The previous 2 weekends have been centred entirely around our home, working in the garden for one glorious weekend, and then spending the whole of last weekend in our cramped cobwebby loft putting in extra insulation and floorboards. So it was a treat to be able to get out and about ths Sunday and write up another leg of the Walk2012 route. This time we decided to do the final leg, which is from Putney Bridge to the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.
Of course things never go quite to plan, and this weekend there were big chunks of tube line not working so after a fair bit of cursing we made our way to Clapham Junction and declared it the starting point for the day. Here is our route:
View Clapham Jct to Olympic Stadium in a larger map
So stepping over what appeared to be casualties of a Rugby World Cup party in a fancy dress shop we made our way to the Thames and were greeted with a fine collection of tyres…
…and some derelict buildings of byegone industry:
There really is a peculiar mix of old factories and modern offices, boathouses and penthouses along this stretch of the Thames. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, you bump into the Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park.
It is a beautiful if rather unlikely building/monument, and it is appreciated by chavs and monks alike, which I guess is kind of the point. The Peace it refers to is the no war kind of peace rather than the peace and quiet kind of peace, which is just as well because the trees are filled with shrieking parakeets!
Crossing to the north side of the Thames we walked along Grosvenor Rd with a great view of Battersea Powerstation and some impressive but fugly (sic) green glass apartments that look like the architect mixed his drawings up with his children’s pictures of ships and seagulls.
Comparing these with the MI6 building next door gave Felix and me plenty to debate as we crossed back over and walked along Albert Embankment and the joys of the South Bank.
I love the South Bank, I find it an exciting place to be and in my view it’s one of the bits of London that make it such a world class city.
We have an unresolved dilemma and I’d love to hear your opinion:
Should we cross the Milennium Bridge to St Paul’s and walk along the north side to the Tower, or should we stay on the South Bank and cross over Tower Bridge? All comments very welcome
Beyond Tower Bridge is the pretty St Katherine’s Dock and then we get properly into Wharf territory as we headed towards Limehouse, which made Felix very happy as there were many opportunities to photograph bricks, and imagine what it was like in its heyday.
Limehouse Basin seems to to be a bit of a local hangout where teenagers can get away from parental scrutiny and impress each other with BMX tricks and smoke-rings. We carried on up Regent’s Canal, filled with pondweed and plastic bottles at this time of year, but nevertheless loved by moorhens and runners. It is very different from the canal near us (the Kennet and Avon) and although it is grubby and graffitti’d it is thriving with life, unlike Victoria Park!
My goodness, what has happened to Victoria Park – have you seen it?! Last time I was here I enjoyed sitting by the pond and pavillion and walking in the shade of the trees. Now it looks like a demolition site!
I know I am speaking out of turn, but seriously folks, what are you doing? It seems there is a “restoration” project going on – I am sure it is well intended but it isn’t obvious to me what needed restoring. Now there’s no doubt – they’ve trashed the place! It also looks like they are attempting a nature-defying feat of planting a 20-foot wide flower “meadow” under a very shady strip of trees that is hopping with a community of very hungry squirrels who are probably grateful for the seeds.
We headed out of Victoria Park and across to the Green Way and the last few hundred metres alongside the Olympic Park as the sun started to set. In all the route was a little over 13 miles.
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Can you help?
As with our last walk from Romsey to Winchester, I have written up some walking instructions for the guidebook and I need people to roadtest them! Please get in touch if you fancy trying out this walk.