Sunday, January 1, 2023

Wapping to Canary Wharf

Remember how I said I was feeling stir-crazy? Well, yesterday I decided to walk another segment of the Thames Path. The weather wasn't looking great but I was determined not to be duped by another forecast of rain that didn't pan out. So I went anyway.

Unfortunately, this forecast turned out to be correct. It was the wettest walk I've ever taken!

I wasn't the only crazy person out, though. You can see the towers of Canary Wharf rising behind that determined jogger in the picture above.

I first took the tube and overground to Wapping. A woman sitting across from me on the train was wearing oversized false eyelashes and a pair of sweatpants that said "Essentials: Fear of God." Whatever that means.

Once I'd started walking, I soon passed the Prospect of Whitby pub, which according to my route map was a "favorite vantage point for Whistler and Turner, who painted some of their most famous riverside scenes from here; it was also a regular drinking place for Charles Dickens and Samuel Pepys." That narrow alley to the right of the pub leads to steps that go right down to the water.

I passed some curious graffiti...

...some of it a little scary.

(But I suppose it's true that nobody gets out alive, ultimately!)

Here's Jane Ackroyd's bronze sculpture of a Herring Gull near Limehouse. It's standing on a coil of rope, and indeed this park is known as Ropemaker's Fields, named for a historic industry of the area.

The Thames Path itself didn't always follow the river shore; sometimes it was broken by developments and I had to walk on the nearest streets until I found the river again. But at a few points I could walk right down onto the pebbly shore. Here, Lady Luck was tempting me to take a chance on something but I didn't follow through.

Finally, I got to the gleaming skyscrapers of Canary Wharf and since I was pretty wet by that time, I called it a day. I'd hoped to walk all the way around the Isle of Dogs but that will have to wait for another outing.

I bought some peanut butter, soup and fresh flowers on the way home and spent the rest of the afternoon snuggled inside on the couch with the dog while Dave graded student assignments in his recliner.

My evening movie was "The Prisoner of Second Avenue," with Jack Lemmon and Anne Bancroft, which I hadn't seen in many years. It was much better than I remembered, and still pertinent even though it came out in 1975. The travails of its neurotic main character, a middle-aged man who's laid off and becomes obsessed with the idea that the world is plotting against him, sure sounded a lot like Q-Anon. And that was before the Internet!


FranfromHove said...

Thanks for blogging every day. I enjoy all your posts, but particularly your walks around London. I'm originally from south of the river and although I go up regularly,there's still so much that has changed and places I've never been. You fill in so many gaps in my knowledge and experience. Long may it continue. Happy New Year.

Andrew said...

Wet or not, an interesting walk. Wapping is not quite where I thought it was. Which Tube station did you use to get home, or the DLR? I am not fussed on the Herring Gull statue, nor the dirt or gravel surrounding the plinth.

So you are walking towards The Thames estuary. How far will you go? The towers in the former dock area are amazing and the area is so confusing. What is the Thames and what are port waters.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

That big green die would have looked so cool in your garden. I am surprised you didn't bring it home. The shores of The Thames speak volumes about the city's past. Sorry the rain came true.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Thanks for the inspiration to watch Prisoner of Second Avenue again. And thanks for sharing your walk in the rain. I'm all set for waterproof walks in the rain except for waterproof pants. Otherwise, they'd be perfectly enjoyable. The pub has an amazing history. I wonder if that art didn't originally have eyeballs. What did the students write about Dave's recliner? Must have been fascinating.

Rachel Phillips said...

I like the photograph by the river with the dice best because it has an eerie feel about it and somewhat futuristic look together with the past in a strange way and I would never have guessed it was London if seeing it in isolation.

Bob said...

Again, loved the tour and the sights, and I didn't even get wet!!!
HNY Steve, to you and Dave.

Ms. Moon said...

Oh dear Steve! You are a persistent walker and a persistent blogger! And we benefit from both.
Thank you.

Linda Sue said...

A great walk, you always take great walks and photos. Thank you for getting out , in the pouring rain, away from the Russians and that dilemma.
That is a part of London I have avoided.

Sabine said...

Well done Steve, rain and all. Thanks for sharing, walks and pictures, and happy new year to you and Dave and Olga!

Marcia LaRue said...

7:25 a.m. in S. Colorado and I am watching an amazing parade in London on PBS ... Bridgeport College band just went by! It's a fun way to start 2023!
May 2023 find you happy, healthy, and surrounded by both family and friends! Look for the good in all things and then share it with as many as you can!
Hugs from S. Colorado ❤

Boud said...

This former Yorkshirewoman knows nothing of London, so all your walks are news to me, thank you for faithfully taking them and showing us. This one looks forlorn. I expect it was good to get home.

Happy New Year!

NewRobin13 said...

Thank you for taking this beautiful rainy walk in London, Steve. I love seeing London through your eyes. You see the most interesting and beautiful sights.
Happy New Year to you, Dave, and Olga!

Ellen D. said...

You do such a wonderful job of sharing your walks with us. Thanks so much for blogging - you certainly put a lot of work into your posts and it shows! Happy New Year!

ellen abbott said...

A wet walk. I'm surprised you didn't pick up the die. I would have.

Mary said...

Enjoyed following along with you on your damp walk along the Thames. V familiar with Mile End area. Mother was born there in the first decade of the last century. My maternal GM is buried in Tower Hamlets Cemetery just off Mile End Road. I remember going to her funeral as a youngster and walking behind her horse-drawn hearse from my aunt's home (where her body was laid out in the second bedroom--not something one forgets). I still remember the area from long before the development along the docks--as one of my uncle's worked on the docks pre/during/post war. Several other London bloggers such as A London Inheritance, Spitalfields Life and Symbols & Secrets often post great write ups and photos about the area and its history.

Sharon said...

It looks like Canary Wharf is still growing in spite of brexit. What a historic pub you found. It's fun to imagine that collection of characters all enjoying a pint in that place.
The funny thing is, I'm looking out the window right now and it looks very much like the same weather here that you had. This has been a wet week all the way around.

Margaret said...

I love that those places that are packed with history are still there. Walking in the rain is OK if one is prepared for it. I've been burned by the forecast many times so if it's at all cloudy, I gear up for rain. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Kelly said...

You see so much history on your walks! I'd have wanted to go in the pub. The statue is odd, but interesting.

What would Dave have said if you'd come home with the green die?

The Bug said...

That pub looks so inviting in that photo - I would have just gone inside instead of walking around. Ha!

sparklingmerlot said...

Now that looks bloody cold and miserable but a good day for a walk - as long as I'm not doing it. At least you weren't battling the hordes.
I do enjoy how your photos juxtapose the old and the new. Telly and movies tend to show one or the other depending on the setting of the story.

Ed said...

If I ever spend a long time in London, I will need to refer to these posts for reference as I will most likely attempt the same goal.

Catalyst said...

I would not have made it by that pub.

Pixie said...

That Prospect of Whitby pub looks like you would imagine an English pub to look like, it's so pretty.

River said...

I like that sturdy bridge the jogger is on. I really like seeing all the old English Pubs, they make me want to go inside and get warm and just listen to all the tales being told over a beer or two, while I drink something like a hot chocolate. Can one get a hot chocolate in an old English Pub?

Steve Reed said...

Fran: I'm glad you enjoy the walks! Every time I get out and about in London I'm surprised by all that I haven't seen before.

Andrew: I took the Jubilee Line (tube) home from Canary Wharf. I didn't even have to transfer. The Thames Path on the north shore ends on the other side of Canary Wharf, and then jumps to the south side of the river.

YP: I was tempted to keep the die, but it was in worse shape than it looks in the picture!

Mitchell: I probably need some waterproof pants. I was walking in jeans, which were pretty damp after a while!

Rachel: Sometimes the photography gods bless us with strange circumstances that make an intriguing photo!

Bob: Yeah, lucky you! LOL

Ms Moon: I just have to get out from time to time and work off some energy.

Linda Sue: It's more interesting over there than you would think, but it IS mostly very new. There are a few hidden pockets of history.

Sabine: You are welcome, and HNY to you and yours as well!

Marcia: Yes, I read about that parade, but unfortunately didn't know about it until after the fact. Oh well!

Boud: It wasn't bad, scenery-wise, but I could have done with less precipitation!

Robin: A photography teacher once told me I shouldn't be afraid to be out in any weather, and I guess he was right! Rainy days make good pictures too.

Ellen D: Thanks! I enjoy it, I really do.

Ellen: I considered it, but it's in pretty rough shape.

Mary: Interesting! That part of London has changed so much in recent decades. I can't imagine having a body laid out in the house, but I guess that was indeed the custom in those days, wasn't it?

Sharon: Well, I guess they wouldn't all have been there at the same time! Canary Wharf seems quite prosperous still, but who knows what evils Brexit hath wrought.

Margaret: I was actually pretty well prepared, all things considered, though as Mitchell mentioned some waterproof pants would have been nice.

Kelly: He'd have rolled his eyes as he so often does. :)

Bug: I was sorely tempted, but it wasn't even noon yet!

Merlot: Yes, it was a good day to be out in that sense -- no crowds!

Ed: There are downloadable maps and guides for the entire Thames Path on the TFL web site:

Catalyst: It was challenging to walk past -- it looked so cozy and warm! (And dry!)

Pixie: It is a very traditional-looking pub. It has an amazing view over the river, too.

River: I'm sure you could! Or at the very least a tea or coffee.

Jeanie said...

I have heard of the Prospect of Whitby -- it looks charming. Did you venture inside? It sounds like a wet challenging walk. I salute your feet and your fortitude!