Paul Chapman

Walk #1: Greenwich

3 min read

I bought a pack of 50 London Walks about 5 years ago, maybe longer, and have never got around to doing any of them. So I'm going to try and do them with the kids, one every two or three weeks. Partly this is a way of getting them some much needed exercise - they do like a 'lazy day' - and also as an excuse to use this blog and get them both writing for it and taking pictures. And getting them interested in web sites too, then they can take over the ones I look after and I can spend more time in bed.

As an easy starter we did Walk No. 1 at the weekend, as conveniently Walk 1 is... Greenwich!

We got the 177 down to the DLR station where the walk started. From there we walked to the Cutty Sark where Mabel - the designated photographer - took the first pic of many. We walked around the famous old Tea Cutter - quite wrongly awarded the carbuncle award for shoddy architecture in my view - and into the Visitors centre behind it. This was packed full of exhibits and I'll definitely head back another time but we mainly popped in to see if my mate Ed was working that day. He wasn't.

Continuing on our way we headed deeper into the Naval College and visited the Painted Hall. Not sure what I made of it to be honest. What I know about this sort of thing can be written on a stamp but it seemed to me a clear attempt to aim for some sort of Sistine Chapel effect and I don't think it pulls it off. The plastic candles on the tables didn't help either. So, not saying it wasn't interesting, it was, but not my favourite 'old building'.

From there we popped over the road, dodging the film equipment littered around the College grounds, and into - or rather through - the Maritime Museum. The Maritime is somewhere we've been many times so we didn't hang about, especially as I was starting to get the first "can we go home now's" from Max.

At this point walk discipline broke down and, rather than head up the hill to the Observatory, I was bullied into letting the kids play in the nearby playground. I relented, like the weak-willed excuse for a parent I am.

Various bruises, toilet trips and raised voices later we left the playground and continued up the hill to the Observatory. I won't go into the details of the next 15 minutes but suffice to say there were tears, more raised voices and Max ended up on my shoulders. But once we got to the top all was forgotten and we all enjoyed the view and Mabel took a photo she was very proud of.

From there we headed down the steep path and exited the Park at the Coombs hill exit. From there we ambled back to the centre, stopping only to get Max's hair cut. 

So, a good walk, pleased we did it and time will tell if we do anymore. I wouldn't bet on it.

Mabel writes: