Walk of the Month – February

The Walking Year – 1066 Harold’s Way

Inspired by King Harold’s epic march to the Battle of Hastings, 1066 – Westminster Abbey to Battle Abbey

Greenwich to Lesnes Abbey


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From the magnificence of Greenwich to the iconic steel hoods of the Thames Barrier shining in the sunlight, a broad walkway allows you to stroll next to a much wider river than before. Working wharves line the riverside giving an industrial air to the area and the occasional decaying pier or warehouse only serves as a reminder that London was once the busiest port in the world.

Imagine the scene with ships moored all along The Thames up to London Bridge, all the hustle and bustle of cargos from all around the world being unloaded, helping an older London expand to meet new needs. The wharves now lie mostly idle, larger ships need deeper water and the Port has moved to Tilbury, further down the river, but there is still the feeling of a history to follow in every step you take along the Thames Path.

The second part of this walk is away from the river, walking through parks and ancient woodland that have survived for a thousand years, a world distant from the streets of London. So beautiful are the trees and trails, and the solitude and inspiration they provide, that it is hard to imagine how close you are to the City.

  • Start: Greenwich (Southeastern & DLR)
  • Finish: Lesnes Abbey – Abbey Park Station (Southeastern)
  • Travel: www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk
  • Distance: 9.75 miles
  • Time: 3 ½ hours
  • Maps: OS Explorer 162
  • Guide: 1066 Harold’s Way


This section relies heavily first on the Thames Path, from London Bridge to the Thames Barrier and secondly, the Green Chain Walk to Lesnes Abbey that continues towards Erith and Dartford. Both are well signposted but occasionally the instructions and waymarks are less clear, especially along the Thames Path. At the finish, it is a short walk from Lesnes Abbey to Abbey Wood Station with time for a pint in the Abbey Arms just across the road.

It would appear that The Abbey Arms has undergone a remarkable transformation over the last two years, reintroducing draft beer and food and from the reviews is worth stopping for that rewarding and satisfying pint. My last visit was in 2013 and I am looking forward to my next visit on a 1066 Harold’s Way re-walk sometime soon.


There are plenty of places to buy food and drink at the start of the walk in Greenwich, whether to eat in or to take away for lunch, but be warned, there is nowhere to buy food until the Thames Barrier, no shops until you reach Plumstead and the only public toilets are at the Barrier Café, Marryon Park and Lesnes Abbey.

Taste Journey

It’s New Years Day

East Hill to blow the cobwebs away – it is only a ‘few’ steps to the top and then down hill all the way to All Saints Street.

Dolphin Poster 2   Cinque Ports Poster   Royal Standard Poster

Try ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’ to breathe fresh air into a New Year.

To read a little more about some ‘refreshingly different’ local walks visit:



Also available on Kindle from Amazon at


And by Mail Order from History Walks at


A Walk is not just for Christmas

Plough Cover

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards

Walk 4 The Plough – West Hill, Hastings Castle, George Street and The Albion

Watch Walk 4 on You Tube  http://www.1066haroldsway.co.uk/news-caky

Visit History Walks at www.1066haroldsway.co.uk for full details of ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’

London is Doomed

The Saxon Times 27TH November 1066



Normans Advance On London

Once again, the Duke issues orders to divide his army to subdue and conquer more of Saxon England. Detachments of Norman troops are sent to control the roads near Cambridge, St. Neots, and Stony Stratford.

Today, the main Norman army moves north along the old Icknield Way, one of the oldest roads in England. The Duke intends to advance into Hertfordshire, first to St Albans and then on to Hertford where the army will regroup for the final assault on London from the north.It is unlikely that there will any resistance, following the Berkhamsted submissions and the tensions of battle have eased from the knights and the men.

One would hope that there will be less barbarity as claims are made for a slice of the wealth of the country – they would not wish to destroy estates that one day may be theirs.

An extract from The Saxon Times Resources dated 30th November 1066 Issue 55, also available in A4 paperback covering 1066.


Also available as a teaching resource from: T.E.S. https://www.tes.com/

True Warriors

The Final Adventure of Javier and Gavin

Finally Gavin and I have finished Harold’s Way.

The last day was longer than we expected and we finished in the dark and the pouring rain.


It was a valiant effort and I know what it is like having walked through hail, snow, rain and Sussex mud to get to Battle although I did not walk the last two stages in one go.

Certificates and passports have been sent.

Javier has to be congratulated in producing a vlog of their final walk and one of their whole adventure from Westminster Abbey to Battle.

Javier Gavin 9 and 10

Javier Gavin1066HW

Thanks for the films.

I can’t run anywhere!

“Marching all that way from Stamford Bridge and I haven’t got the energy to chase after Bill and his Normans” so said Peter Wheeler at the end of YOMP1066, their contribution to the 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings 1066.

It was an epic adventure, even awesome, with the route of 1066 Harold’s Way followed from London, but at some cost – the blisters were to be seen to be believed.

35 mile days when 30 miles seemed easy and the final 20 miles from Sissinghurst almost a walk in the park.

Planting an apple tree on Caldbec Hill was a masterstroke of forward planning as, one hopes, it will be an old ‘hoar’ apple tree in 50 years time and the meeting point for all Anglo-Saxons.

Well done to Peter and his men and eager to get to the beer, supplied by FILO, and I waited for a few minutes before presenting Peter with his certificate.

b P1010181  a P1010165

1066 Ales 2  1066 Ales