The past week has been fairly quiet for Little T and me. We’ve mostly stayed at home or around the neighborhood as we both recover from the cold, and on warmer days we’ve ventured out for a good breath of fresh air and some sunshine. With clear skies and mild temperatures, last Thursday was one of those days, just right for a walk over to the riverside area of Chiswick and a roam around Dukes Meadows Park.
From Chiswick High Road, it’s about a 15 to 20 minute walk to the riverside. We took Devonshire Road and crossed to the other side of the A4 through a pedestrian tunnel to reach Church Street which takes you to Chiswick Mall along the river.
We walked to Chiswick Pier and stopped to have a look at the boats along the river; emergency boats being checked over, quaint riverboats teeming with plants and flowers and kayaks ready to be rented out, while a rower swiftly slid through the water with a small speedboat following close by.
It’s a calm, tranquil place, with the occasional runner or dog walker passing by.
The Corney Reach entrance to Dukes Meadows Park features two sculptures by artist Ricky Grimes.
We took the dirt path to walk (or run) along the river again.
At the end of this path is Promenade Approach Road that takes you to the adventure playground, and past that, an area where a Farmers & Find Foods Market is held every Sunday. We have been there a couple of times and there’s a good selection of hot food, fresh produce, cheese and olive oil at that market, along with some home decor and seasonal items.
Through the trees, you find yourself in a beautiful large green meadow…
And further along is the entrance to the Dukes Meadows Park adventure playground. The Dukes Meadows Trust commissioned and raised funds to build this play area (and a water play area that is shown next), which was designed to meet the needs of older children and work with the natural enviornment. The playground features landscaped dry riverbeds, slides, tire swings, wooden climbing frames, a zip line and earth mounds.
I found it interesting that the play area was designed with input from children of Cavendish Primary School, who are now 18 or older. The students provided the ideas and inspiration and continued to be involved in its creation with visits to the architect’s office and to the construction site. That must have been a great experience to exchange ideas and see how it all came together!
It’s a fun place to explore and, again, it is geared more towards older children, but that didn’t stop Little T from wanting to keep going on that extremely tall slide!
Next to the playground is an area that was created with younger children in mind. This part features a shallow paddling pool with a fountain, a sandpit and a snack kiosk with a picnic area.
The Meadows Cafe sells cold drinks, coffee and tea, ice cream and several hot food items like pizza, hamburgers, toasted sandwiches and jacket potatoes.
You wouldn’t believe this one was suffering from a cold, would you?
We ran around the meadow and picked dandelions before continuing our walk further down Riverside Drive to have lunch at the health club we go to.
There’s a bandstand along The Promenade, often mentioned in boat racing commentary, that was built in 1926 and used up until the ’80s.
We took in a few more riverside views after lunch, first one of Barnes Bridge from the Emanuel School Boating Club…
… and more of Barnes as we walked along The Promenade and made our way back home.
Dukes Meadows Park is a beautiful wide open space and has so much to offer for outdoor activities and sports year round. You may have noticed from my Instagram feed that I like a good walk along the river and this is a place we love to visit. The adventure playground is unique, well designed and impressive. Although Little T is too young for most of that area, we had a good time on the slides and playing in the sand by the slides. The water play area for younger children is fantastic and very popular over the summer, definitely worth a visit. The cafe is convenient for drinks, but I do wish they had some healthier options on the food menu and would recommend bringing a picnic lunch. Overall we had a good time at Dukes Meadows Park. Little T loved just running around the open field and, although we were both under the weather, it was the perfect day to soak in some sunshine and fresh autumn air.
Dukes Meadows Park, The Pavilion, Market Drive, Chiswick, London W4 2RX
Parking: There are parking bays on Riverside Drive and informal parking opposite the riverfront on The Promenade.
Good to Know:
There is a toilet at the Meadows Cafe.
If you’d like to go straight to the playground, the pedestrian entrance from Edensor Road is called Promenade Approach Road.
The water play area season is from the Easter holidays to the end of September. The adventure playground is open all year round.
There are several sports and recreational facilities in the Dukes Meadows area, ranging from cricket, football, rugby, rowing, golf and health clubs. Have a look at the map for their locations.