Cycling With Kids – Woolwich

Cycling with kids - Woolwich
The route and the data
The route and the data

The longest cycling route we have in our repertoire.

With some side quests, it could be about 40 km (25 miles) long.

Good to go!
Good to go!

Cycling Route from Poplar to Cutty Sark

As usual, we start Home, heading North and using the Themes Path (NE Extension).

On the Themes Path (NE Extension)
On the Themes Path (NE Extension)

There are Timmy’s two favourite spots, the playground next to Kelson House (a quite tall block of flats).

Playing with swings at the Kelson House playground
Playing with swings at the Kelson House playground

Next to it is Folly House Beach where he loves to throw stones to River Thames (or build something from driftwood, etc.).

Throwing stones at the Folly House Beach
Throwing stones at the Folly House Beach

When he finishes, we continue down to Greenwich Foot Tunnel and hope both lifts are operational – hauling the bike up by stairs is no fun… Well, it makes me stronger!

Yes, we do stop for almost every cat...
Yes, we do stop for almost every cat…

Greenwich

Once on South bank on River Thames we usually discuss beautiful Cutty Sark and quickly pop up to Greenwich Market for some snack.
After that, we head East through Old Royal Naval College and by Trafalgar Tavern.

Get through the Old Royal Naval College could be sometimes tricky
Get through the Old Royal Naval College could be sometimes tricky

By sticking to the river bank and passing the Greenwich Power Station, we stop by the Cutty Sark Tavern, in front of which is a massive anchor as a statue with the record of the history of the Anchor Iron Wharf.

Obligatory photo at the Anchor Iron Wharf
Obligatory photo at the Anchor Iron Wharf

After a photo is taken, we stop at the little playground and then head up North on Olympian Way towards the Greenwich Peninsula.

 Canary Wharf from Olympian Way
Canary Wharf from Olympian Way

On the north-western bank of the peninsula, we stop for a moment to have a look at A Slice Of Reality – a slice of the sand dredger Arco Trent which was installed here as a modern art sculpture.

A Slice of Reality
A Slice of Reality

Around the O2 Arena, looking West and North can be seen very lovely panoramas of the Canary Wharf and Leamouth.

On the Olympian Way
On the Olympian Way

Continuing South East and passing the gondola lift of Emirates Greenwich Peninsula we get to Timmy’s another favourite stop, the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park – TCV. Over the school holidays, they often provide some activities for children such as painting, bird watching, pond dipping, etc.

Bird Watching at the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park
Bird Watching at the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park

From the Ecology Park, we often get to a neighbouring Southern Park its playground. After a short while, we pass the Greenwich Yacht Club and continue East by the Thames Path towards the Thames Barrier.

 The Greenwich Yacht Club Clubhouse
The Greenwich Yacht Club Clubhouse

Going East

Before we get there, we go pass the Anchor & Hope pub and later the Bunker 51 laser tag games and TeamSport Go Karting Docklands where I plan to take Timmy when he is a bit older.

Greenwich Peninsula and Emirates Cable Cars
Greenwich Peninsula and Emirates Cable Cars

Just a couple of hundreds of metres on the path is the Thames Barrier, which is quite impressive structure. If you would like to know more about it or just have some snack, you can pop up to The View Cafe and Information Centre.

Thames Barrier
Thames Barrier

The path takes us by not so long opened section through the business centre, and we get again to the riverbank. We usually stop there to have a look at the sad view of half sunk MV Royal Iris – Luton Town FC Team Boat which is moored there for almost a decade.

Sad wreck of the MV Royal Iris
Sad wreck of the MV Royal Iris

Of we go East again, and after a short break watching huge carps at the King Henry’s Dock – which was a part of Woolwich Dockyard and where many well known ships were build, we finally get to Woolwich.

Woolwich Dockyard gun battery
Woolwich Dockyard gun battery

At Woolwich, we typically pop up to eat something in various places like Dial Arch pub/restaurant or just buying some lunch and eating it while overlooking the River Thames.

Our lunchtime spot at Woolwich
Our lunchtime spot at Woolwich

Or we stop by and have a picnic at the James Clavell Square with a lot of guns and sculptures to remind the history of the Royal Arsenal.

Statues at the James Clavell Square
Statues at the James Clavell Square

After the lunch, we sometimes go further East to the Gallions Park and especially the man-made Gallions Hill to have a look round from a bit elevated position on the surrounding fields.

On the top of the Gallions Hill
On the top of the Gallions Hill

Crossing the River Thames

Or we use Woolwich Ferry (preferably), or Woolwich Foot Tunnel to get back on North bank of the River Thames.

On the Woolwich Ferry
On the Woolwich Ferry

The Royal Victoria Gardens is another favourite destination just couple of hundred metres from North pier of Woolwich Ferry. The reason is the big Children’s Play Area – with obligatory ice cream van, but primarily the Paddling Pool. In hot summer days, that is a must!

During the summer, this paddling pool is very popular destination for kids
During the summer, this paddling pool is very popular destination for kids

When Timmy has enough of playing in the water or at the playground, we head North on Woolwich Manor Way.

View at the Royal Docks from the Sir Steve Redgrave Bridge
View at the Royal Docks from the Sir Steve Redgrave Bridge

Over the bridge and we reach the Capital Ring on North bank of the Gallions Point Marina and head West.

Watching the aeroplanes from the Sir Steve Redgrave Bridge
Watching the aeroplanes from the Sir Steve Redgrave Bridge

Newham City Farm and Parks

Because of new development, we have to go through the University of East London and Cyprus station and then continue West. There are plenty of playgrounds around, but we generally go to the Newham City Farm.

Stop at the Newham City Farm
Stop at the Newham City Farm

After all the animals are checked we go to King George V Park & Playground. If we have enough time, we may pop up to the Beckton District Park & Playground – an excellent opportunity to feed the ducks and geese at the pond there.

A lettuce distributed to the ducks at the Beckton District Park so we are ready to go again
A lettuce distributed to the ducks at the Beckton District Park so we are ready to go again

When we finish, we go back South to the Gallions Point Marina to watch the takeoffs and landings of the aeroplanes at the London City Airport.

Watching the airplanes at the London City Airport
Watching the airplanes at the London City Airport

At that time, Timmy is usually so tired that passing the enormous ExCeL London does not provoke any response although he is excited when we visit the Dog Show or Comic Con.

Royal Docks on the left, ExCeL on the right, free footpath ahead...
Royal Docks on the left, ExCeL on the right, free footpath ahead…

When he sees the SS Robin, the reaction is, and I am bombarded by lots of questions. The same can be said about the Sunborn London (luxury yacht hotel).

Look at the bow of the Sunborn London
Look at the bow of the Sunborn London

Although there is plenty of restaurants, cafe and other places, at this point we are both happy to get over Lower Lea Crossing to East India Dock and back Home.

Yes, we've passed the Millennium Dome just a few hours ago...
Yes, we’ve passed the Millennium Dome just a few hours ago…

As with the others, the whole cycling route can be done the opposite way, and although it is fun, the way I’ve described here is our traditional.

This route is one of five I am presenting here to offer some guidance on how the route could look like and what kind of stops or activities we do. I am sure you can come up with even better ones; we just work with what is near us.
Please share yours, I am interested to see your route as well!

Our Routes

Front Mounted Child Seat - Main article about Cycling with kids
Main Article About Cycling With Kids

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