Putney is a turning point; you’re out of the city and into posh south-west London, interconnecting village islands in a green sea. Barnes and Hammersmith are boat race territory and the path appears positively rural – hard to imagine busy Chiswick just across the river.
The tiny cottages of Strand on the Green are followed by a view of Kew Gardens and the grounds of Syon House. Bends in the river reveal Isleworth’s exclusive side then rich, historic Richmond on a section of path which is often flooded. From Richmond to Ham the scenery’s truly beautiful and then you symbolically leave London behind with the end of the tidal Thames at Teddington Lock.
Ahead is Kingston and Hampton Court, then Surrey itself, behind is thirty miles of largely excellent, stimulating, interesting walking .