Walking 1066 Harold’s Way
I am not sure who said that walking was easy.
Buy a map, plot a route, tie your loose change in the corner of your hankie, pack a bag with water, bars and sandwiches and catch the bus or train to the start.
Nowadays, you can even plot the route digitally, on your smart phone or GPS, with every turn mapped as the miles to walk count down.
Strolling along on a sunny day you check your phone and find ‘YOU ARE OFF ROUTE’ but where did you go wrong?
Blame the all the new builds between Greenwich and the O2 Arena – there should be a claim under the Trades Description Act as the path is so far from the Thames.
It is the stuff of nightmares and I would suggest the alternatives of catching the Thames Clipper from Greenwich to the O2 Arena or take the DLR to North Thames Station to start the days walk from the Dome. Walk the bit you have missed whenever the Thames Path is restored, although that may take a few years.
Walking the Thames Path – Greenwich to Lesnes Abbey and Abbey Wood
If you do want to walk, be prepared for a lengthy detour by building sites, along terraced streets and traffic filled roads with cars and lorries queuing for the Blackwall Tunnel and all highlighted an absence of temporary waymarks.
It all starts to go wrong just after Pelton Road (TQ 3901 7837) where the Thame Path is blocked by a wooden wall that guards a building site and forces you to turn right towards Banning Street.
Turn left at Banning Street and walk along to the end where the road bears right.
Left again into Christchurch Way and first right into Mauritius Road and at the end, turn left along the busy Blackwall Lane.
Continue past Telcon Way and Salutation Road to bear left towards the Blackwall Tunnel along Tunnel Avenue. On the approach to the tunnel entrance, just before the traffic island, is a surprisingly waymarked path left that leads back to the Thames Path.
This fenced in dusty path leads to the river and a wharf where the old rails for the cranes can still be seen on the path that leads the way from all the industry and building to a more pleasant walk around the peninsular to the Thames Barrier.
On my hot day, looking for ways back to the river, it added at least 45 minutes to my walk and the only consolation was the discovery of the Meantime Brewery and Brewery Tap – but it was far too early to stop.
The rest of the walk went without a hitch with The Abbey Arms at Abbey Wood providing a welcome and surprisingly good end to the walk.