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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Sunday, 19 January 2020

Sunday Walk: Historic Greenwich and spectacular Winter Lights

Blackheath to Canary Wharf
Length: 12km (7.5 miles) Toughness: 1/10

10:34 Dartford train from Victoria arriving at Blackheath at 10:58.
or10:32 Rainham train from St Pancras International arriving at Blackheath at 11:02.
or 10:42 Dartford train from Charing Cross arriving at Blackheath at 11:05.
Both the latter trains call at London Bridge and Lewisham.
Those arriving on the two earlier trains should wait for walkers arriving on the second Dartford train before starting the walk.

To return from Canary Wharf, take any of the frequent trains on the Jubilee Line or the Docklands Light Railway.

There are many points of interest on this shortish walk that crosses the River Thames as it flows past Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs, but today’s principal attraction comes right at the end of the walk in the form of Canary Wharf’s traditional annual Winter Lights display, a collection of spectacular light installations and interactive art, spread across the open spaces of Canary Wharf. The exhibits operate from 4:00pm to 10:00pm, and the lights need to be seen after dark, so there’s no need to rush the earlier part of the walk. The Winter Lights website has a downloadable map showing the location of all the installations. If you can’t get to today’s walk, please note that Winter Lights continues each evening until Saturday 25th January.

Before reaching Canary Wharf, the route crosses Blackheath and goes past many historic buildings and sites in Greenwich, including the Royal Observatory, the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Naval College and the Cutty Sark.

The recommended lunchtime pub is the Plume of Feathers (020 8858 1661), just outside Greenwich Park, but there are many other watering holes in the vicinity.

You can download a PDF of the walk directions, or print them from the walk’s introduction page.



Mr M Tiger said...

About 30 at the station, with one or two turning up later. So let’s say n=32 on a w=fine-dry-slightly-chilly day. Touches of frost, no mud (due to the walk being on proper paths). Like all large unstable compounds, the group soon fragmented. The group I was in numbered about 10 but, after a couple of circuits of Greenwich Park, and a whirlwind tour through the Observatory, we managed to whittle that down to about 5. The Plume of Feathers was chocka. Some of SWC's royalty had managed to get a table but the rest of us, the humble 5, made our way to the Old Brewery pub after a cultured foray into the Queens House and the chapel. That pub was chocka too so we sat in its garden, myself nursing an ICE COLD pint of Winter Warmer (served by an oxymoron). Then off past the Cutty Sark, under the Thames by foot tunnel, arriving eventually at Canary Wharf. It was still light when we started our tour of Winter Lights (by now just 2 of us – where did they all go?) and the first couple of installations were less than whelming. As it got darker, though, they got better. The Squiggles in Jubilee Park were worthy of mention as were the multi-coloured trees. As well as getting darker we was getting colder and tireder so we left without seeing everything.

Mr M Tiger said...

Just to add that, if this combination were to be repeated next year, it would probably benefit from a designated tea or pub stop so our forces can regroup and await darkness before exploring the lights