What a strange period of weather. And how odd that the many thunderstorms that have battered parts of London and the rest of the UK have managed to miss SE London. As Thursday became murkier and murkier and the hail downpours rumbled away to the south and west, I set off on my bike to Greenwich to capture on camera the curious evening light turning orange over the Thames. I failed. But the cycle was great, along the rivers (the Pool and the Ravensbourne), which had been swollen by the storms.
I hit the Thames next to the Oystercatcher restaurant then cycle past the Cutty Sark, stuck my head in at the Navy College and pedalled up to the fantastic Flamsteed House and through the Greenwich Park Flower Garden, returning over Blackheath then through Hither Green and Ladywell. My pictures failed to capture the light but I still like them… On returning I caught the Atletico Madrid v Leipzig Champions League match – a great victory for the German side, as indeed was tonight’s amazing game between Barcelona and Bayern Munich. And what’s the relevance of that you may well ask.
The viaduct at Eynsford from the latter stages of walk 3, in awful weather
I went out this afternoon with my older son for a decent walk around Lullingstone/Eynsford. I hadn’t checked the weather, in fact I hadn’t glanced outside all day (football was on). I was dimly aware of it being windy but somehow had thought it would be mild. We considered going to see Whiplash at the cinema but decided some fresh air would do us good. Fresh?! Horizontal, freezing rain; a wind chill of -3C… well, it shows that even the North Downs have their wild side. The picture above just looks dull; doesn’t do justice to the sheer pain the elements inflicted on us today.
Sometimes you just need to get out of the city. Even in good ol’ south east London, with its verdant parks and Victoriana, the urge to swan around in ancient landscapes, free of the roar of traffic, does sometimes come to us all of a weekend. The good news is that there are beautiful fields, woods and villages to walk in just 30 minutes out of town by car or train.
Whether you’ve moved to south east London for work purposes or whether you are from these parts and just haven’t felt the urge to shift your butt into the woods and fields, my aim with this site is, without wishing to be rude, to tell you where to go. I want to share with you the great places you can walk in without much planning and without dedicating too much time to it. Many of the routes are great to take children on, too.