Dave Sergeant

The 52 mile Green Chain Walk, London's first long distance footpath, opened in 1977. The network links together the open spaces in the great arc of protected, undeveloped land with a total area of 4,500 acres, that sweeps around South East London from Crystal Palace to the Thames at Erith and Thamesmead. I followed the maps and guidance from the Inner London Ramblers website. Although I have walked parts before this is my project for 2024.

Section 3 Lesnes Abbey to Falconwood - 23rd February 2024

Today I completed section 2 and then continued to section 3 which runs to Oxleas Wood near Falconwood station. I was joined by my friend Mike and we arrived at Abbey Wood station just before 11am.

From Abbey Wood we walked through Lesnes Abbey and entered Lesnes Abbey woods where I had finished the week before. A little into the woods is the Data Tree, a strange art work on the top of an oak tree, the work of Jonathan Wright. The revolving top carries a representation linked to Lesnes Abbey.

The path here was relatively dry though we had to make a short diversion around some work being carried out to make a new footpath. We pass an area where men are forming new carvings from the trees.

Hurst Pond was once in the grounds of a large house called 'The Hurst'. After a short section of road walking Bostall Woods are entered.

After crossing another busy road Bostall Heath is reached, and through that a collection of signposts which marks the end of section 2 and the start of section 3 (and 4). Then into Bostall Woods where the going starts to get somewhat muddy.

Plumstead Cemetery is skirted with its magnificant entrance. Then into East Wickham Open Space which offered extensive views.

More views and then a board walk which was most welcome with the muddy terrain.

Coming out of East Wickham open space and after a short bit of road walking the entrance to Woodlands Farm is reached. At one time the Green Chain Walk passed through here but the path has been closed for some years so a lengthy stretch along roads was needed. We were welcomed at the farm by some rather friendly goats.

Eventually countryside is reached again and we entered Oxleas Wood. But it was quite a quagmire in here and we struggled.

The going gets worse. After quite a long bit of woodland walking we reached a junction of paths where section 6 joins. We decided to end the day here, with a small section of section 3 remaining, and made our way back to Falconwood station. From there to London Bridge where we lunched in the Anchor before walking back to Waterloo along the Thames to Waterloo with another section completed.

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