Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Canary Wharf to North Greenwich

Remember how my walk along the Thames Path on Saturday got partially rained out? Well, I picked it up again yesterday morning, and walked all the way around the Isle of Dogs to the East India Docks, completing the path along the north shore of the river.

To be honest, I'm surprised it doesn't continue farther eastward toward the Thames Barrier and the Dartford Crossing. I know there are sections of path along the north shore in those areas because I've walked them, but maybe they're just too broken up for TFL to recommend it as a single extended walk.

Anyway, the Thames Path along the south shore goes much farther east and looks longer overall, so I've still got plenty of walking to do.

In Canary Wharf I walked through the business district -- where I found this fun hand-drawn piece of litter -- and back out to the river.

It was such a different walk on a sunny day!

I walked down the peninsula past lots of new construction and bland council flats, occasionally discovering an old gem like this former Presbyterian church, now a community theater and arts center called The Space patronized by Sir Ian McKellen.

I passed remnants of the area's dockyards and shipbuilding industries before coming to Island Gardens, at the southern tip of the Isle of Dogs. There I had a good view of Sir Christopher Wren's 300-year-old architectural gem, the Old Royal Naval College, across the river in Greenwich.

Then it was up the opposite shore of the Isle of Dogs, past more bland modern apartments. I had great views of the O2 Dome across the river in North Greenwich, and there were a few places where I could walk on the river's pebbly shore. 

I passed Canary Wharf and headed eastward into the Docklands, an area that remains somewhat industrial yet has been colonized in recent years by lots of new housing. The apartment development above preserved a historic monument to Virginia Quay, where ships were launched that eventually colonized Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent British settlement in North America.

The north shore Thames Path officially ended in the lower Lea Valley, but I decided to head a bit farther east and take the scenic cable car over the river to North Greenwich, where I could catch the tube back home.

I found a neighborhood of colorful new high-rises, London City Island, on a little peninsula in part of the River Lea known as Bow Creek. I'd never been to this area before and it was interesting to explore. I then caught the train at Canning Town and went east one stop to Royal Victoria Dock, which is very near the cable car.

And as you can see, I did finally get a ride -- though I had to wait about an hour in line. I thought no one rode this cable car, which is widely considered a white elephant, but it was busy yesterday. My tip: if there's a queue, pay extra for the VIP ticket so you can jump ahead! I didn't do it but the longer I waited, the more I wished I had.

Anyway, the ride was just as scenic as I remembered, as you can see from my video above. In North Greenwich I grabbed a coffee -- I'd skipped lunch -- and then headed home. After a long day on the Isle of Dogs, my dogs were barking!


Moving with Mitchell said...

Too bad about the wait, but the cable car ride looks like it was worth it. I love this walk. The architecture, the art, the glimpses of blue sky and sunshine.

sparklingmerlot said...

What a difference the sun makes. Another gorgeous walk with the cable car at the end. No wonder your dogs were barking! I look forward to exploring London thanks to you from the comfort of my office chair! My dogs will remain silent.

Sabine said...

As always, it's been a delight to come along with you. Keep it up.

Andrew said...

Well known blogger Diamond Geezer refers to the cable car as the Dangleway, which amuses me. We've been on it a couple of times and it is fun and not expensive with your Oyster Card. No queue though. Why would it be so busy when it is off tourist season?

The Space is a wonderous looking building.

Our friend Marie walked further downstream along The Thames. https://60andthenext10.blogspot.com/2021/03/thames-barrier.html

Yorkshire Pudding said...

A great walk (& flight) in splendid weather and a nice way to get your mind off domestic plumbing. I am surprised that "dogs" was plural in the last sentence. I can only assume that you were likening Dave to a dog which is not a very nice thing to do unless of course he barks, cocks his leg up against trees and chases squirrels.

Rachel Phillips said...

You are quite a walker Steve. I tire when reading trying to think how many miles you must walk.

Bob said...

I imagine the cable car was packed because it was a sunny day and you could see quite far.
Loved the tour, the architeure and that colored cloud thing floating above that couple walking.

Boud said...

These are amazing, and long, walks. I suppose a lot of people had the day off and the combo of clear weather bought them out. Maybe Londoners do look at their own sights after all. Is the cable car just a tourist thing? it doesn't seem to go to a destination.

Sharon said...

Another great tour. I loved the video. I kept looking for the container yard below you. It was used in one of the key scenes toward the end of that Netflix show "Treason". In that scene, I could see the O2 in the distance. Your photos also brought back memories of walking all around Greenwich.

Ms. Moon said...

Surreal! The mixture of the very old and the new in London is really remarkable. Thank you for the pictures and also for that wonderful video of what it is like to ride through the sky over the place where you live.

Pixie said...

I always enjoy sightseeing with you. Thanks for the photos and video.

ellen abbott said...

The cable cars coming at you look like they're moving much faster than the one you are in. I always enjoy your walking tours. I don't understand why they make those housing projects so dull and plain and ugly. How depressing to come home to.

Marcia LaRue said...

Once again, I thank you for a tour of a place I will never see for myself! Do you realize how much money you save us who do not travel?

NewRobin13 said...

That was quite a walk. I love seeing all the views and that ride on the cable car. What a wonderful way to see city.

Ellen D. said...

What a fun day! Did you ride in the cable car alone or do you share with others? It was so quiet as you rode. I was excited to see such a wonderful view of London. Thanks, Steve.

37paddington said...

Thanks for taking us along on your walk! That was a lot of ground you covered. I'm glad your illness seems fully behind you and you're back to your explorer self.

Ed said...

Funny thing about perspective. I have never heard Jamestown referred to as a British settlement. It is always described as the first American settlement.

I never enjoy riding such things like that cable car. The engineer in me starts averaging the weight per car, multiplied by the number of cars currently in the air and figuring the tensile load being plied to a single cable that was last fully inspected when? Not my cup of tea!

The Bug said...

Well that looked like an excellent walk! I wonder if I'd like the cable car. I THINK I would, but my stomach dropped a bit just watching the video. On the other hand, that was the part I liked about roller coasters. I'll have to hunt up the closest cable car & see!

Margaret said...

Walking is always so much more fun in blue sky and sun. What kind of shoes do you wear to walk since you walk so much? Would you recommend them?

Linda Sue said...

Thanks Steve, such a keeeeeoooool walk! That is the most fun I have had for , like a decade!

The Padre said...

Now Those Are Some Long A$$ Shadows There Brother Man - Way Cool - Have A Feeling That Your Random iPhone Photo Posts Will Be Magnificent - Stay Creative My Friend

P.S. As Always, Slip A Just Because Treat Under Olga Girl's Pink Blanket When She Its Looking

Jeanie said...

I so love your jaunts around London and it looks like a much better walk when it isn't pouring! That church is lovely and the cable car ride sounds fun.

Kelly said...

Great photos from what appears to have been a beautiful day! My favorites are the Naval College and the colorful panels with their colorful shadows.

John Going Gently said...

How many miles today then?

Red said...

Walking is the best way to tour and see things.

River said...

London City Island looks nice and I love the Cable Cars. The smile paper made me smile so there's one smile that travelled across the world.

Steve Reed said...

Mitchell: The sunshine made my day. Picture taking is so much more fun when there's interesting light.

Caro: My dogs are jealous of your dogs! :)

Sabine: Glad you enjoyed it. :)

Andrew: Yes, the Dangleway is a common nickname! Your friend Marie was on the south shore of the Thames, which I will be walking next. The riverfront path on the south shore is more contiguous and extends farther east (downstream).

YP: Dave has been known to do his share of barking.

Rachel: I love a good walk!

Bob: That and the fact that it was a holiday, with lots of people off work. I should have expected it, I suppose.

Boud: It was supposed to serve as a bona fide transport link between the Docklands and North Greenwich, but I'm not sure it gets much commuter use. It's mostly a tourist thing.

Sharon: We are watching "Treason" now, so I'll have to keep an eye out for that!

Ms Moon: One of the best things about London is the mix of old and new. Probably true of many European capitals, actually.

Pixie: Glad you liked it!

Ellen: Mid-century multi-family housing in Britain is renowned for being dreary-looking, though occasionally you do come across a well-designed development.

Marcia: Ha! I take donations! (Just kidding!)

Robin: It IS an amazing view from the cable car!

Ellen D: I had my own car, which is why it was so quiet! I offered to share with the people in line behind me, but I guess they wanted their own car too.

37P: Yes, thank goodness, my health seems basically back to normal.

Ed: There is such a thing as knowing too much! I am entirely ignorant of engineering so for me there's no fear at all.

Bug: If you like a roller coaster, I can't imagine the cable car would freak you out, though it does sway a bit (which you can see in the video if you watch the horizon line).

Margaret: I wear Merrells "Jungle Mocs," which work just fine for me unless I go more than about ten miles. Then I start feeling pain!

Linda Sue: Wow! That's saying something! :)

Padre: Olga is so glad you're back to remind me to give her a treat. :)

Jeanie: Yes, the weather made a big difference in this part of the walk!

Kelly: I also love that photo of the panels. I saw that sculpture in the rain and it looked like nothing, but in the sun it is spectacular.

John: I'm estimating about six?

Red: That's true! You see a lot when you move relatively slowly. (Although I'm a fairly fast walker.)

River: I was so impressed with that London City Island development. It looks like a great area to live, though I'm not sure about access to grocery stores and that kind of thing. I'm glad the smiles went for miles!