed Tower Bridge can be seen. Tower Bridge itself is around a five minute walk from London Bridge.

The Final part of the Path is shown on our Tower Bridge to the Thames Barrier on The Thames Path in England topic.
Please also take a look at our The Thames Path towpath Walks in England Home Page which lists all our topics about walking along the Thames Path from Lechlade through to the end of the Path at the Thames Barrage. There are also more topics about the River Thames - showing many of the old Thames Bridges which cross the river plus Weirs and river Locks on the route - links to these can be found on the above Home Page.
Via our Site Resources find links to more items about England - canals include The Oxford Canal, The Grand Union Canal, The Kennet and Avon Canal, The Regents Canal, the River Lee Navigation and The River Stort and The Stratford-upon-Avon Canal. Also items on British Wild Flowers and English Churches.
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