Dave Sergeant

The Green London Way is a walking route of 110 miles length around London split into 18 sections. It follows much of the route of the 78 mile long Capital Ring but has some new sections. The Green London Way is largely the work of one man, Bob Gilbert, who is a supporter for the protection of urban open spaces and public access. His book, The Green London Way, outlines each section with detailed description of the historic and wildlife aspects of each section and is being used as I walk the route.

Green London Way Walk 1 - Stratford to Woolwich - 15th July 2021

This is the official start of the Green London Way circular walk and continues where I left off last week at Statford station. Much of the route follows that of Capital Ring sections 14 and 15 but as usual there are variations.

The first part of the walk goes through the old part of Stratford, first the original Stratford shopping centre and the Theatre Royal, now renamed 'Stratford East' with a rather ugly name painted on the front. Obviously something about to happen as a large crowd was waiting in anticipation. Then the parish church with a large monument in the churchyard to the 18 protestant martyrs burnt at the stake in 1555. Route directions were a bit unclear at this point and the vicar, getting ready for a communion service, kindly gave me directions. Broadway then High Street took me after passing the old town hall out of Stratford and into the countryside.

The walk now follows Channelsea Path, following the path of the Channelsea River. The river was culverted in the 1970s and only two remnants of the original river remain - a short stub in the Olympic park and an equally short section by the Greenway as it merges with the Bow.

Then two miles of Greenway, which I am well familiar with.

Off the Greenway to follow the Capital Ring route through some suburban roads, across the busy A13, and into Beckton District Park. The hill visible in the distance is nicknamed Beckton Alps and was created from waste slag from the former huge gas works in the area in victorian times. At one time a ski slope was proposed there but that didn't happen and it is now semi derelict.

Into the park the route now passes the huge lake there which the Capital Ring misses.

Coming out of the park after crossing a road some pleasant woodland was entered and soon turned off onto Mitchell Walk. Except here I misread the intructions and turned right instead of left and it was a little while until I realised my error so had to backtrack. Mitchell Walk is quite a long bit of woodland path which crosses several side roads and at each of these there is a quite steep set of steps which were a bit tiring.

The Capital Ring route through Beckton is then picked up until Green London Way diverts along the pleasant Beackonsfield Walk to reach the big roundabout at Galleons Reach. Here I stopped for lunch at the Gallyons. Still loads of building work going on at Gallions, it is certainly far from peaceful. But lunch was good.

Setting off again after lunch the route should follow the Thames across the two locks to the docks, which as I found on the Capital Ring is a rather bleak area. I followed Atlantis Avenue to the lookout point by the big radio mast but the found the route blocked off. A check later shows this is for 'landscaping work' and a diversion was suggested to get down to the locks, but not knowing this I turned round and went the other way to Woolwich across the big Redgrave Bridge - more negotiating the big roundabout again. A short stretch through Royal Victoria gardens to arrive near the Woolwich ferry where I took the DLR back to Waterloo. A longish day but very enjoyable.