Western Thames Villages
From early times the well-to-do, nobility and even Royalty had summer houses in the lush green areas around the little Thames-side villages.
The first 'village' to visit is Chiswick where we see the original Fullers Brewery, the old Parish Church where several notables are buried, the 18th century artist Hogarth's House and Chiswick House which belonged to the Earl of Burlington.
On to Kew where, off the village green, we see the famous botanical gardens in which there is also a Dutch style Royal Palace and the 18th century Chinese pagoda.
The next village is Richmond with the remains of another Royal Palace (where Elizabeth I died) and then Richmond Park and Bushey Park - both Royal parks full of deer, whose ancestors were hunted by the Tudors.
Trophies of their hunting can now be seen in Hampton Court Palace, through whose gardens we may walk if weather and time permit.
Close by in Kingston is the ancient place of coronation of Anglo Saxon kings.