Thursday, July 4, 2013

Day 2: O2 to London Bridge Pier

Section 1:O2 to Greenwich Naval College

I woke up to torrential rain but the forecast looked OK so I caught the train to London Bridge and then the Jubilee Line to North Greenwich. From here it was just a short walk to the Thames path, by Greenwich Pier, which was going to be my starting point for today. Fortunately for me the rain had cleared leaving a bright blue sky.

 Looking closely at the Dome you can just make out a group of walkers climbing over the top. I don't think it quite compares to walking over the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge though.

 If you took a boat to get to the Dome this would be the entrance.
 Now I was on the Thames Pathway giving me a much clearer view of the Dome with the Ravensbourne College building next to it.

Here as I look back I can see  the cable car going across the river.

 The Thames used to be one giant sewer as during the 1800s sewage from thousands of London homes was emptied into it making it so polluted that nothing could survive. It was during the 60s and 70s that things began to change and the clean up of the Thames started. Now it is one of the cleanest metropolitan rivers in Europe with over 300 different species of fish living in its waters.
This boat is one of the Thames clippers which travel quite speedily up and down the river, picking up and dropping off passengers. It is a quick way to get into central London from here.
The high office blocks at Canary wharf on the Isle of dogs are getting closer. No-one really knows how that part of London got its name. The most popular theory is that King Henry VIII kept his hunting dogs there hence the name - Isle of Dogs. Its correct name was the Stepney Marshes but now it is simply referred to as Docklands. It is bounded on 3 sides by the Thames as you can see from the map above. Today I will be walking around this loop of the river so I will be  looking at the buildings from all 3 sides.

Here you can see how they have built terraces to improve the wildlife along the banks of the Thames. The top layer is the reed bed which is above the water and provides a nesting area for ducks and other birds. Below that is the middle layer of the saltmarsh which becomes wet when the tide is in. This will promote the growth of a different habitat to the one above. The bottom zone will be underwater most of the time providing shelter for small fish (fry) from the ebbing tide.

 What has happened to the blue sky? I am wondering if I will make it to Greenwich, let alone London bridge before I get soaked to the skin.

This piece of artwork, known as 'A slice of reality' by Richard Wilson, is a sawn-off section of a ship.

Remains of piers which have now become a wild garden.

One of the many signposts along the route

This line marks the Greenwich Meridian. The line of zero degrees longitude.
Across the river I can now see the buildings on Canary Wharf more clearly. I am now walking around the bend of the river so by the end of today I will see those buildings from the other side.

Walking past a building site. Surprised they didn't make me walk around it, whilst they were off loading from a barge.

You can see how the river bends in this photo.


A less picturesque part of the walk.

The weather had become quite overcast and the wind was really blowing

 I love the way wild flowers are gradually taking a hold on the sides of the pathway.

The tide was out revealing quite a lot of sand.

Notice the yarn bombing around the disused metal stairs
In this wharf they were repairing a small sailing ship.

The beginning of the new housing developments along this stretch of the river.
Ballast Quay is one of the oldest parts of Greenwich riverside. The terrace of houses date from 1699.

The memorial reads 'In memory of the uncounted millions of animals that died, not from foot and mouth disease, but of the cure of foot and mouth.' It was in a private garden alongside the banks of the river.

A very old Greenwich Tavern with a wonderful bay window. The pub used to be called 'Union Tavern' but changed its name when the Cutty Sark ship was brought into dry dock in Greenwich.

This anchor marks the area known as Anchor Iron Wharf.
This is the pier for the power station

The Greenwich power station built in 1903 on the land owned by the almshouses which it overshadows.

This wall in front of the Trinity house was built in 1817 to try and keep the river at bay after some extraordinary high tides. The stone markers show where the high tides reached in 1819,1874 and 1928.

The bench has been put on these brick plinths so you can see over the wall.
 Trinity Hospital established in 1613 by the Duke of Norfolk as almshouses in the countryside of Greenwich for batchelors and widowers of the parish. You can just see the power station to the left of the hospital.

The Yacht - another popular drinking establishment overlooking the river. There has been a tavern on this site since the 17th cent.
 The Trafalgar Tavern which backs onto the river

The Trafalgar Tavern has a beautiful Regency river frontage.
Gates to the old Royal Naval College where I stopped to  have a sit down and some lunch.  Built in 1696 as a hospital for disabled seamen and then used as a Naval College, it is now part of Greenwich University.


  1. Brilliant travelogue now I knowwhat to look for down there.

  2. So I'm wondering if you got wet? Also how far a walk was it? I imagine it took longer because you were constantly stopping to take the photos.

  3. Can't say much more than mind blowing. I am sure it will become less interesting as your walk progresses. :-;

  4. Love these walks along the river. You have done a lot of research on all the buildings.

  5. You are a great reporter ! Some of the Greenwich pictures I recognized, but it was along time ago I had been there.
    It seems that you have the same kind of weather we have ! Quiet moody !

  6. So many interesting sights! The map was helpful, and I especially like the dock that is growing a garden.


  7. Hello, Fun60.

      Your exquisite work leads my impression.
      The passion for the art.  It is universal.

      Thank you visit to my garden.
      The prayer for all peace.

    Have a good weekend. From Japan, friday night  ruma❃


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