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.
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).
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.
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.
And then we were there. In Greenwich, at St Alphege’s Church. 11 days walking, 200 miles, all now done.
Want to see what that sign on the door says?
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.