Capital Ring 15 – Cyprus to Woolwich

It was just about warm enough today for me to finish the Capital Ring Walk. This section is mostly shared with the Jubilee Greenway walk, so again, it was a joint effort.

We returned to Cyprus station (with a quick detour to see the end of the line at Beckton), and then we negotiated the walkways of University of East London to Royal Albert Dock:

The whole area is surprisingly quiet, at least until a plane takes off from the nearby London City Airport:

We then passed under the busy ‘Sir Steve Redgrave Bridge’ across the dock to the renovated ‘Galyons Bar and Kitchen’:

The grade II* listed Gallions Hotel was built between 1881 and 1883 for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, to accom­modate travellers who were halting overnight. Rudyard Kipling stayed at the hotel when he was setting off for India, and the author mentions the place in his novel The Light that Failed (1890): “Is it Tilbury and a tender, or Gallions and the docks?”

We then negotiated various building works to get to the Gallions Reach area, which is a strange combination of building works, industry and high density housing.
Gallions Reach is named after the Galyons family who were prominent in the area in the 14th century. The word ‘reach’ here refers to an open stretch of water along a river, but originally used to denote the distance that could be sailed by a vessel on one tack.

Finally, we reached the River Thames in all its industrial glory:

The path now follows the river, but is interrupted by the large lock that give access to Royal Albert Dock:

Luckily the lock was not in use, so we could just walk across the gates.

A bit further on is the even larger lock for King George V Dock:
These gigantic gates at King George V Lock admitted the 36,644-ton Cunard liner RMS Mauretania in 1939. Measuring 790 feet long by 88 feet wide there was just a whisker to spare on all sides.

The path then follows through the Gallions Point Estate, where we stopped for lunch:

Then through Royal Victoria Gardens, complete with Steam Hammer:

Further on, the path (a public footpath no less) was blocked by fencing where they are modernising the (currently closed) Woolwich Ferry. There were no signs or diversions, so we snuck through the barriers, avoided the wet concrete and escaped back onto the road:

Nearby is the entrance to the Woolwich Foot Tunnel, which we used to cross the river:


The south entrance to the foot tunnel is where I started the Capital Ring walk nearly a year ago (see Capital Ring Walk 1):

It was then a short walk to Woolwich Arsenal station, then a couple of trains home.

4 miles of Capital Ring walking and 1 geocache today. Overall, I didn’t find the Capital Ring Walk quite as good as the London Loop Walk but it did take me to many areas of London that I wouldn’t otherwise have seen.

For more information on the Capital Ring, see https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/walking/capital-ring

Adventure in Norwich: a very busy day

After breakfast, we had a brief rehearsal, some free time before lunch, then we were first on after lunch. The afternoon was the main part of the festival, with many different groups presenting their versions of historical dances.

After supper, social dancing, and back to the hotel tired but happy.

Unfortunately I was so absorbed in the dancing I didn’t take any photos, but here’s one of Norwich castle from yesterday’s evening walk:

Kingsway Pub Crawl

Another fine day, though a bit cooler. We decided on a local walk this afternoon, taking in a new pub on the way.

Toby enjoyed a splash in the stream, though failed to be interested in the sticks we threw for him.

We then stopped at a geocache in Kingsway; this is one that we had failed to get before, but succeeded this time, despite some kids playing football nearby.

Then onto the first pub, which I failed to photograph… Not the best beer, but it was geared as a “family pub” and full of children enjoying their half term.

Then onto the next, which had better beer but was by a noisy road, so we just stayed for a pint.

Then onto the third, again new but supposedly built from a relocated farmhouse. Good beer and dog friendly so definitely the best of the three.

5.4m today.

Gloucester Pub Crawl

Another nice day today, so we walked up the canal into Gloucester. Part of the path is being resurfaced, which is nicer in some ways but…

We had an excellent pint in the Fountain Inn (where Toby got a lot of attention both from the customers and bar staff):

Then moved onto the Pelican Inn, a drinkers paradise with 8 different beers on hand pump:

The only downside was listening to hours of bell ringing from the nearby cathedral.

Many hours later, we wended (or weaved) our way home back along the canal…

Maisemore Walk

We went for a nice walk from Maisemore this afternoon. Maisemore is a very pretty small village just north of Gloucester.

After walking along many cabbage fields, we started to climb up from the River Severn valley.

And eventually started dropping back down towards the River Severn.

After struggling to find the path through some old orchards, we reached the National Trust Tithe Barn at Ashleworth.

Nearby was the Boat Inn, a pub we’d visited before. It’s a very quirky place by the river, but with an interesting selection of gravity beers.

The route back follows along the River Severn.

A total of 7.2m today, and 5 geocaches found.

The Little Thatch

This is a “Pub with Rooms” that seems to have a new owner each time I visit Quedgeley. Today was no exception…

But they had a reasonable pint of Lancaster Bomber beer, and it made a nice stop on the evening dog walk.

Elmore Walk

It was a lovely morning today, so we decided to explore a nearby area that we’d not visited for a while.

The first part was following the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal towpath – luckily this bit wasn’t a construction site like some of the other bits of the towpath.

Then it was upwards to Hockley Hill:

And through some woods, where Toby enjoyed chasing the pheasants.

We then found a few geocaches and stopped for a well earned break:

From here on, we had a lot of difficulty finding the footpaths, most of which had been blocked off. After retracing our steps several times, we headed along a bridleway only to be stopped by serious gates:

A complaint will be going into the local council…

So we were forced to walk back on the road, and after a refreshing pint at the pub, we returned home for lunch.

6.2 miles and 3 geocaches found.

Paddington

I had some spare time at Paddington before my train left, so re-explored the nearby canal and surrounding areas.

All very pleasant in the sunshine.

I’m now on the train – my first trip on the new trains running out from Paddington.

And WiFi and power sockets, which is useful.