Monday, 9 February 2015

Jubilee Greenway - North Woolwich to North Greenwich

I've got a bit behind with blogging my progress with walking the Jubilee Greenway, a 60km path around London which commemorates the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics. I'd got to North Woolwich on 11 January, and picked up the path again nine days later.

By that time I'd made the decision to cross the Thames via the foot tunnel rather than the ferry so that I would have walked the entire route. I entered the 102 year old tunnel via this building, 

bimbled through 

and emerged via its twin 

to be greeted a plethora of signs.

No mention of the Jubilee Greenway among all these, but that path is indicated by markers in the ground. In theory, you simply walk in the direction indicated by the crown, and keep going straight on until you see the next one.

In any case, navigation today was going to be relatively straightforward, just head upstream, following the river as closely as possible; I could see my destination, the O2, in the misty distance.

A gentle start to the walk as I watched the Woolwich Ferry plying back and forth while the planes landed and took off at City Airport. 

I made my way past Woolwich Dockyard, now a housing estate although the Superintendent's Office remains

and a pair of guns have been mounted on the site of the Royal Marines' gun battery.

Meanwhile, the Tate & Lyle sugar refinery is clearly visible on the other side of the river.

Here building works mean that the path leaves the river, though the intention is for the path to follow the Thames once the area has been redeveloped. I followed the interim route through a housing estate and along a busy road as far as Barrier Gardens where I could rejoin the river near the Thames Barrier, opened in 1982 and designed to protect London from flooding. 

The next stretch of Thames is industrial, with aggregate plants operating from Angerstein Wharf and Murphy's Wharf. Nearly three million tonnes of aggregates pass through here each year.

I was entering Greenwich now, and I passed the Yacht Club

then a junk sculpture on the foreshore (possible made by the yachtsmen?).

Nearby was a Polar Sundial - the plate runs east-west with the gnomen in the middle casting its shadow on the correct time.

Ahead of me, I could see the Emirates Airline, the cable car ride across the Thames

and, at river level, 'Quantum Cloud' a 1999 sculpture by Antony Gormley which at 30m high is actually taller than the more famous 'Angel of the North'.

I'd reached the O2, or the Millennium Dome, so my walk was almost over, but I needed to walk round about three-quarters of its circumference to reach North Greenwich station

and there was still plenty to see. Firstly 'A Slice of Reality', a modern artwork by Richard Wilson which consists of a slice of a former dredger. The whole thing is exposed at low tide.

Then I crossed the Greenwich Meridian again as marked by this milepost, one of 1000 posts placed on National Cycle Routes to mark the millennium.

The final stretch of my walk took me onto the west side of the Greenwich Peninsula, with the towers of Docklands on my right 

and the dome of the O2 on my left, just a little too close for decent photos.

I'll try to put that right next time I'm out.

1 comment:

  1. fabulous! Thank you for sharing. I no longer live in London and so this brought me many smiles and fond memories. x