The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

[There once used to be a neat little website for the North London Walkers describing some interesting walks in this great city. It no longer exists. Luckily the time machine that is has snapshots of it from before it went kaput. I’m reposting the (slightly) re-edited versions here, with added pics.]

This Trail is 12 kilometres long, and starts at the Tower of London and then follows the River Thames downstream through the redeveloped Commercial docks to Greenwich.

The first of the docks is St.Katherine's which has been converted to a Marina for yachts and pleasure boats. All that remains of the London Docks, however, are the converted warehouses, which are now residential apartments. Along this stretch of Wapping High Street can be found an execution dock where pirates were hanged and three tides allowed to wash over them before they could be cut down, the most famous pirate to die here being Captain Kidd. Also here is the headquarters of the River Police, the world's oldest uniformed Police service.

Soon you arrive at Canary Wharf, the site of the tallest building in Great Britain, designed by Cesar Pelli. You continue on passing the Heron Quays, Millwall Docks and the London Arena before arriving at Island Gardens.

From Island Gardens you get magnificent views of the Royal Naval College and the Queens House as they were intended to be viewed.

You then walk under the River Thames to Greenwich where you are greeted by the Tea Clipper Cutty Sark [Well, except that it burned down in May 2007. It is currently being restored and is expected to be ready for visits in spring 2010.] You then walk into Greenwich Royal Park and up the hill to the Old Royal Observatory from where you have panoramic views of the Docklands that you have just walked through.

After walking around the Park taking in Rangers House, The National Maritime Museum and the Queens House you finish the walk at the Trafalgar Tavern, adjacent to the Royal Naval College.

Tower Hill Tube Station (Circle/District Lines)

Upon exiting the station go down steps under road towards the Tower of London. Turn right at the Tower Moat and follow it round the outside of the Tower of London, passing Traitors’ Gate and on towards Tower Bridge.

Q1 - On the bank of the River Thames, just past the Tower of London Gift Shop, there is a house. What is it called?

Go under Tower Bridge and pass under the Tower Hotel into St. Katherines Way, passing St. Katherines Yacht Club and HMS President RNR, this leads on into Wapping High Street. Walk to the end of Wapping High Street, passing the Metropolitan Police Thames Division and the Captain Kidd Public House, to where it becomes New Crane Place and then turn right into Wapping Wall.

Q2 - Next to Pelican Wharf you will find London's oldest riverside public house. What is it called and when was it built?

Continue into Glamis Road, about 50 yards past the swing bridge take the next right into the Thames Path. Follow the path along the Thames as far as it will go, at the end of this stretch of path follow it round to the left followed by an almost immediate right turn. This brings you out into Narrow Street.

Follow Narrow Street, passing Limehouse Basin and the Grapes Public House, until you reach Dunbar Wharf. Opposite Ropemakers Field there is an opening in Dunbar Wharf which leads back to the riverside, go through here, cross over the pedestrian suspension bridge and continue to follow the riverside path until you come to Canary Wharf Pier.

At Canary Wharf Pier turn left and go up the steps leading to Westferry Circus, walk straight across the Circus and on the other side follow the right hand side of West India Avenue (going towards Canary Wharf Tower Europe's tallest building). When you get to Cabot Square continue around to the right for approximately 30 metres when you come to a set of steps leading down to your right. Go down these steps and at the bottom bear left. Cross over the footbridge leading to Heron Quay and then the second footbridge which brings you to the Britannia Hotel. At the main road (Marsh Wall) turn left and continue along to South Quay.

At the traffic lights turn right into Millharbour (opposite South Quay Station) follow this down almost to its end where you turn left into Pepper Street which leads you to Crossharbour bridge. Cross over the bridge and on the far side pass under the Docklands Light Railway and turn right into East Ferry Road. Follow East Ferry Road, past the Asda Superstore, and Mudchute Station DLR. At the junction with the main road turn left and walk towards Island Gardens Railway Station. Turn right in front of the station and then take the next left into Saunders Ness Road. Just before reaching the gardens there is a round brick building, this is the entrance to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel.

Q3 - Just above the entrance / exit to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel there is a plaque. When was the tunnel opened and by whom?

Pass through the tunnel, under the River Thames, emerging opposite the Tea Clipper Cutty Sark . Follow the road to the left of the Cutty Sark into King William Walk. Pass the main gates to the Royal Naval College Greenwich, cross over Romney Road and then through St.Mary's Gate into Greenwich Park. Follow the path going up the hill to the Old Royal Observatory and Flamstead House. From here you will get a wonderful view of the River Thames, The National Maritime Museum and the Royal Naval College down below.

Q4 - On the wall to the right of the entrance gate to the Old Royal Observatory there is a Calvano Magnetic Clock. By whom was it made?

Leave the Old Royal Observatory along Blackheath Avenue, to the left of the Observatory. walk past the Planetarium and then take the next main path on the right towards Ranger's House. At the end of the path you reach the park wall, just to the right of the path there is a gateway through the wall (Crooms Hill Gate). Pass through the gate and at the end of the short lane turn left and follow the path up to Ranger's House.

Q5 - Either side of the main door to Ranger's House are two plaques detailing past residents. The one on the left commemorates Philip 4th Earl of Chesterfield. Who is commemorated on the other?

Continue past Ranger's House, along Chesterfield Walk to Shooters Hill Road, follow the wall round to the left and re-enter Greenwich Park by the Chesterfield Gate. Turn right and follow the path around the park passing the gardens back to Blackheath Avenue. Cross over and walk down Bower Avenue to Maze Hill Gate. Staying in the park follow the path just inside of the park boundary back down the hill towards the National Maritime Museum. Leave the park by the gate at the corner of the Museum and continue along Park Row. Cross over Trafalgar Road and go past the back gate of the Royal Naval College towards the River Thames and finish at

The Trafalgar Tavern


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