Visit 1: Retail Therapy – half day
Once a residential village, is now a very upmarket area of London Chiswich offers a lovely day out to visitors. At its heart is the bustling, tree lined Chiswick High Road is crammed with modern and vintage furniture shops, gift and home accessory stores and many fashion retailers.
When tiring of exploring the shopping offer there is a fantastic range of coffee shops and restaurants, perfect for watching the world go by as many have outside seating. Devonshire Road has many restaurants with al fresco dining in the evenings. The independent Chiswick Cinema and the Tabard Theatre is worth checking out, as well as the Arts Educational Schools, on Bath Road, where you can catch the West End stars of tomorrow.
A new feature of Chiswick is its regular Sunday markets: flower (1st Sunday), antiques/bric a brac (2nd Sunday) and Chiswick Cheese market (3rd Sunday), as well as the nearby Duck Pond farmers market at Chiswick House (3rd Saturday) and Food Market at Dukes Meadows (every Sunday).
Visit 2: Foodies/Sport – half day, best on a Sunday
Dukes Meadows https://www.dukesmeadows.com/ and the Sunday Chiswick Food market. Dukes Meadows has received a coveted Green Flag Award, given to the country’s best-maintained green spaces. Dukes Meadows is a beautiful riverside park, including a fantastic adventure playground for children, an impressively large paddling pool wet play area (sadly closed at present owing to Covid) and many sporting facilities – tennis courts, golf course and driving range, sport pitches. The Food Market Chiswick takes place every Sunday, whatever the weather, with around 25 stall holders from all across the country coming together to sell their produce from 10.00 am – 2.00 pm. The Food Market Chiswick is a social enterprise, with all profits being invested back into Dukes Meadows.
Visit 3: Chiswick House & Gardens and Hogarth’s House
Chiswick House and Gardens https://chiswickhouseandgardens.org.uk/ A glorious example of 18th century architecture in grounds considered the birthplace of the English landscape movement. It was built in 1729 as a Roman-style Palladian villa by the third Earl of Burlington. Inspiration for the design was drawn from ancient Rome and Italy the Earl saw on his grand tours. The house was a country retreat to successive members of the Burlington family, including Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Devonshire, an ancestor of Princess Diana.
The house has always been a showcase for great works of art and a venue for grand parties. Inside, get a feel for the luxury of the times in the Blue Velvet Room with its opulent blue and gold ceiling. There are many beautiful sculptures, paintings, and furniture on display.
The garden is always popular, with its lake, cascade, and camellia house, which has a camellia festival in May/June. Parts of the garden are formally planted but there are plenty of wilder spaces and they host many events throughout the year. Maybe take in a cricket match during the season or attend the Christmas lights?
From Chiswick House it is a short walk to Hogarth’s House https://hogarthshouse.org/ Built in the 1717 it was home to the Hogarth family for 15 years and the artist had a painting room at the bottom of the garden, which he was using until just days before he died. Many of his most famous works can be seen at the house. Hogarth helped form the concept of ‘copywrite’ and established the ‘line of beauty’. The newly refurbished garden features a Mulberry tree from his time, which supposedly is the one mentioned in ‘Here we go round the Mulberry bush’ and a new learning centre. In Hogarth’s day, there were fruit orchards in the vicinity, and this is why Reckitt & Colman called their shoe polish, Cherry Blossom, which gave the name to the roundabout by Fullers Brewery. The house offers a range of activities for all ages as well as community gardening opportunities.
Visit 4: Brewing & Distilling
Fuller’s Brewery, https://www.fullers.co.uk/ now owned by Asahi, produces London Pride, arguably London’s favourite brew. Brewery tours are available and a good time to visit is in May when the wistaria is in bloom. It grows against the wall of the 18th century Brewery House.
Sipsmith Distillery https://sipsmith.com/ A welcome addition to Chiswick is Sipsmith, the gin distillers. Again, tours are available and it is a short walk from the brewery.
Transport Links: Chiswick Park, Stamford Brook, Turnham Green, Ravenscourt Park, District underground. Gunnersbury – District underground & London Overground