Thameside Historical Walk (Cannon Street to Canary Wharf) walk

The Thames Path (north bank) past the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and Wapping to Docklands via 3 historic riverside pubs

Start The Banker Pub, 200 meters from Cannon Street Tube and Rail Station
Finish Canary Wharf Clipper Pier or DLR Station

4.5 miles/7 km

Time 2 hours.
Walk Notes

An easy amble following the Thames Path between Cannon Street and Canary Wharf, passing through historic Wapping. Along the way, the route passes three historic pubs – two of which claim to be the oldest riverside pub in London – you decide which has the best claim. Instructions are hardly required for this route – simply keep the river to your right – though occasionally the Thames Path leaves the riverside….

Points of Interest

Loads of iconic London sites – Old Billingsgate Market; Custom House; Tower of London; Tower Bridge; the Shard; HMS Belfast; Wapping; Canary Wharf – but of particular note…….

The Town of Ramsgate – A notable specimen of a waterman’s tavern, located in the ancient hamlet of Wapping. The present grade II listed building dates back to 1758; however, evidence indicates that it was built on earlier foundations. Allegedly, the first pub on the site was founded during the War of the Roses in the 1460s and was called the Hostel. In 1533, it became known as the Red Cow – a reference to the bar maid at the time. The notorious Judge Jeffreys (who sent many to death) was captured here trying to escape to Hamburg. In 1766, it became the Ramsgate Old Town – the name coming from the fact that the fishermen from Ramsgate would unload their fish at the Old Wapping Stairs to avoid higher river taxes imposed near Billingsgate Market (passed earlier on the walk).

The Prospect of Whitby – Claims to be the oldest riverside pub in London – dating back to 1520. It was formerly known as the Pelican and the Devil’s Tavern and is located next to the former Wapping Execution Dock. All that remains of the original structure is the flagstone floor. It was also frequented by “Hanging” Judge Jeffreys. Its name comes from a Tyne collier which use to bring coal to London from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and docked nearby.

The Grapes – A grade II listed public house now owned in a partnership with Sir Ian McKellen. The current building dates to 1720 and is on the site of a pub built in 1583. It was formerly a working-class tavern serving the dock workers of the nearby Limehouse Basin. It features in the writings of Pepys and Dickens.

Thames Path

This walk is part of the Thames Path [wikipedia] [National Trails] - a 184 mile national long distance path - that follows the Thames from its source in Kemble to the Thames Barrier at Charlton in SE London. There is an unofficial 10 mile south bank extension on to Crayford Ness.

It follows the river's historic towpath where possible. In a few places, nearby paths are used instead as towpath sections do not match up where former "horse ferry" crossing have been lost. Through London, and on to the sea, there are north and south bank paths.

Help Us!

After the walk, please leave a comment, it really helps. Thanks!

You can also upload photos to the SWC Group on Flickr (upload your photos) and videos to Youtube. This walk's tags are:

By Car

Start EC4N 6AP Map Directions

Finish E14 4HJ Map Directions


National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Traveline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234


Apr-24 KarenG

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only.

Walk Directions

Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from