Thames Path to Greenwich


We had a limited time for a walk because Mum had to be back early to sing at the church choir or something, so we picked a short, easy-to-get-to one: part of the Thames Path we haven't walked yet, from Tower Bridge to Greenwich (along the south bank).

We actually met in an art gallery so that I could see Jiro Osuga's show (which was good). After that we got a bus to Tower Bridge to start the walk. First, here's one picture from near the gallery.

The Bridge, Bridge Supermarket, Bridge House, and (top left, shadow) the actual bridge.
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By the way, that bridge had a metal plaque below celebrating its repainting by Hackney Council. What? A plaque just for repainting it? In boring grey?

The walk

There were a fair quantity of people around Tower Bridge and in Shad Thames, but we promptly lost most of them by heading away from the road to the riverside walkway.

By the river there's bars, restaurants, converted and new-build flats, and periodically, large anchors that somebody has just left lying around. (Some of them small enough that you can at least move the chain; others not.)

A little further on you get to see this place. I don't know what it is/was.
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One of Jiro's paintings had something shaped like Mount Fuji in the distance behind Tower Bridge, which we were confused by - did he just make it up or was there really something that shape? Looking to the west, eventually I spotted something that might do. We climbed down slippery steps to the foreshore to get a better angle.

St. Paul's dome! Well... it's sort of the right shape. Ish. (Okay, maybe the picture was looking east.)
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Mum pointed out that Tower Bridge looks totally fake, which it does.

We had a look inside a church which was open because there'd just been a christening. This area is where, um, I think it was Drake set off on some voyage or other, and the church had various things made out of bits of his ship.

Random monument in churchyard.
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Also this is where the Mayflower set off for America. From the Angel pub, apparently. Doesn't seem terribly appropriate for Puritans. There's a statue there to a 'Dr. Salter', a local doctor and philanthropist back in the day; it has his story on a signboard, actually seems like a pretty impressive guy. Opposite there are ruins of Edward the 3rd's moated manor house, which are less impressive (just a bit of wall).

Unfortunately not a crane.
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Past a round tunnel-air-shaft-looking building (actually for the Rotherhithe [road] Tunnel) we found a rather fetching lift-bridge.

It's red.
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And a little further on, after some fairly dull housing, we went into the grounds of the Pumphouse, which used to pump water for Surrey Docks and is now a museum. More relevantly, it has a very small park with some convenient benches, where we sat to eat lunch.

The museum.
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Surrey Docks Farm was mildly entertaining; they definitely have a cockerel (a late riser) as well as probably some cows. We didn't actually see the cows, so it might possibly have been a foghorn making that noise. There were also goats etc, and vegetable plots too.

We got slightly lost after that (on account of following a sign) but it didn't take us too long to get back on track.

This large red crane (on concrete pillars) was a helpful landmark.
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Looked like an ordinary block of flats but I guess not.
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Greenland Dock were very proud of their hydraulic capstan, hydraulic lock gates, and hydraulic swing bridge, none of which were actually in use any more. But you could still see the pistons, which were in some cases quite large. The dock now appears to be a marina.

Mum standing by a place-of-birth indicator.
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A rotten thingy out in the river.
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The Pepys Estate (named after the diary guy) is a council estate built on the grounds of an old naval dockyard which was bombed in the Blitz. There are a few old buildings left.

And these somewhat-old pillars too.
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There's a small park called Pepys Park and the day we went seemed to be a special event to celebrate its reopening; there was music, some kids riding bikes done up to look like skeletons and, um, things like that. Also, the new play equipment at the park looks quite nice.

I'm guessing Convoy Wharf will be yet another gigantic and expensive luxury flats development.
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I liked the brick which is hanging there. Also, blue.
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We were walking away from the river for a bit and the walk directions (we have the official walk book) kept referring to pubs, nearly all of which are now closed down and turned into something else (or just closed down).

Not sure what this used to be but now, on the ground floor: a bookie's. First floor: a church. Hmmm.
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Nearing the river again, we approached another construction site (or possibly part of the same development they're protesting against, who knows). Three walls of a building were propped up with steel beams; I guess they're going to keep the facade for something.

Looking through the gate into the site. (Canary Wharf in background.)
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The opposite wall.
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Having reached the river, we saw an interesting (by which I mean 'rotting') pier. It didn't seem very likely that we would be able to get onto it, a guess which proved correct.

Anyone want a rotten pier? Probably not.
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There was a massive, shiny, completely random Peter the Great statue (he studied here or something) next to another huge housing development; then we decided, rather too late, to divert to see St. Nicholas's Church. By this point it was out of our way so we had to go back a distance.

The charnel-house.
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Skull on gateway (sorry, it's a bit hard to see - not much of a picture, but a pretty cool skull).
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The diversion to the church took us in a circle back to the river and by chance, the delay meant we got to see a huge sailing ship with a bunch of people standing on deck. It wasn't under sail, but appeared to be being pushed by a tug to some kind of mooring point nearby. No idea what that was about.

Sailing ship, tug, and (presumably) some kind of pilot boat.
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This somewhat made up for the lack of sailing ship where Cutty Sark ought to be when (shortly) we reached Greenwich proper. In that area, there's nothing visible except a big tent. Presumably there is still a ship underneath. Anyhow, even without a Cutty Sark, it still has a Cutty Sark DLR station, where our walk ended.

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.