Greenwich Riverside and Parks (8.5 miles)
Route in figures
An 8.5 mile circular route, much of it on traffic-free footpaths, which goes past many of the sights of maritime Greenwich. The run is mostly flat, although there are a couple of sharp climbs through Maryon and Maryon Wilson Parks (just after half-way). The run is best done during daylight hours, as the entrances to some of the parks are locked at night.
The route is described as starting from Cutty Sark DLR, and travelling in a clock-wise direction i.e. initially heading east along the River Thames. However, there are a number of other access points such as North Greenwich Underground Station on the Jubilee Line.
|"Digital Data © Geoinformation Group (2005)"|
Start and finish
|The start of the route is at Cutty Sark DLR. The map also shows the Arches Leisure Centre where you can use the changing facilities, lockers and showers.||
"Digital Data © Geoinformation Group (2005)"
|0||Exit straight ahead from the DLR, passing between shops, and turn left at road (Greenwich Church St), heading towards the Cutty Sark.|
|0||Pass Cutty Sark on right, and head towards river and Greenwich Pier.|
|0.1||Turn right at Greenwich Pier onto Thames footpath.|
|0.3||Turn right at Trafalgar Tavern and immediately left onto path running behind the pub (Crane Street).|
|0.4||Rejoin Thames footpath and continue, staying close to the river, for about 3.0 miles. The path is well-signposted throughout.|
|1.5||Pass by Greenwich Peninsular quayside. (HIGH RISK) Quayside is unfenced and is still in operation; cranes may be unloading gravel, sand, etc. from moored ships.|
|3.4||Continue towards Thames Flood Barrier along a short stretch of road between industrial units.|
|3.7||Rejoin Thames footpath.|
|4.1||Turn right and follow path behind Thames Flood Barrier, and then turn right on footpath heading away from river (signposted "Green Chain Walk").|
|4.4||Cross main road (HIGH RISK: Woolwich Road) at pedestrian crossing, and pass through gates into Maryon Wilson Park. Take path left after gates, and continue, following path which bears to the right, turning left again after children's play area. Follow undulating path through park.|
|4.7||Exit park at last gate onto Maryon Road, and continue in same direction on pavement.|
|4.8||Turn right and up-hill on Woodland Terrace.|
|5.0||At top of hill turn left along footpath into Maryon Park.|
|5.1||Turn left after Children's Farm and follow undulating, uphill path through the park.|
|5.4||At top of hill, exit park, and turn right on Charlton Park Road. Continue in same direction, crossing over side roads and through Charlton Village, for about 1.2 miles.|
|6.6||Shortly after bridge crossing main A2 dual-carriageway, turn left at small green area and then right at the Royal Standard pub, onto Vanbrugh Park.|
|6.8||Stay to the right, continuing on Vanbrugh Park, at fork in road.|
|7.2||Cross Maze Hill and enter first gate into Greenwich Park.|
|7.2||Immediately after entering Greenwich Park, go through gates and straight on following paved path.|
|7.5||Exit gate, cross park road, and continue on paved perimeter path passing the Ranger's House.|
|8.0||Follow path bearing to the right and downhill.|
|8.1||Turn left on main park road and continue downhill through main gates at bottom.|
|8.4||Continue along King William Walk towards Cutty Sark, using pedestrian crossing to cross busy Romney Road.|
|8.5||Finish at Cutty Sark|
Sights and history
Cutty Sark. Launched in 1869, the Cutty Sark is the last surviving tea-clipper, now restored to its former glory.
Old Royal Naval College. Designed by Christopher Wren, this building was founded by William III as a hospital for the Royal Navy. The Painted Hall, decorated in the 18th century by James Thornhill, is particularly worth a visit.
Trafalgar Tavern. This magnificent Regency style pub was built in 1837, the year Queen Victoria came to the throne. In the mid-19th century this was one of several grand Greenwich pubs, which became famous for their Whitebait Suppers, attended by senior Members of Parliament.
Millennium Dome. Whatever you think about it, you certainly can't miss: "The most exciting thing to happen anywhere in the World in the Year 2000" (Tony Blair, UK Prime Minister, 19 June 1997). After all that excitement, the Dome closed as a tourist attraction on 31st December 2000, and is now only used for special events.
Thames Flood Barrier. The futuristic Thames Flood Barrier was constructed to protect Central London from the risk of floods caused by surge tides. Since it became operational in 1982 the Barrier has been used more than 80 times.
Charlton House. Built between 1607 and 1612 for Sir Adam Newton and set in beautiful grounds, Charlton House is an outstanding example of Jacobean domestic architecture.
Greenwich Park is the oldest enclosed Royal Park, and is situated on a hilltop with impressive views across the River Thames to Docklands and Canary Wharf. It provides a setting for several historic buildings, including the Old Royal Observatory, the National Maritime Museum and the Queen's House.
The Royal Observatory, home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian line, is one of the most important historic scientific sites in the world. It was founded by Charles II in 1675 and is, by international decree, the official starting point for each new day, year and millennium (at the stroke of midnight GMT as measured from the Prime Meridian).
The National Maritime Museum was formally established by Act of Parliament in 1934 and was opened to the public by King George VI on 27 April 1937. The Museum has the most important holdings in the world on the history of Britain at sea, including maritime art (both British and 17th-century Dutch), cartography, manuscripts including official public records, ship models and plans, scientific and navigational instruments, time-keeping and astronomy (based at the Observatory), and in many other categories.