A Thames Path Odyssey – Part One – From Countryside to Canary Wharf

Date: Saturday 12th May 2018

Distance: 18 miles

Start Time: 10:00

Duration: 8 hours

  • Green Space
  • Ramble

Meeting Point: Slade Green railway station, outside the booking office

Nearest Station (Start): Slade Green railway station

End Point: Greenwich, Cutty Sark

Nearest Station (End): Cutty Sark DLR or Mainline Greenwich

Cost: Free

Email: info@walklondon.org.uk

Telephone: 020 3151 1151

Booking Advice:

Booking is required.
There are 7 remaining places available.


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This is one of the most fascinating walks in south-east England. It explores the Thames as it stretches between bucolic countryside and the intense development of the world’s greatest commercial centre. This isn’t so much a walk as a journey.

We begin in the farmland of London’s Green Belt beside the River Darent, a stone’s throw from Kent, arriving at Crayford Ness and the confluence with the Thames by way of brackish marshes rich in bird-life. Then we’ll acquire the almost magical experience of seeing the great river progress from pre-esturine bleakness to the heart of urbanity. While the transition between the contrasting landscapes is inexorable it is also surprisingly gentle as the natural environment penetrates surprisingly far into London. Passing Rushes reclaiming an old wharf we might already see the distant towers of commerce rising quietly before us.

The walk is also a historical timeline as we pass evidence of almost every aspect of economic and industrial development from agriculture and fisheries through iron and shipping to electronics and nuclear engineering. The difference between beginning and end is tremendous and that end is beside some of the most famed buildings anywhere on the planet, Wren’s magnificent work at Greenwich. Overall, this walk is an outstanding feast for both eye and mind, no wonder it’s proven so popular in the past.

This is part one of a two part walk. Part two of the walk takes place on Sunday at 1.pm when we’ll walk out of the other side of London by the Thames and regain the great river’s rurality. You are welcome to join part one of the walk without taking part in part two.

The walk demands a consistent average walking pace of 3mph for many miles. Please don’t consider participation if you cannot do that. If you can, something very special awaits you.

The walk leader has a lifetime’s experience of walking beside London’s river and will be delighted to share his extensive historical knowledge both in advance and on the day. Feel free to contact him, Ian Bull, for further information. Tel 020 7223 3572, Email. ianbull@btinternet.com



There will no toilets at the start of this walk.
Erith, 3.5 miles. Woolwich, (x2) 11 miles. Thames Barrier, 12.75 miles. Greenwich, (end of walk) 18 miles. (See below.)

Break Points.
There are no break points between 0 – 2.75 miles, 4.5 – 7.5 miles, 8.5 – 9.75 miles and 14.75 – 15.25 miles. Total = 7.5 miles. The remainder is easily exited and served by copious buses.

A packed lunch is essential as is water to drink along the way. There is a small supermarket at the beginning but opportunities to re-stock along the way are very limited.

Please consider the weather forecast and the type of walk you are planning to join and wear appropriate footwear and clothing.

The walk will be conducted at average walking pace throughout, three miles per hour.


Advice Note:

Not suitable for wheelchairs or buggies due to kissing gates and steps over barriers.

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Frequent stops for information and photos
Featuring places of historical interest
Exploring the rich culture of London
Following London's waterways
Longer Walk with few stops and little or no commentary
Visiting London’s green spaces
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