Monday, August 13, 2012

Hammerton Ferry, 9th August

This is another one of those London oddities, which don’t offer much other than the chance to say you’ve done it. As it was a nice day, we wanted to do something outside, so we traveled over to the very West to take a trip on Hammerton’s ferry.

Once upon a time, before there were so many bridges that spanned the Thames, to journey from one side to the other, you relied on a ferryman to take you across. Hammerton’s ferry is one of the longest (if not the longest) running ferries across the Thames, having been in service since the very early 1900s.

We got off at St. Margaret’s and walked down. The route is clearly signposted. What a lovely place St. Margaret’s is, and I’d never even heard of it before we looked up how to get to Marble Hill House, where you catch the ferry. We got there and milled about on the dock for a bit, not entirely sure if we were in the right place or what to do. The lady who hires out the row boats that you can get from the same point came out and when we said we were waiting for the ferry, told us he was just loading on the other side. We then easily spotted him and his passengers coming over to us. They disembarked and we hopped on.

The ferry crossing is £1 per adult and 50p per child. It takes all of 2 minutes to go from one side to the other. It had taken us about 40 minutes to get there. Oh well! One of the nice things about seeking out these things to do in London is that they often help you discover a part of London you wouldn’t have chanced upon otherwise. So afterwards we wandered through the Ham House gardens and then walked east as far as we could before we got tired. We followed along the Thames, coming across the Petersham Nurseries, and walking  past Kew Gardens. It was a lovely way to spend a sunny afternoon.

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I work as an editor in educational publishing by day, and then spend most of my spare time discovering interesting things to do in London, and taking people there with my own Meetup.