If I am feeling stressed, anxious, overloaded or an important decision needs to be made, I will instantly suggest a walk. There is no better way to clear my head and I find it so much easier talking to someone when you are walking side by side.
Even when there isn’t something on my mind, a walk is a wonderful way to spend a morning or afternoon, especially when there is a treat in store at the end of it. One of my favourite places to walk is through Kensington Gardens to Hyde Park, across the bridge to the Serpentine, around the pond (a quick pit stop at the end for an ice cream) and back again. In the sunshine, you’re surrounded by families picnic’ing, couples sunbathing in the long grass, teenagers messing about on the pedalos and masses of dogs running around having the best day ever.
In the winter, the lack of activity makes it peaceful and the fresh air really blows the cobwebs away (but let’s not think about winter just yet)..
If you’re looking for a longer walk, I highly recommend the route from Hammersmith to Richmond. You can follow The Thames Path which hugs the river through Barnes, Putney, North Sheen and Richmond and there are parts where you can barely believe you’re still so close to the city.
When you get to Richmond, walk the extra 25minutes on to Petersham Nurseries and the full trip will take around 2 hours. If that sounds a bit much, you could always start at Barnes Station (roughly half way).
Petersham Nurseries will probably be familiar to many of you but if you haven’t heard of it or haven’t been before, GO! There is a beautiful teahouse selling delicious cakes, tea and coffee (well deserved after the walk). If it’s a really special occasion, book in to the Michelin starred cafe which is more than worth every penny. The food is delicious and the setting makes for a truly special meal.
Now i’d love to say I would then set off on the walk back to Hammersmith but let’s not be too virtuous, especially when the District Line from Richmond will have you back to High Street Kensington in under 40 minutes. Blissful day!