Green London Wayfarers

Walking groups have proved to be very popular additions to the CEDU3A offer, with both shorter and longer walks being consistently well-supported. However we are very aware of a gap in the market to meet the needs of members who would like to walk further than the 3-5 miles of the Shorter Walks Group but do not feel ready to tackle the 10-12 miles of the longer walks.
So, we are now setting up a new middle distance walking group to complete a circular walk in the London area. The group will be following and adapting The Green London Way, a 108 mile route designed by Bob Gilbert and the first long distance footpath in London to be created.
The footpath ‘links river and canal, towpath and abandoned railway line, urban footpath, park and common woodland and heath’. Using the book as our guide we will explore London’s natural history, its social history and the connection between the two. The route also provides ‘a testament to the open spaces of London and to those who have struggled, over many generations, to preserve them’.

▪︎ Find out more about the Green London Way

We have divided the route into 13 sections, most being around 7–8 miles long, with one exception of 11.5 miles. The walks will take place at a leisurely pace, with the aim throughout being to listen, look, learn and reflect.
We will take breaks on each of the walks, including one for lunch around the mid-way point. All walkers will need to bring their own packed lunches and enough drinking water to last the whole day.

☐ Start date: 5 June 2019
☐ Frequency : Monthly
☐ When : First Wednesday, all day
◻︎ Number of participants per walk: 14 (including the group leaders)

There will be six walks in 2019. Bob Gilbert has kindly offered to lead the first walk. Subsequent walks will be led by two of the following members (Ruth Hayes, Betty McAskie, Alison Miller and Jane Miller), all of whom were involved in leading the successful London Loop walks.

To book a walk complete the Booking Form below the walk description. On receipt of your booking request the Group Convener will contact you to confirm whether there is a place available.

Please note that only members who have joined the Longer Walks Group are accepted on the Green London Way walks.
▪︎ Join the Longer Walks Group

Walks 1-6 (2019)

Wednesday 5 June 2019
Green London Way Walk 1
Stratford to North Woolwich : 7.5 miles / 12 km

Booking opens from mid-day 13 May 2019
No bookings accepted before this date & time

We are very excited that our the first of our Green London Way walks will be led by the author of the Green London Way, Bob Gilbert, starting from Stratford station close to Westfield Shopping Centre. We begin our walk in an area known for its noxious industries since the 19th century, deliberately located here to protect the City of London. It was therefore also a deprived area of poorly paid labourers. Since WW2, industries have declined leaving the area even more depressed. Whether locating the Olympics here and developing the huge shopping centre is transforming the area remains to be seen. We pass the Royal Theatre, with an interesting history, and The Parish Church with its memorial to 18 Protestant martyrs. We cross the Channelsea River before walking above the North London Outfall Sewer, now renamed the Greenway. We pass the attractive West Ham Pumping station, and the huge East London cemetery where many victims of disasters are buried. Assuming visibility is good we’ll see the Barking Creek flood barrier, a companion piece to the Thames Barrier. We leave the embankment to walk through the Beckton District Park, and past the Royal Docks and into the Royal Victoria gardens returning via the DLR.Precise details will be sent to those who sign up to take part.

Wednesday 3 July 2019
Green London Way Walk 2
Abbey Wood & Shooters Hill : 10.5 miles

Booking opens from mid-day 10 June 2019
No bookings accepted before this date & time

This circular walk starts at Woolwich Arsenal DLR in an area that was once a small fishing village, until Henry VIII chose it for his royal dockyard. Closing in 1869 it became the site of the Royal Arsenal with fine buildings designed by Vanbrugh and Hawksmoor. Important to us are the commons, the preservation of which is largely due to the campaigns of local people. We start with Plumstead Common, classic heathland but with a rich variety of trees and wildlife, and then Winns Common. We cross Wickham Lane which was once unusually an area of chalk mines that resulted in collapsed roads and buildings. We then pass through the grounds of Lesnes Abbey and Abbey Woods, mainly following the Green Chain Walk created by the London Boroughs to protect open space. After crossing Shooters Hill, famed for its highwaymen, we continue through Oxleas Woods & Meadow, before reaching Woolwich Common to finish where we began.

Wednesday 31 July 2019
Green London Way Walk 3
Woolwich to Greenwich : 7 miles

Booking opens from mid-day 8 July 2019
No bookings accepted before this date & time

The walk starts at Woolwich Arsenal DLR, and heads through Woolwich town centre, passing the Royal Artillery Barracks, evidence of Woolwich’s former function as a garrison town. As we walk by, look out for the remains of a brick ‘HaHa’ intended to keep sheep and cattle away from the gunnery range. We cross Charlton Park, and continue into Maryon Wilson Park named after the Lord of the Manor of Charlton. Our next ‘green’ stretch takes us through the Thames Barrier Gardens sewn with wildflower meadows and on to the Thames Barrier itself, from where we follow the Thames path. We soon cross the Greenwich peninsula, walking alongside the Ecology Park and into Central Park. In this section there are great views of the Millennium Dome before reaching the finish at the Greenwich DLR station.

Wednesday 4 September 2019
Green London Way Walk 4
Greenwich to Forest Hill : 8 miles

Wednesday 2 October 2019
Green London Way Walk 5
Forest Hill to Streatham : 7.5 miles

Wednesday 6 November 2019
Green London Way Walk 6
Streatham to Wimbledon : 7.5 miles