UNIQUE GUIDE TO LONDON'S THAMES PATH
 

REG

 
Buy David Fathers's book here

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Numerous publications, several existing books, a selection of maps. Surely there is no room for another on the Thames Path.

Wrong.

The London Thames Path by David Fathers is described as a “unique richly illustrated walking guide”.

That’s not hype - thanks to the author and artist. His beautiful illustrations and accompanying text highlighting fascinating facts about historic buildings,landmarks and features along the river adorn every page.

The book is a guide to forty miles of the riverside path - down each bank from Putney to the Barrier. Much of the information is contained in byte-sized annotations alongside the illustrated map of the Thames.

It is littered with facts. For example how the distinctive design of the Oxo tower successfully avoided a ban on advertising along the river; that Westminster Bridge is painted green to match the benches on the House of Commons.

Among the characters who emerge from its pages are Brunel whose Great Eastern was built on the Isle of Dogs,  so large it had to be launched sideways into the Thames; Joseph Bazalgette whose sewer system solved London’s sewage problems and whose embankments narrowed the river considerably ; Dickens whose Our Mutual Friend opens on the river near Southwark Bridge.

But longer sections cover two pages on subjects like Old London Bridge, Thames Watermen and Westminster Abbey.

One really useful feature is a note – and picture – on each page (above) explaining what the walker can see on the opposite bank, with a cross-reference to more information.

One gripe. The distances are all in metres and kilometres meaning this reader constantly had to do rough conversions into miles. OK it’s old-fashioned.

The book follows a poster published by David Fathers last year and featured on River Thames News and after his guide to the Regent’s Canal.

Part of his brief is to encourage others to see London from a  different perspective. He certainly does that with this book.

The book is so designed that it can be either dipped into or read right through, certainly suitable to put in your backpack as you walk the path. Highly recommended.

The London Thames Path by David Fathers is published by Francis Lincoln at £9.99.

Story dated April 25th 2015