Sunday 6 Jan – We were pleased to have a bright sunny morning to set out to Canary Wharf and it stayed dry, if increasingly cloudy all day. We headed off from the tube station through Jubilee Park to the Crossrail Place Roof Garden to find trees and shrubs originating from many of the countries visited by the West India Dock Company and brought back to that site over 200 years ago. There was also available to printout a story lasting one, three or five minutes to take home for bedtime reading! We moved on to the Museum of Docklands for a browse through this fascinating museum – an offshoot of the Museum of London – on all aspects of dock life over the centuries, eventually ending up at the pub next door (with the most luxurious ladies’ loos!). Some walkers then decided to make their way home whilst others of us took a diversion to East Greenwich Pleasaunce for the Wassail festival
Sunday 8 Dec – by Thameslink train to Blackfriars for a stroll through The Inner and Middle Temple and out into the Strand. Passing the Royal Courts of Justice and St Clement Danes church we make our way to Covent Garden to take in the Christmas decorations, browse the stalls and sample some of the seasonal wares. From here we walk the short distance to Seven Dials to see their decorations or wander down to Trafalgar Square to see the tree, ending at St Martins in the Fields Cafe in the Crypt.
Sunday 8 Sept – Totally Thames Festival. Between Tate Modern and the National Theatre via the OXO building are displays including the ‘Ship of Tolerance’ moored on the river at Tate Modern; ‘My Story of Water’ – a children’s arts education project; and ‘A River Runs Through It’ – the Thames as seen by 5 London artists at the OXO building and wharf. Then on to the National Theatre for ‘Mudlark’ an exhibition of finds from the foreshore; and then ‘The Barking Stink’ – an exhibition of 200 years of Thames smells! Finally, the option of a Clipper boat trip back to Greenwich.
Sunday 14 July – Beckenham Place Park: a short walk on paths to the lake, flower gardens and mansion with an optional stop for refreshments whilst others go off for a longer walk around the grounds of the park which includes some ancient woodland. There is a new cafe in the planning of the stable block but the old one at the mansion is still serving simple refreshments; there are also toilets in the mansion.
Sunday 14th April – in the City but ending at an oasis of green! Train to Blackfriars, walk across the Millennium Bridge to St Paul’s and into Cheapside to see the Cathedral from Number One New Change. From there a walk round to Guildhall (there are toilets here) and then onto the Barbican where, only on Sundays, its Conservatory opens to the public – the oasis amidst the concrete!
Sunday, 10th March – Walthamstow Wetlands. This is a particularly good time of year to visit this amazing wildlife site as it is the middle of the bird migration period. Peregrine falcons, kingfishers and gulls are regularly seen throughout the year but we can expect to see wading birds and possibly the start of the tern migration. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and has only been open to the public since 2017 after Heritage Lottery Funding helped with renovation and conservation. Two important buildings included in this were the Victorian Engine House now an Information Centre and (very good) cafe and the Coppermill.
Sunday, 9th December – a walk through three of London’s parks: St James’, Green and Hyde Parks; then an option to visit Winter Wonderland, or else walk on to see the decorations in Oxford Street, Regents Street and Carnaby Street.
Sunday, 11th November – a significant historical date, so we spent the 2 minutes of rememberance at 11 o’clock at the Charlton War Memorial outside St Luke’s Church before taking the bus to Blackheath and walking through Greenwich Park down to the National Maritime Museum to view their newly opened galleries (well worth a visit if you haven’t seen them!) and stop for refreshments in the cafe.