Twickenham Riverside Heritage Walk & Visit to the Eel Pie Island Museum
Meet up at the award-winning Eel Pie Island Museum in central Twickenham before setting off on your fully illustrated walk along Twickenham’s historic Arcadian riverside. Some of your stops along the way: the newly pedestrianised Church St, the Embankment overlooking Eel Pie Island, Twickenham’s very own Naked Ladies, the White Swan Pub (time for a pint later!), and the Orleans House Gallery. Your walk will finish on the riverside opposite Ham House, next to Hammertons Ferry.
Participants are then welcome to return to the museum at any time during the day (the museum closes at 6pm), and find out more about the role this tiny island played in the Sixties’ British Beat Explosion, hosting soon-to-be international stars such as The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton and the Who in its dilapidated ballroom music venue.
Even before it paid host to Rock and Roll legends like Mick Jagger the hotel on Eel Pie Island was a retreat known for its music and food. In the summer of 1838 it received a visit from Charles Dickens, he came by paddle steamer to visit the island and inside the hotel he would write much of Little Dorrit. He liked the island so much that he actually referenced it in his book Nicholas Nickleby where he described it as a place to “dance in the open air to the music of a locomotive band”.
In the 1600’s the sovereign of the UK was entitled to the first eel pie meal each year. The story goes that King Henry the eighth himself would be rowed up the Thames on his royal barge to claim his meal every year. This legend is simply a fraction of the fascinating history of Eel Pie Island, and of Twickenham. If you’d like to take a walk in the footsteps of Kings and Rock Gods and learn more about the island’s heritage, why not join us on the Twickenham Riverside Heritage Walk this summer.
Meet at the Eel Pie Island Museum, 1-3, Richmond Rd, Twickenham TW1 3AB
Tours at 10am, 1pm, 4pm
Limit 15 Places per tour
Cost: £6 + Booking Fee,
Museum website – www.eelpiemuseum.co.uk