Dave Sergeant

Yesterday had another of my walks, this time completing all the London parts of the north side Thames path which are accessible. This time around the Isle of Dogs from Limehouse (which I passed through last week) to East India Docks. It happens to be one of the most pleasant bits on the northern side but little publicised.

After another pleasant journey up to Waterloo on the train and a bit of a diversion on the tube due to the continued closure of the Waterloo and City line I arrived at Limehouse DLR station and walked down to Narrow Street, a fairly pleasant street but a lengthy non-river stretch. The Grapes pub features in Dicken's Our Mutual Friend as The Six Jolly Fellowship Porters and is very old. Eventually reaching the river bank again we reach Canary Wharf and all its huge skyscrapers close up. In normal times this would be a hive of activity but almost deserted today (sorry for some of the photos, enormous problems with the sun at times). Next along is the fenced off building site of the old West Ferry Print works near Milllwall Docks, deserted by the media giants in 2011, various proposals for its future fell through, and it is now just a deserted fenced off patch of land - see Diamond Geezer's blog for a potted history.

Burrell's Wharf is now a posh riverside development but was once the home of Burrell and Company who were manufacturer's of paint, varnishes and colours and a display board here gives a lot of the history. It seems the Wikipedia article on Burrell's Wharf and other sites totally overlook this bit of our history. After a short stretch of off-river walking along the busy Westferry Road the river is rejoined and Greenwich comes into view on the opposite side. Cutty Sark was very prominent but none of my photos showed it well. This soon brings section 3 of the TFL walk to an end at the pleasant Island Gardens, but here I pressed on with section 4 on the eastern side of the Isle of Dogs.

Most of this stretch is by the river and soon the Millennium Dome (O2) comes into view and dominates the scenery. Then the surprise of a beach with some of the local children enjoying it, almost buckets and spades. Shortly after there is a reed bed and more docks, then crossing the large swing bridge over West India Dock the route diverts away from the river down the cobbled Coldharbour.

Here I broke the journey for lunch at the historic Gun pub where it is rumoured Nelson used to meet Lady Hamilton in an upper room. I enjoyed a rather nice lunch, fairly pricey as far as pub lunches go, but hey I got a £10 discount courtesy of the Government Eat Out to Help Out scheme. What's more, it was a 'pub with a view' and pretty busy as well. Then a shortish walk, initially off river next to the noisy Limehouse Link road, to rejoin the river along Victoria Quay. Here there was a monument to various ships which sailed around 1606 and established the first English colony in America. The walk ends at East India Dock and a walk around it, the River Lea which I recently walked joins the Thames a little further down. Another nice day out.

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