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EAST PUTNEY District Line - Wimbledon 
linked with the route north of the river, this route is about 5 miles.

The attractive red brick Tube station is just under a mile* from the Thames,  where there are boats to watch and a historic church to explore as well as a lovely riverside wander. To reach all this, when you leave the  Underground turn left into the Upper Richmond Road. Note the delicate ironwork along the top of some of the shops in the parade.   When you reach Putney Hill, turn right into the High Street - Putney Bridge is at the end. The first hint that this is more interesting than the average High Street comes with The Railway - an exuberant ex-tavern at the corner of the junction (now a bar).

On the way  look out for the old glass canopy on Putney overground railway station.  Keep to the east side for a better view of the amazing plasterwork at the corner of Norroy Road. You are unlikely to miss Ye Spotted Horse pub, but might not notice No.110, a narrow building in stripped classical style. This was designed for Lloyd's Bank in the 1920's by Edward Maufe, architect of Guildford Cathedral. Further down, the set of chimneys (28) at Weimar Street is my nomination for the longest row in London. A few steps along from this is the former White Horse pub - its namesake still standing proudly at the top of the majestic facade. (They didn't do pubs by halves round here!) 

Finally you are at the bridge and  St. Mary’s Church. This is of considerable interest for those keen on constitutional history and/or the Civil War, for it was here that the famous 1647 Putney Debates took place.  The two carved heads on the west doorway are worth a look – the man has been leering at the not-too-happy woman for a quite a while now! (Note also the ammonite fossil on the left hand side).  Little remains of the church as Colonel Rainsborough and co. knew it, because the building has been much altered, added to and modernised.  In particular, the altar is not at the customary east end of the church, but in the Reformation tradition  is placed centrally. The church is open during the day (entrance via the cafe) and there is an exhibition on the subject of the Debates. 

To get to the river walk from the church, cross the road at the lights (a bit of a performance).   From here there is a beautiful view  over the river to the trees of Fulham Palace Gardens and All Saints church. Turn left down  the Lower Richmond Road and walk for a few minutes to find the slope down to the Embankment and the pier. Although the Putney Bridge area is full of history, though nowadays it is most well-known for being the place where the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race begins, ending at Mortlake. The numerous boathouses, old and new, make this a particularly interesting part of the walk, as there is always work being done on the delicate craft and of course lots of activity on the river itself. Once past the main run of boathouses cross a small bridge over Beverley Brook and continue walking by the river.  The path becomes quite countrified at this stage, with trees on either side.   Soon you will glimpse Craven Cottage, home of Fulham FC, on the opposite bank.  At this point you can  return to Putney Bridge and walk over it to get to Putney Bridge Tube Station (see map below) or  perhaps visit the London Wetland Centre (entrance fee) which you can access via Queen Elizabeth Walk, just beyond Barn Elms School Recreation Ground.  If you decide to return to the bridge you might like to follow  my route for a ramble on the other side of the Thames - there's lots more to see!

*If unusual buildings aren't your thing,  you can, of course access the riverside walk from Putney Bridge Tube station, cutting out the High Street.

Click on images to enlarge them.
This is just one walk from the many to be found at London Tube Rambles. There are architectural gems, beautiful country views, historic places and quirky buildings to be found in the area covered by the outer London Underground stations. Usually the discoveries are within a mile of the Tube - often only five minutes walk away. If you reached this as an individual page via a search engine, you might like to click on the above link and see the other destinations explored. You'll be amazed at what's out there!

© DR