Rollin' On The River... The Thames Path: Part 3!

Rolling on a river?! The Thames Path is independent, connecting London's iconic sights along that legendary riverside! I previously stopped by Tower Bridge, the Shard and the Tower of London so I'm going to get back to Richmond and Greenwich amongst other places to see what else the Path serves! Thames Path keep on serving, let's all keep rolling on that river! Roll on!

Stretching its source the Thames Path stretches from a quiet corner of the Cotswolds to the Thames Barrier in London, I couldn't resist serving a second helping of this South Eastern icon! Bringing one heck of a university challenge, Oxford showed me the fashion of England's premium higher education institutions along the Western corner of the Thames Path. Remembering that reading is fundamental, its key to pay a visit to the Bodleian Library to appreciate the legacy as one of the oldest libraries in Europe, schooling the greats from yesterday and to this very day. The Oxford branch of the Thames Path is a sedate affair compared to the hustle and bustle of London's winding waterway! I made damn sure that I took a stroll alongside the riverside to take solace from the environment, there wasn't a soul to disturb my brief acquaintance with the Thames Path. Oh, the best things in life are free!

Call me stupid? Before my visit to Oxford in October 2014 I didn't realise this legendary city sat on the banks of the Thames River, may it only be a tributary no one can deny that London lay just around the river-bend. I didn't indulge in the punting, I wanted to seek greatness during my Oxfordshire day. Birmingham treated me well as a university student, but at Christ Church College those students lived in a whole other world with a their grand banquet hall that resembled the one that was featured in the Harry Potter film series! Children, I'm more than you'll ever be without that silver spoon that I never had! Know yourself! I had been schooled in many respects whilst I was in Oxford but I admired the authentic side streets that told me so much more about this historic university city, I would never have the nerve to read Oxford in such a shady way! Take me back to the chilled out flow of Oxford's branch of the Thames Path already! Trust and believe! From colleges to palaces?

Keep it going strong Proud Mary! Winding closer to the city of London, let's take things on a palatial hype? The Thames Path has many faces so in January 2015 I took the liberty to escape the craziness of London for Richmond-upon-Thames to experience another chilled out perspective of the Thames Path away from the big smoke. Hampton Court Palace showed me royal highness and so much more, beautifully located beside the River Thames that portion of the river flowed free of stress. Taking it back to Richmond, I found Rich's Riverside on a cold January day to see a whole different section of the mighty Thames Path. People were just chilled out, some were at the riverside pubs and cafes or taking a stroll along the rivers edge. Central London happened to be down the tube line but Richmond served complete chill! Leave your good job in the city, that Thames Path keeps rolling on baby! Yes, I know Richmond!

The pool of London hasn't always been a tourists playground, its been a hype of industry and activity since those early days of trade! Rotherhithe saw the Mayflower set sail for the New World in 1620 from the docks of Rotherhithe's patch of the River Thames, opening a new chapter for a land that would become the United States of America in time. I admit the Thames Path has a few non-riverside twists and turns but I've never got lost! Head for Tower Bridge and Shad Thames to carry on with the winding way of the mighty Thames Path walkway, I mentioned before its like being schooled all over again! Marry the night to see London's growing skyline alongside the former docking point of the Mayflower with a pint in hand, formerly named 'The Shippe' that London pub has many a secret to tell us all! From Richmond to Rotherhithe the fabric of London's skyline changes considerably but the Thames runs through the of my capital city with the same pace and status! I do love London!

With Oxford seeming like a distance memory let's take this to South East London! That wasn't a question! Paying a visit to the Royal Borough of Greenwich allowed me to see a section of London's iconic riverside from a higher point of view. Maritime Greenwich lies east of Rotherhithe along the Thames Path to prevail the Greenwich Royal Observatory, a part of London that's always right on time! I was blessed with views of Canary Wharf and the O2 Arena as I sat amongst the many tourists at the top of the Observatory. Now, that's where 'GMT' time originates from! Going back to reality I found Goddards at Greenwich, serving me an authentic portion of Pie and Mash during my summer 2014 visit. This time I saw fit to feature sides of the Thames Path that don't fit within the centre of the River Thames, to offer a variety to keep my interpretation of the Path fresh. No, I didn't indulge in any jellied eels!

Woolwich's Royal Arsenal is firing its artillery once again in another sense, for a new chapter beckons for this side of the Path! Splitting the town centre into two, the former artillery barracks have been transformed into a new urban riverside community with its own view of tomorrow's London! Crossrail is coming to Woolwich Arsenal in the coming years so a new wave of urban craze has been ignited to transform a sleek new Eastern terminus of the vast Thames Path. I have love for Woolwich's West African influence, I know that in time the two sides of Woolwich's town centre will be looking on point! Will the Thames Path be extended from Woolwich through Thamesmead to furthest Erith? There might be plans but when I get back to the big smoke I'll put my best foot forward to look East along an unknown side of London's iconic riverside! When all is said and done I know that Oxford, Richmond, Rotherhithe, Greenwich and Woolwich all serve Thames Path Overness! I'm out!

Keep Rolling On That River!

Joseph Harrison 


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