Cycling With Kids – Woolwich
The longest cycling route we have in our repertoire.
With some side quests, it could be about 40 km (25 miles) long.
Cycling Route from Poplar to Cutty Sark
As usual, we start Home, heading North and using the Themes Path (NE Extension).
There are Timmy’s two favourite spots, the playground next to Kelson House (a quite tall block of flats).
Next to it is Folly House Beach where he loves to throw stones to River Thames (or build something from driftwood, etc.).
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Crossing the River Thames
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!
When Timmy has enough of playing in the water or at the playground, we head North on Woolwich Manor Way.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!