Many of London’s boroughs were made up of small villages that surrounded the city centre, as the expansion of the city increased to house the ever larger population, these villages and towns all became connected to form London and Greater London. Although all part of the same city on paper, many of these old towns and villages kept their individual charms and traditions, and are now little respites from the madness of the city.
Strand-on-the-Green is no exception to this, and is actually one of London’s best kept secrets. In the 13th century there was nothing but a tiny fishing village in place, with a series of interconnecting wharfs. Then in around the 18th century, the natural beauty of the area started to attract some wealthier Londoners, who built grand houses (now used as lovely pubs!) and made the area somewhat more metropolitan. Then in around 1759 the original Kew Bridge was opened, and King George III himself lived in the palace in Kew Gardens across the river. This obviously meant that there was more traffic passing by the village, and it instantly became a more desirable place to live.
The beautiful combination of private 18th century town houses and Victorian and Edwardian terraced housing mean that there are plenty of brick alleyways and hidden corners in this little neighbourhood, making it the perfect place to explore. With some excellent cafes, restaurants and pubs, you may need more than a day here to fully experience the chilled vibes this peaceful place offers.
Make the most of your stay at one of the best 4 Star Hotels In London, The Park Grand Paddington, and truly get to know one of London’s most quaint little villages. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know in order to maximise your visit!
Getting to Strand-on-the-Green is actually quite simple from your London Hyde Park Hotel. All you have to do is walk the short 5 minute walk to Bayswater station, then hop on The District Line to Gunnersbury. From there you are a five minute walk from Strand-on-the-Green. If you are feeling a touch more adventurous, you can always get a river boat from the city centre. Head to Westminster Pier, and then cruise down the river to Kew Pier. Not only will this be the most relaxing way to travel, but you will see some beautiful parts of the city on the way!
The Pubs, Cafes and Restaurants
Once you are there, you will undoubtedly need a refreshing drink in the sunshine- or perhaps an amazing coffee and a sweet treat. Well you’re in luck, Strand-on-the-Green is home to many excellent establishments. If you fancy a quiet, riverside drink in a gorgeous beer garden, then head to the Bell & Crown, or just a short walk down the river path, the magnificent City Barge. If you need a bite to eat then check out Annie’s Restaurant for a quirky interior and a magnificent blend of English and Mediterranean dishes.
Enjoy the Riverside Path
After you’ve had a drink in the sun, and a little bit of lunch, it’s time to get out for a walk. Heading in either direction along the Thames you are in for a treat. Strand-on-the-Green is situated on the most beautiful stretch of the river you’ll find in the city. If you head west towards Brentford, you’ll reach an arm of the Grand Union Canal, and find Brentford Marina along with a couple of restaurants and even a brewery! If you head east along the river you will be able to walk to your heart’s content. The riverside path actually goes all the way back into the city centre!
Get Out on the Water
If walking isn’t your jam then head to Active 360 just next to Kew Bridge. They offer a range of Stand Up Paddle Boarding classes and lessons. You can get out on the river and enjoy the water even if you are a total beginner! If you are a little more advanced, you can join one of the many classes and groups, from SUP yoga, advanced SUPing, nature tours and even the Paddle and Pick group. This is paddle boarding and environmental recovery mixed together! Grab a bag and clean up the Thames whilst making friends along the way!
Tidefest is Strand-on-the-Green’s own way of celebrating the importance of the tide in the growth of the city. It takes place in early September and is an absolute heap of fun for the whole family. Brush up on your circus skills, have a guided session of wildlife discovery in the mud banks of the river, head out for a guided kayak or canoe session, watch the RNLI safety display on the river and meat the heroes in person, cheer the sailing race, enter the fishing competition or relax and listen to live music. There really is an incredible list of activities!
Kew Gardens is one of London’s must visit attractions anyway, and since you are just across the river, it would be a crime not to visit. One of the world’s best gardens with an absolute multitude of beauty and wildlife, Kew Gardens is no ordinary garden. Explore the canopy with a tree top walk, discover the east in the Japanese Garden, climb the Great Pagoda, explore the bamboo forest and visit the Rose Garden. You can get lost in nature for the day then head back to Strand-on-the-Green to visit a stunning riverside pub- I can’t really think of a better day!
So there we have a quick list of the reasons you should head out and discover one of London’s best kept secrets. If you love little communities like Little Venice, then Strand-on-the-Green can offer you more- with less people! This little riverside community will enchant and delight you, as well as feeding and watering you! So make sure you maximise your stay at the Park Grand London Hotel and get to know the real London. Strand-on-the-Green is a one of a kind gem, so go and explore, but try and keep the secret to yourself!