A guided walking tour of the lower reaches of one of London's major subterranean rivers. The walk starts off where the Westbourne was once known as Bayswater Brook . Bayswater is a shortened version of Bayard's Watering Place a place where bayards (horses) drank water from the river. We explore the alleyways and mews that once lined the river and the site of an ancient conduit which once supplied Central London with water. We then head off through Kensington Gardens and Hyde park where the River formed a series of natural ponds in the park later dammed to form the Serpentine. The River then follows the Kensington & Chelsea border with Westminster through Knightsbridge (named after a ruckus between knights on a bridge over the River) past Sloane Square where the encased river can be seen crossing the tube station and then down to the Thames where the sewer outfall empties out into the Thames beside Chelsea Bridge. The walks are timed to coincide with a low tide so it is possible to go down to the Thames foreshore to see the vast outfall chamber. I will allow time for us to do this but you do this at your own risk as its a bit slippery and muddy down there. The next leg of the tour takes us a few yards down the road to have a brief look at the entrance and basin of the former Grosvenor Canal and the old Chelsea Waterworks Comapny. This short canal was intrumental in supplying goods for the construction of Belgravia and recently the course of the canal has been made into an ornamental water feature for an expensive new residential development.
Many interesting points along the route of this walk include: the site of ancient tea gardens, a pub where the Great Train Robbery was allegedly planned, the fountains where Hugh Grant & Colin Firth had a fight in Bridget Jones Diary, the setting of a Peter Pan book, a pub which was the final drinking place for victims of the Tyburn Gallows, stories of second world war bombings, the site of the original Crystal Palace and Ranelagh Gardens where Mozart once played