Saturday 1 September 2007

Cycle and Foot Path, Tower Bridge to Greenwich, London

Beginning on a high amidst the Victorian splendour of Tower Bridge and the futuristic City Hall, shaped like a warped egg, this five mile route metaphorically goes downhill. Loosely following the Thames footpath, it threads its way through the redeveloped warehouses and wharfs lining the river. Today, these cavernous brick buildings house trendy apartments and some upmarket shops, but they still retain enough of their maritime period features to be a reminder of London's historic role as a great trading port. The further east you go, the less the route follows the river as private developments force it to turn inland. Walkers and cyclists wanting to catch a glimpse of the river and Canary Wharf's towering office blocks have to make sometimes tortuous and frustrating detours to the river and back. Still, several appealing, well-preserved 19th Century pubs line the route and the baroque grandeur of Greenwich's Royal Naval College makes for a picturesque finale. 7/10