London walks: Maritime Greenwich
A riverside rove through historical maritime Greenwich to the financial warrens of Canary Wharf
By the Metropolitan Walkers, a ramblers group for Londoners in their twenties and thirties. The group organises five led walks a week, all accessible by public transport (www.metropolitan-walkers.org.uk).
Duration: 3+ hours
This is a walk of surprising contrasts. Starting on the airy open spaces of Blackheath, it passes many of the main sites of maritime Greenwich, before heading over to the Isle of Dogs for some fine views across the City.
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Start: Blackheath station
Turn left out of Blackheath station (S). After 50m cross the road and walk up Montpelier Vale. After 80m turn left past the church and continue straight across Blackheath; 30m on, fork right. At the corner of Talbot Place take the right-hand path, crossing the roads to enter Greenwich Park (1). After 50m turn left at the path just past the toilets. Continue on this path as it winds right and follows the park wall. Continue through the Rose Garden. Just after passing Macartney House on the left, take the second path on your right (the grass hummocks are Saxon burial mounds). Turn left at the wide avenue stopping at Royal Observatory (2) and Meridian Line (free entry) on your left and enjoy the spectacular views of London.
National Maritime Museum
Retrace your steps and take the first path on your left signposted ‘Roman Remains’ to Queen Elizabeth’s Oak. Turn left again and walk down the hill. At the first path junction turn right, signposted ‘National Maritime Museum’, to the park gates. Exit the park and walk down Park Row to the Thames, stopping at the National Maritime Museum (3) (free entry) on your left and at the Trafalgar Tavern (4), our tip as the perfect place for a pub stop.
Old Royal Naval College
Turn left at the Trafalgar following the Thames Path passing in front of the Old Royal Naval College (5) and visit its Painted Hall and Chapel (free entry). Descend into the Greenwich Foot Tunnel (6) (entrance in the large domed building adjacent to the remains of the Cutty Sark) and follow it through to the Isle of Dogs.
Emerge from of the tunnel and turn right along the tranquil riverside path with views of Greenwich. Where the path leaves the river, cross over the road into Glenaffric Avenue and continue in this direction to Mudchute Park (7). Go into the park and take the first right path. Enter Mudchute Farm through the gates on your left before the enclosed area. Walk through the Equestrian Centre. At the T-junction, turn left and cross a wide open area towards a chimney with views of Canary Wharf on your right – with sheep grazing in the foreground!
Exit the park, cross the road and go under the foot tunnel following signs for ‘Dockside waterway’. Turn right along Millwall Inner Dock (9). Turn left crossing over Glengall Bridge. Turn right continuing along the dock. Follow signs to South Quay DLR. Cross the main road and turn left at the station. Turn right at Admirals Way, then left at the water and then right over the footbridge to Canary Wharf, where this walk ends.