River Thames walk: Day 6 – finishing it off!

So, this was the culmination of 11 days walking – all the way along the Kennet and Avon Canal from Bath to Reading, then the Thames Path from Reading to Greenwich.  Including the extra miles to get to and from the walk, about 200 miles by the time I reached Greenwich.

I had arranged to meet up with Malcolm, oldest son and daughter-out-law for most of this stretch, but decided to do the first bit on my own, taking it at my own pace and giving me a bit of time for reflection.

Going east from Waterloo, I consider this part of the Thames to be my very own.  It has a special place in my heart, and has played an important part in my life, all my life.  Like a dear friend, I’ve seen it change and grow over the years, and I love it still.

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See that green on the top….

To ease myself into the day, I walked past the Royal Festival Hall, and up the bright yellow spiral staircase to the roof garden on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall.  Such a lovely spot – green, quiet, peaceful, shady, the perfect place for my morning coffee, a bit of knitting, and some people-watching.  I’ve been going there ever since it first opened in 2011.  It can get busy, but early in the day like this, it’s the perfect place to enjoy the sun and plants and bees and butterflies (and to nip into the greenhouse to discreetly change into something cooler for what was evidently going to be a hotter day than I’d expected).

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And then onward with the increasing throng along the South Bank to Tower Bridge, where I was to meet oldest son, daughter-out-law, and Malcolm.

As always, there was so much to see and enjoy.

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Water installation on the Southbank Centre

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Local families had come to enjoy the sun and play in the water

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The beach had come up to the embankment

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This couple enjoyed one view

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And this couple enjoyed another view

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A ship had been covered in dazzle camouflage (Tobias Rehberger)

And as usual, there were lots and lots and lots of people.

We met as planned and chatted over a coffee, before resuming our walk.

But once we went beyond Tower Bridge, it all calmed down.  Which is surprising in a way, because there’s still plenty to see.

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Dr Salter, a Bermondsey inspiration

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Self-seeded antirrhinums with view


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Canary Wharf framed by equally uninspiring buildings

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Tea and brownies in the Surrey Docks City Farm Cafe

And then we were there.  In Greenwich, at St Alphege’s Church.  11 days walking, 200 miles, all now done.



Yes, that’s me

Want to see what that sign on the door says?

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This was Saturday.  I wasn’t expecting that.  Yoo’ve gotter larf, as they say round these parts.

I’ll just have to go back another time.  Though maybe I’ll do it the easy way next time.

We went to the pub instead to celebrate, with a glass of London Pale Ale, brewed here in Greenwich by the Meantime Brewery.  And it pretty much hit the spot.





About deborah @ the magic jug

Now I've passed 60 I'm still doing all sorts of things I haven't done before, as well as carrying on with the things I already love. I live a happy life with my long term love Malcolm. In my blog I explore local and low tech ideas, food, growing, making, reading, thinking, walking, and lots of other words ending in 'ing'.
This entry was posted in 60th year, Reflections on life (and death), Seeing differently, Travels, Walking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to River Thames walk: Day 6 – finishing it off!

  1. Marian says:

    Congratulations, Deborah, on finishing the walk! (But darn, that’s disappointing that the church was closed). Many thanks for this lovely series; I’ve so enjoyed following along 🙂


    • Hi Marian, thanks so much for reading and for all your lovely comments. It’s been a great pleasure to do it, and also to share the walk with others.
      Hope you’re ok – bit of a gap in your posting! I’m guessing summer busy-ness with children etc??


      • Marian says:

        You’re so kind to ask, Deborah — yes, all is well, and summer has been very busy with the children (and now that it’s winding down I have to begin the work of helping to get our daughter ready to set off for university again, a process I do find quite difficult!). Children and busy-ness aside, I should probably be entirely truthful and admit to the fact that I often do allow indecisiveness and perfectionism to stand in the way of posting …


      • As Malcolm’s always reminding me, the excellent is the enemy of the good. And he has a point.
        I always have mixed feelings towards the end of the summer. On the one hand, I love the summer and the outdoors and the colour of it all. On the other hand, I also love the autumn, and September just feels the right time for New Year, so I guess I’m lucky to be able to celebrate Jewish New Year then.


  2. Sam says:

    What a brilliant way to end your trip. It’s been a pleasure to read along with you. I love that stretch of the Thames too, especially the bit from the Royal Festival Hall to the Tate Modern. I’ve spent many a happy weekend afternoon with my family along there. Lovely. The photo of children playing in the water feature (my three loved that) with the poster for ‘Briefs’ in the background (tee hee). Lovely to see a pic of you too – always good to put a face to a name. What’s next?! x


    • Ah, well spotted!
      What next? not sure but more of the same definitely, it’s been such a pleasure to do. And maybe some other new things too. Watch this space!
      And thanks so much not just for reading along, but for your lovely comments too.


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