Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Walking with Keilyn: Greenwich Peninsula to Woolwich Foot Tunnel... and beyond

London The Unfinished City
Our starting point for the day.

Friday June 3, 2022.

Having been to London, as a family, the previous day, Keilyn decided that she hadn't seen enough and wanted another walk. So, following an early start we made our way to North Greenwich, from where our walk eastward was to begin.

We made our way from the station to The Tide, a raised walkway that allows for great views over Peninsula Square and leads you to Olympian Way beside the River Thames.

London The Unfinished City
The Mermaid by Damien Hirst.

The first sculpture we saw was 'The Mermaid' by Damien Hirst, quickly followed by Anthony Gormley's 'Quantum Cloud'.

The riverside has changed a lot, since I last walked along it. With its landscaped gardens, seating and barbeque areas it has become a nice place to relax on a summer's evening.

London The Unfinished City
Thames Pathway.

London The Unfinished City
Keilyn takes a rest.

We followed Olympian Way towards the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park, spotting the 'Hydra & kira' sculpture enroute.

London The Unfinished City
Hydra and Kali by Damien Hirst.

After we passed the Greenwich Yacht Club the area became more industrial and unkept, harking back to this areas commercial and manufacturing past.

London The Unfinished City
Tarmac Charlton Concrete Plant.

Moving on to Riverside the sun had begun to beat down on us and the breeze, which had kept us cool earlier, had now disappeared. 

Ahead I spotted the 'Anchor & Hope' pub, and through one of its windows I spotted a life-size cutout of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Keilyn wanted to have her photo taken with it, so in we went, thankful to be out of the sun for a few minutes. 

London The Unfinished City
Anchor & Hope pub.

The pub, itself, was remarkable and so we stopped for some refreshment, with Keilyn sitting at the bar, while I looked around at the interior. One wall was adorned with memorabilia of BDO World Darts Champion Andy 'The Viking' Fordham, who, as it turned out, had been a regular at the pub, as he only lived down the road in Woolwich.

London The Unfinished City
Andy 'The Viking' Fordham.

London The Unfinished City
HM Queen Elizabeth II and Keilyn.

Suitably refreshed Keilyn and I continued our walk eastward, through more industrial estates, with myriad businesses filling the various buildings, before we found ourselves approaching the Thames Barrier and its visitor centre.

London The Unfinished City
A River boat passes through the Thames Barrier.

London The Unfinished City
Keilyn with the Thames Tidal Defences Memorial.

After lots of photographs we made a slight detour away from the river, as these industrial estates went right to the river's edge. However, it didn't take long to rejoin the Thames Promenade, which allowed for a view of the now derelict Merchant Vessel Royal Iris.

London The Unfinished City
The MV Royal Iris.

From here we followed the Thames Promenade, discovering a Gun battery and the Woolwich Dockyard Drydocks before we headed into Woolwich proper, to grab some lunch.

London The Unfinished City
Keilyn ata Gun battery, near Woolwich.

With food in our bellies and with drinks and snacks restocked, we headed back towards the River Thames and the entrance to the Woolwich Foot Tunnel.

Refurbishment of the Waterfront Leisure Centre caused us to make a detour around scaffolding and hoarding, which, although extending our route, allowed for a longer walk along the Thames Path. It also gave me a different view of the Woolwich Ferry.

London The Unfinished City
The south entrance of the Woolwich Foot Tunnel.

The entrance to the Woolwich Foot Tunnel is the oldest remaining building in the riverside area. So, with photographs taken, we made our way down the 94 steps of the spiral staircase to the tunnel itself.

Dodging the cyclists, who were disobeying the rules of 'no cycling' in the tunnel, we made our way towards the north entrance/exit, where 126 steps awaited us.

On reaching the surface Keilyn decided that she wanted to see hat the lifts looked like, so pressed the call button. When it arrived she stepped inside, while I took her photo.

London The Unfinished City
Keilyn in the lift at the north entrance of the Woolwich Foot Tunnel.

From here we followed Pier Road to the King George V DLR station and awaited a train back towards the City. Fortunately, for Keilyn, the train was deserted so that she could sit at the front of the train and pretend to drive it. 

London The Unfinished City
Millennium Mills from the DLR.

Keilyn 'drove' us past City Airport, Millennium Mills, Canary Wharf and much more, before we arrived at Bank station, where we made our way up to an almost deserted City of London.

London The Unfinished City
Keilyn 'driving' a DLR train.

Obviously people were still celebrating the Jubilee in the various parks, bars and other venues, leaving the City of London remarkably empty. So, making the most of it, we took a leisurely walk to Moorgate, where we took a train to Baker Street and then a train onward towards home.

It was a thoroughly great way to spend this Jubilee Friday.

Distance travelled:
  • Car - 0.0 miles
  • Taxi - 0.0 miles
  • Train - 5.6 miles (Docklands Light Railway)
  • Underground - 43 miles
  • Walking - 9.2 miles

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