Sunday’s 12-mile walk prompted me to write the details down in case anyone else wants to follow some or all of the path.
The walk took in:
- Blackheath streets named after tax protesters Jack Cade and Wat Tyler
- Greenwich park, for the Observatory and Meridian Line
- Greenwich for the Maritime Museum, Old Naval College and Cutty Sark
- A walk along the Thames Path to London
- Rotherhithe for Brunel Museum, Pilgrim Fathers departure point, Dr Salter’s daydream and King Edward III manor House ruins
- Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the new London Mayor’s building, plus HMS Belfast
- Southwark Cathedral, The Golden Hinde and Winchester Palace, The Clink, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Millennium (wobbly) bridge and St Paul’s
- The Southbank, Jubilee Gardens – with International Brigades statue – and the London Eye (formerly known as the Millennium Wheel)
- County Hall (the old GLC HQ) and the Houses of Parliament, with Big Ben
I recorded the route on Endo Mondo so you can view it in more detail there. The picture above is a screen shot.
The information says the walk from my house to Waterloo East station was 11.4 miles and took 3 hours 47 minutes at at average speed of just over 3mph.
We (the dog and me) got the train back to Lewisham and walked home from there. My wife peeled off earlier and came home on the train from London Bridge, saving about three miles – so that’s always an option.
You can also get the 47 bus further up the river and start your walk from Rotherhithe, for example.
We walked to Blackheath and visited the two roads named after famous rebels who mustered their revolutionaries on Blackheath and from there attacked London: Wat Tyler and Jack Cade.
Wat Tyler from Kent, lead the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381.
Jack Cade led a revolt against taxes for the 100 years war in 1450
Strolling down the hill leads you into Greenwich itself – a Royal Borough since the London Olympics 2012. There you can visit the Maritime Museum, the Old Naval College, with its fantastic Painted Hall, and the Cutty Sark clipper.
Or you can get a boat along the Thames (in both directions – including getting a hop on, hop off ticket). These are all worth doing.
There is also the foot tunnel to the north of the Thames. There are lifts , as well as stairs, at each side so you can take bicycles down – though you must walk through the narrow tunnel. Walking to London along the north side is also a good alternative.
From Greenwich the Thames path veers a little away from edge of the river in several places, though it is being improved all the time as new developments replace old Thameside buildings. A new foot bridge keeps you close to the Thames before you have to turn away in Deptford.
A diversion nearby would take you to St Nicholas Church, which has long links with British maritime history.
- The gargoyles on the gates are said to have been used by Captain Henry Morgan as the model for the skull and crossbones on a pirate’s Jolly Roger flag.
- The grave of George Shevlocke, captain of the Speedwell, whose book A Voyage Round The World by Way of the Great South Sea (1726) was the inspiration behind William Wordsworth’s The Rime of an Ancient Mariner.
- The grave of playwright Christopher Marlowe, who was stabbed and killed in Deptford (unless you believe the rumours that it was a hoax, allowing him to write as Shakespeare). There is a small engraving on one wall of the churchyard.
A bit further and you hit Rotherhithe where you pass the Brunel Museum, the departure point of the Mayflower, the ship that took the Pilgrim Fathers to America, Dr Salter’s daydream statues and King Edward III’s Manor House ruins.
Tower Bridge gets gradually closer and closer until you are almost upon it. You pass underneath and on your side of the Thames is City Hall, the modern Mayor of London‘s offices and opposite is the Tower of London and Traitors’ Gate.
A short walk further is HMS Belfast.
Southwark Cathedral, The Golden Hinde and Winchester Palace, The Clink, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Millennium (wobbly) bridge and St Paul’s
Just beyond are remnants of Winchester Palace, home to the bishop. A short detour from here is Cross Bones – a pauper’s graveyard knows as the prostitutes graveyard. Prostitutes worked in Southwark under the auspices of the bishop but he refused to bury them on consecrated land so they were buried a few hundred yards away.
Next you pass the Clink, the prison that gave its name to the colloquial phrase for doing time, porridge, being banged up. And Suddenly you reach Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and very quickly the Millennium Bridge (the wobbly bridge), which you can cross to St Paul’s Cathedral. Back on the southern side is the Tate Modern.
The Southbank, Jubilee Gardens – with International Brigades statue – and the London Eye (formerly known as the Millennium Wheel)
The Southbank has a host of arts venues and the secondhand book fair but is also famous for its ad hoc skate park that recently survived the threat of closure.
The London Eye (originally called the Millennium Wheel) is situated at the end of Jubilee Gardens, which is also home to a statue dedicated to the British volunteers who fought in for the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. There is a vigil there every summer.
I ended my walk just beyond the London Eye at County Hall, which was once the home of the Greater London Council (GLC). A short walk is Westminster Bridge across which you can see the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
If you stay on the south side of the river and pass the bridge you also come across Lambeth Palace, the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury.