Wednesday 5th June 2019 9:30am
Starting from - If you are driving to the start of the ride, free parking is available (subject to a 2.7 metre height barrier) within Syon Park for users of the Garden Centre or other businesses on the park. We will meet in the coach park area near the Garden Centre. TW8 8JG
This West London Breeze ride is open for anyone to join
This women-only ride will mark World Environment Day by leaving Syon to cycle through Brentford High Street and up to Kew Bridge in order to join the river-path on the south side of the Thames. After passing Barnes Bridge we come away from the river to cycle through the London Wetland Centre, returning to the river shortly before we cross Putney Bridge to our destination, Fulham Palace.
Fulham Palace was home to the Bishops of London for over twelve centuries (until 1973), providing a ‘healthy, rural retreat’ away from the over-crowded city. The house originally on the site was built in 704 but the current example dates from the 13th century and only 12 of the original 30 acres of ground remain. The Palace has undergone refurbishment and improvement recently to create a new museum (twice the size of the previous), restore the Tudor courtyard and expand the collection of historically significant plants which now number 400.
We will pause awhile to do these changes justice, especially the formal garden if the weather is kind to us, and to take refreshments. Following our stop, we use a mix of riverside and minor roads as far as possible for our return journey. This gives us the chance to see iconic structures such as the old Harrods Depository and Hammersmith Bridge. We make a short detour through the grounds of Chiswick House (an 18th century neo-palladian villa in 65 acres which was completed in 1729) on our route back to Kew Bridge and Syon.
To join the ride you need a bike in full working order so please check beforehand that the brakes work, the wheels spin freely and the tyres are pumped up. No special clothing is required but dress for the weather, avoiding loose garments that could catch in your chain. A helmet, some drinking water, a snack and a spare inner tube are recommended as well as cash for refreshments and a lock for your bike.