Monday, May 27, 2024

Walking with Family and Friends: Aldgate to St Katharine Docks... and beyond

St Katharine Docks and Marina
St Katharine Docks and Marina.

Saturday May 25, 2024. 

Another Saturday and another walk through London.

Keilyn and I met up with my friend Steve at Watford Underground station and boarded our train to Baker Street. Arriving at Croxley station we were joined by my mum and uncle Martin.

We alighted at Finchley Road and waited the six minutes for an Aldgate bound train to continue our journey.

Arriving at Aldgate station we headed outside and, after crossing Aldgate High Street, grabbed a coffee from 'Copper Coffee', on the corner of Mansell Street. We then continued along Mansell Street on to St Katharine's Way and our destination of St Katharine Docks.

The Barge 'Excelsior'
'Excelsior'.

With the sun in an almost cloudless sky it was the perfect conditions to wander around the Marina with its yachts, barges and other vessels.

Koi fish in the Marina
Is that a Koi?

Having explored the marina and after spotting what looked like Koi in the clear waters, we made our way to the Docks and the chance to explore the 'Dunkirk Little Ships' that had arrived ahead of the anniversary of 'Operation Dynamo', which took place between May 26 and June 4, 1940.

Dunkirk Little Ships
Dunkirk Little Ships.

These historic ships had been part of an armada that travelled from Ramsgate to Dunkirk to aid in the rescue of over 336,000 British and French soldiers. Many of these boats made multiple trips.

We read the stories of the ships, listened to crew members telling stories and got up close to these historic vessels.

Dunkirk Little Ships at St Katharine Docks
A different perspective.

With noon fast approaching we went our separate ways, with mum and Martin staying around the St Katharine Docks area, while Keilyn, Steve and I crossed Tower Bridge and headed along the Thames Path towards Rotherhithe.

King Edward III Moated Manor House
Keilyn is the Queen of King Edward III's Moated Manor House.

We passed Butler's Wharf, crossed the River Neckinger, visited the remains of King Edward III's Moated Manor House and 'The Angel' pub, where J.M.W. Turner painted 'Fighting Temeraire' from its balcony.

Lookin west along the River Thames
Looking back towards Tower Bridge.

We then moved from Bermondsey to Rotherhithe, passing 'The Mayflower' pub and the Brunel Museum, before crossing the Surrey Basin Bascule Bridge and arrived at our destination... 'The Salt Quay'.

The Salt Quay pub
Time for a drink and a spot of lunch.

While Steve and I ordered drinks Keilyn disappeared outside to locate a table, finding one that was in the shade. Once we were seated we perused the menu and then ordered some food. Steve opted for the Wholetail Whitby Scampi with thick-cut chips, garden peas and tartare sauce. Keilyn chose Chicken nuggets with thick-cut chips, garden peas and cucumber, while I went for a Cheese & Bacon burger with lettuce and coleslaw, with thick-cut chips, onion rings and a tasty relish.

Keilyn at the Salt Quay
Keilyn about to tuck into her lunch.

Steve at the Salt Quay
Steve about to tuck into his lunch.

One of the reasons that we had decided on The Salt Quay as our destination for lunch, apart from the fact that this is a great pub to visit, was that we thought we might see some of the Dunkirk Little Ships sailing up river. We weren't disappointed.

A Dunkirk Little Ship on the River Thames
A Dunkirk Little Ship heading to St Katharine Docks.

With dinner consumed, and washed down, we headed west towards Tower Bridge. On the way Keilyn went looking for shells on Rotherhithe Beach, before the tide covered the sand.

Keilyn on Rotherhithe Beach
Keilyn on Rotherhithe Beach.

We bought ice cream and ate them outside Butler's Wharf, while we awaited the opening of Tower Bridge. My mum and Martin had found a vantage point outside the Tower Hotel, by the 'Girl with a Dolphin' fountain.

A Barge sails through Tower Bridge
A London Barge passes through Tower Bridge.

It wasn't long before we heard the sirens on Tower Bridge sound and traffic came to a halt, while pedestrians began to swell in numbers at either end of the bridge. Then the bascules began to rise as Uber Boats and Sightseeing Cruises held their positions on the River Thames. Once the bascules were fully raised a Thames Barge sailed through on its way up river, mooring at Tower Millenium Pier.

Tower Bridge
Normal service has resumed.

We waited until Tower Bridge was fully reopened, allowing the crowds to disperse, before we made our way up and across to meet up with my mum and Martin.

After stopping to buy some cold drinks we headed back towards Aldgate station. Once there Keilyn stayed with mum and Martin, while Steve and I went to take a photo of Mitre Square, as Erin had asked me to take a photo of the information board, if I was in the area. 

Mitre Square Information Board
Holy Trinity Priory and Catherine Eddowes information board.

With the photo taken Steve and I headed to Aldgate Square to find mum and Martin had gone into St Botolph without Aldgate church. So, while Steve and I sat in the shade, Keilyn took to doing cartwheels across the raised lawn, before heading off to play with the 'Water Art Fountain'.

Then, with us all back together, we headed into the station and boarded a train to Uxbridge, as this would get us to Baker Street where we would catch a Watford bound train.

It was an uneventful ride home as I think everyone was tired and hot. Mum and Martin disembarked the train at Croxley, while Steve, Keilyn and I continued to Watford where we alighted and began a slow stroll home.

All-in-all another great day out.

 Distance travelled:

  • Car - 0.0 miles
  • Taxi - 0.8 miles
  • Train - 0.0 miles
  • Underground - 25 miles
  • Walking - 9.1 miles

No comments:

Post a Comment