A Battersea Walk

Route & what to see


This walk of up to 6 miles explores Battersea Park and Old Battersea. It begins at Victoria Station and finishes at Battersea Bridge from where the 239 bus returns to Victoria. For a shorter walk join the route from Battersea Park Station. The (Italian) lakeside park caf is about halfway with indoor & outdoor seating. There is also a kiosk near the Festival features.

Exit Victoria Station via shopping centre (escalator next to platform 14) and go along Colonnade walk to Elizabeth Bridge. Continue along Buckingham Palace Road
There are two Art Deco buildings - Victoria Coach Station 1931-3 by Wallis Gilbert & Partners on the right and the former Imperial Airways Terminal 1939 by A Lakeman on the left.

Continue along Ebury Bridge Road
Some old houses remain on the right. Further along on the left is a Peabody estate.

Left into Chelsea Bridge Road
The flats have a blue plaque to author JKK Jerome. The Ranelagh Pleasure Gardens were opened in 1742 and when they closed in 1803-5 became part of the grounds of Chelsea Hospital. Buildings remain from the Chelsea Waterworks which was established in 1723 and used tide mills until 1775. By the 1820s the river water was polluted and sand filtration was introduced. After 1876 water was sourced from Walton-on-Thames. The Metropolitan Water Board took over in 1902. At the end of the road is a Boer War Memorial to the Carabiniers by Adrian Jones.

Cross Chelsea Bridge
Chelsea Bridge was built in 1858 to give access to the park but was rebuilt in 1937. There are views of Battersea Power Station by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. Station A was built in 1932-4 and B added in 1948-53. The complex closed in 1983 and will be redeveloped. To the right is a view of the elegant Albert Bridge of 1873 designed by RM Ordish and the Peace Pagoda in the park.

Enter the park at Chelsea Gate and go through Nature Reserve to left

Join the walk here from Battersea Park Station

By Rosary Gate Lodge cross South Carriage Drive towards deer enclosure
Three of the four entrances have lodges. The deer enclosure was added in 1888.

Take lakeside path to the left
There is a sculpture by Barbara Hepworth

Left through the Sub-Tropical Garden area to a shelter
The garden was laid out in 1864 and has been restored.

Take Cherry Walk diagonally across the sports ground and go right along West Carriage Drive
There is a large Black Walnut tree to the left.

View the Herb Garden ahead (signposted Park Office)
Information is available from the Park Office

Go along North Carriage Drive and right into the walled Old English Garden
This was created in 1912 on the site of a small botanic garden.

From here go around Woodland Walks to the east side
The plinth with a dog is an anti-vivisection memorial. The white building is a house and temple for the monks who look after the Peace Pagoda.

Across to view Festival Water Features (toilets are situated in the pump house)
The Grand Vista and Colonnade were created by Osbert Lancaster & John Piper and have been restored. When operational there are splendid water displays.

Continue to the colourful terrace with refreshment kiosk. Walk through the Russell Page Garden to the riverfront to view the Peace Pagoda
This was a gift from Japanese Buddhist monks in 1985. Made from Canadian Douglas Fir it has four gilded Buddhas.

Go eastwards along North Carriage Drive passing the Children's Zoo.
This was established for the Festival and subsequently rebuilt.

Go right into East Carriage Drive.
The Horticultural Therapy Garden for disabled people was set up in the 1970s. It is now run by Thrive and has relocated to the Herb Garden. Further along are the Millennium Sports Centre and Trim Trail.

Across to lakeside Cafe.
There are views of the cascades over Pulhamite Rocks.

Around lake anti-clockwise past new Boathouse. Left along Central Avenue viewing War Memorial to the right.
This was designed by Eric Kennington in 1922 and the three soldiers are thought to be modelled on Robert Graves, Sigfried Sassoon & Wilfred Owen.

Follow signs left across to Pump House
This was built in 1861 to provide water for the cascades. It became dilapidated but was restored in 1992 to house exhibitions, shop & information.

Continue to a junction of paths by the bowling green and take path forward right (not sharp right) across Central Avenue (cricket area) to Lodge and exit park at Albert Gate.
Go along Parkgate Road where there are attractive houses.

Right towards Battersea Bridge then left into Church Road
Go past St Mary’s Church (to be viewed later)

Continue to Battersea Square viewing Raven pub
The pub is 17th century with Dutch-style gables.

Along Battersea High Street
Sir Walter St John School was founded in 1700 to educate 20 free scholars. It was rebuilt and enlarged in 1859 & 1915. It closed in 1988 and is now Thomas's Prep School.

At College right into Orville Road
Here are new developments and the Fred Wells Garden.

Left into Vicarage Crescent
Buildings of the old National School remain.

Cross road and take path to the right
Old Battersea House is early 18th century.

Continue along Crescent
The Old Vicarage has a blue plaque to Dr Edward Adrian Wilson, the explorer who died with Scott at the South Pole in 1912. This and neighbouring Devonshire House are attractive buildings.

At the Square return along Battersea Church Road
Alongside the church is a dock used for unloading goods. St Mary’s Church was rebuilt in 1775-7 to the designs of local architect Joseph Dixon (see add info).

From the north churchyard take the riverside path
Mayhew's Flour Mills built on the site of the manor house were demolished in 1997 to be replaced with flats by Richard Rogers

Continue to Battersea Bridge with views across to Chelsea Harbour
The wooden bridge (as painted by Whistler) was demolished in 1881 and replaced by the present one designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette in 1886-90.

Bus 239 returns to Victoria Station

london-footprints.co.uk 2014

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