Just to the south of Hammersmith Bridge in London is Barnes, where you will find a perfect example of a duck pond in the middle of an English village green. Barnes is a reminder that London is really no more than a cluster of villages, which have all merged to form an extensive city. Find yourself a bench on the green and sit and contemplate the views across the pond, with its central island. Watch the ducks and other birds on the island, in the water, or around the green itself and marvel at the tranquillity of this little oasis in London, located close to the busy A306, yet with a sensation of being in the countryside.
One of the many pairs of ducks
If you feel you need to earn your relaxing sit down, first of all take yourself for a walk along Barnes High Street, or nearby White Hart Lane, where you can stop for refreshments in one of the many cafés, pubs or restaurants. Browse the local shops, some of which are still independent, and include a butcher's shop, a cheese shop, a fishmonger, a bakery and a hardware shop, as well as shops selling home furnishings and gifts. Once you reach the pond you will be able to take the weight off your feet and watch not only the birds, but also the children on their bikes and toy scooters, as well as the dog walkers and other visitors and local residents.
Of course, you could pop into one of the pubs for a refreshing drink (Fuller, Smith & Turner still brew locally in Chiswick) or one of the cafés for a reviving cuppa to complete your quintessential English excursion and set you up for the journey home.
Barnes is easily reached by car, by train into Barnes Bridge station, or by bus from Hammersmith underground station.