Walk 1470 - printer friendly version
Thames Path - North Greenwich to Cutty Sark Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 2.5 miles / 4.1 km
Ascent - 50 feet / 15 metres
Grade - easy
Start - OS grid reference TQ394800
Lat 51.501752621 + Long 0.006994759
Postcode SE10 0FH (approx. location only)
The Thames path runs from the Thames Barrier to the east of London to the source of the river. In the London area there is often a "Thames Path" on either side of the River Thames and this is also the case over the section covered by this walk. Opportunities for crossing the Thames are limited and you need to plan ahead if you wish to swap sides of the River. Generally signs are in place although in one or two places these are inadequate and you need a detailed map and a good sense of direction.
The start can be reached by using the Jubilee line tube, using the Docklands Light Railway Canning Town and then taking the spectacular cable car across the river or reaching North Greenwich via the River Thames ferry service. However you arrive make your way to the River and with the river on your right start walking along the Thames Path.
This description is not a step by step account of the route. The Thames Path, certainly in built up areas, is not always adjacent to the river and often makes short diversions inland to rejoin the riverside walk further along. There are also building works taking place along the riverside and short term diversions are sometimes in place for your own safety. In general on this section route finding is not too problematic.
Almost from the start you pass the O2 Arena with its white dome. Across the river on the north bank of the Thames you can see the evidence of large scale urban development which has taken place in the last 20 years or so. Just as you pass the O2 Arena you will be totally oblivious to the fact that deep beneath your feet is the Blackwall Road Tunnel. As you turn the first corner you enter "Blackwall Reach" and you get your first view of Greenwich ahead and Canary Wharf off to the right.
As you continue there are many reminders of this area's past with wharves still in place and much evidence of the Thames's maritime past. As you approach Greenwich you will pass the historic "Cutty Sark" pub which makes a good place for refreshment. Moving onwards you pass Greenwich Hospital founded in 1616 but sadly hemmed in by industrial development on one side.
The Old Royal Naval College is soon passed and you might wish to divert to explore the grounds and other attractions in this area. Details can be found in Walk 1398 which details some of the options available in this historic area. Continuing you soon reach the "Cutty Sark" and suddenly the number of other people has risen dramatically. From here you can continue upstream by following Walk 1471 which will take you through to the Tower of London. Alternatively there is a Docklands Light Railway station and the ferry service along the Thames from Greenwich Pier.