Greenwich Peninsula official diversion

The official diversion route on the Greenwich Peninsula caused by building work has been made available by Greenwich Council.

But the one below may be better:

The signs, mainly intended for downstream walkers, do not correspond with the council map. Once in Blackwall Lane do you turn down Mauritius Street or Azof Street? But it does not much matter.

From the 02

When walking  south, or upstream, from the 02 (or Dome) continue as usual over Victoria Deep Water Terminal to Bay Wharf. Here the path swings inland to a  T-junction where you now have to go left:

At the main road go right. Soon you are separated from the main road by what appears to be aslip road but is Tunnel Avenue. This passes behind Morden Wharf. At a junction bear right into Blackwall.

At the Meantime Brewery go right into Mauritius Street and at the end left down Christchurch Way.

At the first crossroads it is possible to leave the official diversion by following a temporary waymark pointing right into Banning Street. Then go right at the Pelton Arms into Pelton Street.

But the official route is still ahead over the crossroads to go right at the Royal Standard into Pelton Street.

Pelton Street leads to the Thames. Bear left on to Ballast Quay.

These arrangements are expected to remain in place until at least February 2018.

Pelton Arms

Pelton Arms sign

Pelton Arms sign

The Pelton Arms, SE London CAMRA Pub of the Year 2016, may be away from the normal riverside Thames Path but it is part of the Thames history. It was built in 1844 when coal was brought by sea from the north of England and unloaded here.

The road and pub are named after the Pelton Colliery at Chester-le-Street in County Durham which opened in 1835.

Fish and chips, burgers and Goddards’ Greenwich meat pies are available at lunchtime. A three course Sunday lunch is £12.95.

Greenwich Peninsula diversion

The predicted diversion along the west side of the Greenwich Peninsula is being put in place for the next two years.

This is to allow unimpeded luxury flat and liner terminal redevelopment

After Victoria Deep Water Terminal the Thames Path runs round Bay Wharf to a T-junction.

It is at this T-junction that walkers will now have to go left to the road.

Here turn right into Tunnel Avenue alongside the main road; right into Blackwall Lane; right into Azof Street; left into Banning Street and right into Pelton Street to reach Ballast Quay.

Such a diversion here with scarce warning has been endured before. The only good news is that the diversion again passes the excellent Pelton Arms which has good refreshment.

The best information is not from the Royal Borough of Greenwich Council but Greenwich Love.

Thames Path play on Radio 4

A four part comedy drama in which mother and daughter spend two weeks walking the Thames Path starts on Radio 4 this Wednesday 27 July.

Episode one of Guilt Trip sees mother and daughter start out at the source. Later the mother offends a camp site warden.

Mother and daughter are played by mother and daughter Felicity Montagu and Olivia Nixon.

The broadcast is at 11.30am and available afterwards on iplayer.

Garden Bridge asks Grayling for support

Lord Davies of Abersoch, chairman of the Garden Bridge Trust, has urged the new Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to back the Garden Bridge project.

His appeal comes at the time of astonishing news that the Trust is asking the Department for Transport for an extension to the financial support offered by the Government.

A Department spokesperson said that ministers were considering the request.

The project is extremely unpopular with local residents and walkers including the Inner London Ramblers.

Trees would be cut down along the Thames Path to make way for a bridge landing and new building blocking the view of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Enjoy the trees and the view this summer while you can.

Before and after (Thames Central Open Spaces)

Before and after (Thames Central Open Spaces)

Thames Central Open Spaces is campaigning against the Garden Bridge.

Thames Path anniversary weekend

The Thames Path 20th Anniversary Relay Walk has reached London.

This Saturday 23 July 2016 the relay will set out from St George Wharf in Vauxhall at 10.30am to cover the twelve miles to the Thames Barrier.

The party will be passing the great landmarks including Lambeth Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, St Paul’s Cathedral and Southwark Cathedral.

From the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, the walkers will be replicating the first walk on the opening day in 1996.

The actual anniversary is Sunday 24 July when long distance path author Colin Saunders will lead the sixteenth and final walk downstream from the Thames Barrier to Crayford Marshes.

This is the unofficial but now viable extension as included in Cicerone’s new Thames Path guide published this year.

The guide is available direct from Cicerone at 25% discount and post free until 31 July.

Swan Upping week

Swan Upping starts on the Thames today at Sonning.

This week walkers will see the skiffs belonging to the Queen and the Vintners’ and Dyers’ livery companies carrying the Royal Swan Uppers and the Swan Uppers upstream as they count the swans and check on their health.

The Royal Swan Uppers wear the scarlet uniform.

Today’s trip ends at Romney Lock below Windsor Castle when the crews will stand and drink a toast the Queen.

The rough timetable is below:

Monday 18th July 2016
Sunbury Lock Cut 09.00 – Departure point
Shepperton Lock 10.45
Penton Hook Lock 12.30
Romney Lock 17.30

Tuesday 19th July 2016
Eton Bridge 08.45 – Departure point
Boveney Lock 09.45
Boulters Lock 13.00
Cookham Bridge 14.00
Marlow Lock 17.30

Wednesday 20th July 2016
Marlow Bridge 09.00 – Departure point
Hurley Lock 10.30
Hambleden Lock 12.00
Henley Town 13.30
Marsh Lock 15.30
Shiplake Lock 17.00
Sonning Bridge 18.00

Thursday 21st July 2016
Sonning-on-Thames 09.00 – Departure point
Caversham Lock 10.15
Mapledurham Lock 12.15
Goring Lock 17.00
Moulsford 18.00

Friday 22nd July 2016
Moulsford 09.00 – Departure point
Benson Lock 10.15
Clifton Hampden Bridge 13.00
Culham Lock 16.15
Abingdon Bridge 17.00

Thames Path 20th Anniversary Walking Relay

This month July 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the Thames Path’s opening.

Today, Saturday 9 July, a commemorative baton was carried from the Source in Gloucestershire by  a group of walkers.

The baton relay reaches Cricklade this afternoon.

The series of Rambler-led walks along the length of the Thames Path will take the baton past the Thames Barrier, where the official opening took place, to Erith.

The baton reaches the Barrier on Saturday 23 July.

Those wishing to join in can book through Eventbrite.

Two Thames pubs in Times’ top 30

The Times 30 Best Summer Pubs includes two on the Thames.

The Miller of Mansfield at Goring has won its place thanks to Nick and Mary Galer who have been running the inn for just two years. “Head off on a walk along the Thames Path. Return to the comfortable rooms with quirky wallpaper and exposed beams,” say Ellie Ross and Tom Chesshyre who have compiled the list.

The Trout Inn at Tadpole with a “huge garden that tumbles down to the Thames” is desribed as “brilliantly placed for summer walks along the Thames Path”. The food gets a good report too.

But this review of the Trout comes just two days after a Thames walker Shelagh Doyle wrote: “The building was lovely and the food very good (excellent strawberry soufflé with clotted cream!), but the staff were not so welcoming…”



Jo Cox flower dinghy arrives at Westminster

red boat

The House of Commons’ Serjeant at Arms has given permission for a flower laden dinghy decorated in remembrance of Jo Cox MP to remain on the river in front of the House of Commons.

A barge carrying the family of Jo Cox, and towing the dinghy, left Wapping shortly after 2pm preceded by a police boat and a Port of London launch. A fire boat followed.


Jo Cox ‘s family sail to Westminster

From the Thames Path in London this afternoon (Wednesday 22 June 2016) you may see a craft carrying the family of the late Jo Cox MP who was murdered last week.

Today is her birthday.

The family is sailing at about 3pm from Jo’s houseboat mooring in Wapping, opposite Bermondsey Wall West, upstream through Tower Bridge to Westminster.

Friends will tow a dinghy laden with flowers and tributes which have been left at the Hermitage Moorings where she lived.

The plan is to land at the Palace of Westminster which is something Jo was planning to be able to do daily as an MP in preference to having to cycle along busy streets.

She was trying to overcome security issues about mooring outside the House of Commons. The trip in a rigid inflatable boat takes just ten minutes. She and her immediate family made the trip a week ago with an ‘IN’ flag to counter the Nigel Farage ‘OUT’ flotilla.

The return to river transport for MPs and other visitors to the Palace of Westminster was something many have wanted for some years. It seemed ridiculous that a temporary pontoon had to be used for the annual Parliamentary Regatta when Speaker’s Stairs and Black Rod’s Stairs, at the Lords’ end, were purpose by the Victorians.

Jo knew the Thames very well. She and her husband Brendan once lived on a boat at Port Meadow and moved up and down the non-tidal river. In London their boat rose and fell with the tide and from the capital they recently took their 92 year old houseboat barge out into the Thames estuary.

The party landing today at Westminster will go on to Trafalgar Square where there is memorial gathering at 4pm.

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