I mentioned in a previous post I am attempting to walk the length of the Thames. Finding I had the day free on Saturday I planned another stretch. I thought I would start at the beginning which I had decided would be the Thames barrage, but when I looked at the map I changed my mind as I had never been on the Woolwich ferry, so I would start there.
The weather threatened rain after 12:00 so I would need an early start to avoid it. I woke up at 07:25, not ideal, had coffee and toast, and left with just enough time to catch the 08:11 from Berkhamsted. It was a fast train, so I did not want to miss it, the lights and everything were with me this morning, and my coffee for the train was handed to me as the rain pulled into the station. The weather was bright and clear with grey sky made of high altitude clouds.
At Euston I got the Northern line to Bank, but not before selecting the wrong southbound platform. At Bank I jumped on the DLR to King George V station where I would start walking.
The Woolwich ferry is not far from the station, although foot passengers are allowed the route on foot is not sign posted, so I just followed the cars. The ferry which is the only free boat trip in London, was on the other side loading, but soon did the crossing to my side. One foot passenger got off with a dozen cars and an artic. I was the only foot passenger to get on with a dozen cars. There were a lot of seats and space below the top car deck, for foot passengers. I found some step leading to the car deck where I could get a view of the Thames.
The Thames Path leaves the river for about half a mile and joins it again at the Thames barrier where ironically the official start of the Thames walk starts. According to the map on the wall it is 180 miles to the source which would therefore take me 18 sections to do if I made sure I did at least 10 miles each time I did a walk. I was glad I did the ferry in any case.
The first section was mainly housing then it became very industrial with sand and gravel dispensing areas. Then fancy apartments followed by the O2, then back to building sites before hitting the edge of Greenwich where I stopped at the Cutty Sark pub for a coffee and a packet of crisps, I was at mile 6.
At Greenwich I used the foot tunnel just because I could, it would put me on the side of the Thames I had not walked for a while. It is hard to keep to the rivers edge on the north bank as some property fronts are private so you end up tacking in and out of alleyways. I’ve noticed that with all the developments going on often a pub on a street corner is left intact, often looking out of place next to modern buildings or vacant lots.
I could see the predicted rain coming by the mist that had enveloped the distant views, so rather than stopping I cracked on, eventually getting sight of Tower Bridge my destination. I stopped taking off in St Katherine’s dock and had a bowl of delicious courgette soup and a coffee. I took my time as my feet needed a rest, and I wanted to update this blog post as the memories were still fresh.
I got on the tube at Tower hill where confusing signs sent you round the houses to the station entrance. I waited ages for a circle line train, then at Liverpool Street they announced issues on the line, then they went as far as Farringdon when they recommended getting the bus. The 63 was due in 20 minutes and I just wanted to get home so I walked down the road and splashed out on a cab for a swift delivery to Euston; £12.50. Things were against me at Euston two I missed a train which left as I arrived, then the next one was cancelled, still I only had a 20 minute wait for a fast train and had time to grab a paper and a coffee.
I grabbed some dinner on the way home from Tring Tesco, and Helen and I settled i n for an evening watching Finale of Deutschland 83 and a couple of madmen season one repeats.