Thames Barrier to Waterloo Bridge

Miles: Thirteen point two

Blisters: One

The start of the Thames Path at Charlton

The start of the Thames Path, at the Thames Barrier near Charlton

Industrial Thames

Industrial Thames

Tall ships on the Thames

Tall ships near Greenwich

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge and the Olympic rings

On the beach

Beach life on the tidal Thames

First stage of my 180 mile walk up the Thames. The journey from the east of London and the Thames Barrier towards the city isn’t the Thames at its most scenic – this was London’s port, its industrial heartland. Fundamental to the growth of the city, and possibly the Britain, we know today.

It is steeped in maritime history – especially around Greenwich. It was wonderful to walk through London while another chapter of the city’s history was being made during the Olympic games. However, the amount of people on the Thames path really hindered my walking – resulting in me having to finish this first stage at Waterloo Bridge rather than Putney Bridge, about 6 miles further up the river. It was amazing to see so many visitors from around the world, but busy paths don’t really help walking pace.

But I’m on the way to the Cotswolds – 13 miles down, just 167 to go….