Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Jubilee Greenway - Tower Bridge to Hungerford Bridge

This post almost brings me up to date with my Jubilee Greenway walk, a 60km circuit of London, which I started from Victoria Park at the beginning of January.

I walked from Tower Bridge to Westminster on Tuesday 10 March, but I'm splitting the walk into two posts due to the sheer number of photos that I took!

I was on familiar territory, as I have walked this stretch of the Thames many times in the past, though I've only been as far as Lambeth Bridge (where I crossed the river this time) once before. Somehow walking it as part of the Jubilee Greenway was different though, it wasn't just about getting from A to B and I took the time to look around me more (and to take lots of photos which I don't often do in London).

I reached Tower Bridge last time out; my 'home' station is on the north side of the river and the path goes along the south bank, so I started by crossing the bridge again, looking across to City Hall, The Shard and HMS Belfast,

and once across, I could look back to the Tower of London

and the skyscrapers in the City - the Walkie Talkie, the Cheese Grater and the Gherkin.

This stretch of path alongside the Thames, is part of the Queen's Walk and the (Silver) Jubilee Walkway, as well as the Jubilee Greenway and the Thames Path.  

I spotted the Queen's Walk Sundial close to City Hall. I'd never noticed it before, but there was a good reason for this - it was only put in position on 15 January this year!

Looking north again, the top of the Monument was peeking out from among the buildings and cranes

and Tower Bridge was beginning to recede behind me.

Past HMS Belfast, the World War II cruiser which is now part of the Imperial War Museum,

and a mosaic commemorating the Old London Bridge

with a final look back along the Thames

before I detoured inland, along Tooley Street and past the modern London Bridge, briefly reaching the river again near Southwark Cathedral.

Previous London Bridges spanned the river at this point, and there is a remnant of the 19th century bridge embedded in the path here

together with a quote from Sir Walter Raleigh.

(Click any photo for a larger version if you can't read the engravings.)

I went inland again, round the back of St Saviour's church, crossing private land 

and passing the Golden Hinde II, a full-sized replica of the ship that Sir Francis Drake used to circumnavigate the globe between 1577 and 1580, now berthed in St Mary Overie Dock.

Along Clink Street next, past the ruins of Winchester Palace

and the site of the eponymous prison.

Back to the river, along a stretch known as Bankside; I passed Shakespeare's Globe (never known it so quiet; it's normally heaving with people around here)

and approached Tate Modern, in the old Bankside Power Station. I've passed it many times, but never been inside before. Time to correct that, and I visited the old Turbine Hall first, with an art installation by Richard Tuttle called I Don’t Know . The Weave of Textile Language.

Then I wandered round the surrealist gallery - Poetry and Dream. There was plenty more that I didn't see, and I shall definitely make a return visit.

Outside in the sunshine, the Millennium Bridge spans the river from Bankside to St Paul's.

Heading onwards, I passed HMS President, a World War I anti-submarine ship which is now in private hands and used as office and conference space. She was repainted in a modern version of 'dazzle camouflage' in 2014 as part of the centenary commemorations.

Past the London Television Centre

and the National Theatre

with a statue of Sir John Gielgud as Hamlet.

Time for something else that I've never noticed before - the South Bank Book Market, tucked under Waterloo Bridge.

A bit further along, I passed the South Bank Skatepark,

almost opposite Cleopatra's Needle, an Ancient Egyptian obelisk dating from around 1450 BC and erected on the Victoria Embankment in 1878.

Approaching Hungerford Bridge, with its twin Golden Jubilee footbridges, 

the London Eye suddenly looms into view.

On the other side of the bridge lies Jubilee Gardens, created for the Silver Jubilee in 1977 and recently revamped for the Diamond Jubilee. Lots more photos to come, including more 'things that I've never noticed before', but I've decided to split the walk here before the post gets even more unwieldy than it already is! 

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