Monday, July 8, 2013

Day 2: O2 to London Bridge Pier (Section 3)

From the O2 to London Bridge Pier

This is the final section of my Day 2 walk:
The pathway takes you under these lovely arches and then across a small inlet in front of these not so attractive blocks of flats.

The bridge over Surrey Water is called the lift bridge because it lifts up to let the boats through!

Once around the corner from the flats is this large pub looking up the river towards London.
Along the route you find anglers trying their luck. I don't think they were having much luck today.

This round building is the engine house, built by Brunel to drain his Thames tunnel, a pioneering venture that eventually opened, after many disasters, as a foot tunnel in 1843. These days the tunnel is used by London Underground taking trains beneath the river.

You can see how the path has to go along the road for a while away from the river, as all these buildings are on the riverfront.

This is called 'Sunbeam Weekly and the Pilgrim's Pocket' by Peter McLean. It shows a 1930s boy reading the story of the Mayflower with one of the pilgrims looking over his shoulder.

I peeped through some rails to see inside this converted warehouse. It is good to see that the original walkways between the buildings have been left in place
Here is The Mayflower public house. Named after the ship that took the first pilgrim fathers who left Rotherhithe to sail to America in 1620.
This is the back of a former 19th cent mill building and warehouse. It is one of the earliest warehouseresidential conversions in Docklands. It has a riverside frontage so the pathway is now behind the buildings.
A signpost looking out to the river commemorating the Queen's silver jubilee in 1977.

In the distance I can see Tower Bridge. Will I make it before it starts to pour down?

Houseboats with their own garden area.
The rain is now coming down quite heavily. So I have to stop for a minute to put on my waterproofs.

The path takes me through a gap between the two buildings and on to St Saviour's Dock.
Someone else sheltering from the rain. From this spot you can see the small swing bridge ahead. taking me across the dock. The large building just across the bridge is Butler's Wharf, completed in 1871, it was the biggest wharf complex on the river.

A view looking back at the bridge crossing the dock. The building you can see here was once a flour mill.
A dark and dreary picture clearly showing Tower Bridge.

This 'head' sculpture is by a Paolozzi and rests outside the design museum.
Walking along Butler's wharf you pass numerous restaurants all with a great view of the bridge.

At the end of the restaurants you go through an arch into Shad Thames. The name Shad Thames is a corruption of 'St John at Thames'  Looking back you can see the iron bridges linking the old warehouses crisscrossing the street.

This passageway is called ' Horsleydown Old Stairs'. The name is derived from the fields which used to be here on the banks of the Thames where the horses grazed. The steps lead directly out onto the Thames.

I did walk down them very carefully and was rewarded with a different view of the Bridge

Back on the path again you go under this archway which takes you underneath the road leading to Tower Bridge.
This is the city hall, home of the Greater London Authority. I don't like it very much, the sloping shape just doesn't appeal to me.
I never tire of seeing the Tower of London but I find it difficult to associate this magnificent building with the torture and murder that was carried out there.
HMS Belfast, the only surviving British big gun warship from WW2
I know I am getting into the centre of London when I start to see the buskers. They played their ukuleles well, it was just a pity they couldn't sing.

By the side of London Bridge Pier is Hay's Galleria which takes me away from the river to London Bridge station where I can get the train home. The warehouses here remain intact but they have joined them together by adding a roof  and filled in the dock to make it a shopping piazza.


  1. What a great way to see this area!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  2. A great looking place! Wonderful captures for the day! Hope you have a good week!!

  3. Great sequence of shots along the river.

  4. You knowledge of the area you go through it great I'm really enjoying this blog.

  5. Thank you for the tour - I didn't even get wet! I was surprised how deserted some of the pictures looked.

  6. Wow, what a nice walk. So many interesting things to see. The view of the bridge is one of my favorites. I remember seeing a different bridge during my visit there, I think we were told is nicknamed the kissing bridge. Wonderful photos, have a happy week!

  7. What a nice riverfront walk, I didn't know you could do all that, love the mix of old and new

  8. I've seen the Greater London Authority building but I didn't know what it was. It's rather bulky, isn't it.

  9. Enjoyed this virtual trip. Amazing facade and sculptures.

  10. You see so much by walking. The weather looked typical. I too wondered about the lack of people on the Thames path. turning the buildings into a covered shopping complex is a good idea. Thanks for all the info.

  11. Hi! Nice shots. There are many beautiful scenery photos. Thanks for sharing.

  12. What an interesting walk! Love the houseboats and all the pubs to pick up a tired hiker! And the Sight of the Tower never ceases to amaze much history!


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