Thames Path – Barrier to Tower

So one of our challenges is walking the Thames Path from the Thames Barrier to Hamptom Court – a good two day walk, but one we plan to complete over 3-4 days along with any other challenges we can discover along the way.Thames Walk Part 1

So for our first part, we started at Thames Barrier Park on the north side of the Thames which is a lovely way to begin the walk (even if the walk to and from it was quite industrial). The park is quite young, so has an open feel about it due to the trees not being very tall – it will certainly change over time. Also the paths are a bit too straight – bit continental to be honest. Still the views of the Barrier are fantastic, and if you live nearby this would be a great place to relax.

Challenge 109, 173/1000 complete

Thames Barrier Park

From the park we headed to Woolwich Ferry past the massive Tate & Lyle factory that dominates the area. We got to the ferry just in time for its crossing, though considering it only takes 5 mins from side to side, it is so efficient there is hardly time to take it all in. Although this is a car ferry, there was a huge amount of passenger space (enough for 500 people), showing that this would have used to be a very important transport link for commuters to the Royal Docks.

Challenge 413, 174/1000 complete

Thames Barrier

Now the walk started proper on the south side of the Thames. We headed past the Barrier, which certainly is impressive, and up the Greenwich Peninsula – which of course has expansive views of the north side of the Thames, the 02 Arena and the Isle of Dogs Sky Scrapers. Our next stop was the Greenwich Peninsula Park a small wetlands site next to Greenwich Village apartments. We had a quick wander through, and though it was pleasant with its lily pads and ducks – it was nothing too special. Although Claire and I have enjoyed much more wilder green spaces, I suppose it is great that London has these places for education and relaxation.

Greenwich Penisula Park

Challenge 431 and 817, 176/1000 complete

Next stop was Greenwich and the National Maritime Museum. Before we could get there, we had about a 2 mile diversion away from the river. This was extremely frustrating, especially as the signposting for the diversion was poor. Still it put good use to the GPS on my new phone :) :). Once at this free national museum, we were in good need to a break and a rest. Once this was achieved we enjoyed a quick exploration of this large museum – from ship building to fishing, from toy boats to Nelson memorabilia. This is one which Claire and I certainly want to come back to and spend sometime looking at properly.

Challenge 754, 177/1000 complete

We left the museum and headed through Greenwich. It was a bit to busy for comfort, so it was great when we got back on the Thames path. Next stop was Deptford and the Deptford Project there. Suffice to say this is an artist hangout and workshop type of place, with a cool cafe in an old railway coach for refreshments. I got to sit in the Naughty Chair and enjoy a hot chocolate which I managed to throw mostly all over my lap – very apt.

Challenge 499, 178/1000 complete

We were now on the last leg of this first day, leaving Deptford and heading for the posh residential area around Surry Docks. Ignoring the boat yard that looked a bit like millionaire’s row, we soon got to our next challenge which was infinitely more fun, Surrey Docks Farm.

Claire and I equally loved this urban farm. Unlike the one just off Brick Lane we visited, here you were free to wander into the main area with goats, pigs, sheep and chickens for company. There were lots of children enjoying the experience, which was especially good as interacting animals was obviously a complete change for them. These type of farms must be great in the education of urban kids, though they are of course great for us adults too :).

Dock Farm Goat
Dock Farm Sheep

Challenge 308, 179/1000 complete

We left the farm reluctantly, but with a with a few miles left to walk there was no time for another break. We soon entered Rotherhithe and we got increasingly good views of the city. Brunel Museum and Rotherhithe Tunnel were are final challenges for the day. A very small but interesting museum documenting this “8th Wonder of the World”. Probably not worth going out the way the to see (unless you are an engineer of course), but interesting never-the-less.

Brunel Museum

Challenge 903, 180/1000 complete

Now it was just a hope skip and a jump and we were at Tower Bridge – a third of the route done – and our feet were certainly happy for the rest. Roll on the next stage of the walk – though we do not know when we will do it yet. Chris

Towe Bridge

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~ by lethaniol on 07/10/2010.

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