|Length||6.2 milea (10 km), no ascent|
|Toughness||1/10, all on pavement, so wear trainers|
London A-Z. OS Explorers 161 (London South) and just a little bit of 173 (London North)
If you have a smartphone/tablet, try this TFL map(pdf)
This short walk along the Thames Path starts in central London, passing HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge and riverside pubs and restaurants. It then changes, and becomes quieter in nature, passing through residential areas ('riverside living') with reminders of the areas indstrial heritage. 80% of the walk is along riverside path (with views back to the city) , 20% is short detours around riverfront buildings. It ends in Royal Greenwich. Throughout there are views across the Thames. Take a camera!
Navigation is easy - its is fairly well waymarked, and your have a river to follow! The entire walk is pavement, so wear comfortable shoes, not walking boots.
The walk passes
There is also a Thames Path on the north bank - you could even make a circular walk by returning to central London along it. However, its not as nice - its away from the river too many times.
Mudlarking refers to the poor who used to scour the riverbed for things to sell. Nowadays, its undergoing a revival, and is quite popular, with its own reality TV series (Mud Men). There are many steps down to the riverbed. So, at absolute low tide only, (and, as thay say, at your own risk only) you can go mudlarking yourself. You'll find clay pipes (smoking used to be done in displosable pipes), broken pottery, etc. Walking on the riverbed is allowed, as is searching by hand. But digging ('with any type of implement') requires a permit, and you have to report anything interesting. Dont't do it alone. Wear mudproof shoes/boots. Be careful of Wells Desease (spread by rats urine through cuts in the skin), i.e. dont't touch your face and wash your hands afterwards. Links: Blog and About.com article
Sorry, swimming in the tidal Thames is now banned prior permission - i.e. for organised events only. There are too many eddies and currents, not to mention a strong tide, and passenger boats. Matthew Paris demonstrates why
London Bridge is in Zone 1. Surrey Quays (DLR, Jubilee Line) is 2/3 of the way along. Cutty Sark (DLR) is Zone 2. Greenwich rail station is near by.
The whole area is residents parking. You might have a chance near Greenwich on a Sunday.
After the walk, we would love to get your feedback
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
- Exit London Bridge station at the Tooley Street Exit.
- Cross the road, and walk through Hays Galleria to the Thames Path.
- Turn right (east!), and walk past HMS Belfast, and City Hall to Tower Bridge (1 km)
- Continue past the Design Museum and several riverside restaurants.
- Leave the crowds behind, as you continue along residential street - sometimes along the riverside, sometimes behind riverfront buildings.
- You come to the riverside Angel Pub (recommended)
- And the Mayflower Pub, just after is the Brunel Museum
- The next lanmark is the rundown Lavender Park Nature Reserve
- The river turns south, and Canary Wharf is opposite.
- There's a detour inland past a Hilton Hotel, before a long stretch of riverside path
- You pass Surrey Docks 'city farm' (with a tea room)
- And a bridge over Greenland Dock (follow it inland for a tube station)
- There's a longer detour inland past the last wharf (now closed) on this stretch of the river.
- Deptford has an interesting industrial past, what remains is around its further inland, around its train station.
- Continue along nice riverfront paths to Greenwich - you can see the Cutty Sark ahead of you
- A) continue along the riverside path to The Dome and North Greenwich tube (about 2 miles), or as far as the Thames Barrier ( 6 miles)
- B) explorer Greenwich (walk in to the Royal Park, and visit the Royal Observatory - about 1 mile return)
- C) catch the Cutty Sark DLR (metro), and 100m inland from the riverside. There is a Wetherspoons pub (cheap) next to it.