Forest Hill – Greenwich Walk – 19.02.2011

After abandoning the previously planned walks due to various “technical” hitches i.e. the British Weather.  We were determined to carry out some sort of walk – without any sort of planned route!

This time we our destination was Forest Hill.   When we reached there it was not quite a Hill or a Forest, just very urban!  At a decision left or right out of the station (which was a right by the way) we found a sign that decided our route for us.  It said “Bell Green Waterlink Way” – So not knowing what either were – we thought we would investigate!

At first we had to navigate roads, and it was a little grey and miserable.  It didn’t do much to cheer us – But it didn’t deter us from carrying on.     Just before we stopped for the inevitable hot drink, as it was little cold, we had spotted a small “public footpath” sign hidden on a lamppost pointing the same way as the Waterlink way –  Most intriguing. Despite having to go behind a large Superstore, which was not exactly very picturesque, we were in very a very pleasant surprise when we returned to our route.

From 2011 – 19.02.2011 – Forest Hill – Greenwich Walk

It was Cycle Network 21 or rather the Waterlink way – a hidden gem if you ask me.    The choice – Lower Sydenham or Catford.  We decided to walk to Catford.  Lower Sydenham  is for another day.    At first glance it looked like was once a canal with way it is laid out.    But the water was very shallow and there was a very strong current.       We strolled along the bankside, only discover that we were in the Pool Linear Park – part of the Waterlink Way.  This was in fact the River Pool.  This River is a tributary of the river Ravensbourne which is joins at Catford, and is approximately 3 miles in length.      However, reading the information that we found, it was not long before we discovered that this stretch of the river had, in fact been canal as far back as the 19th Century and diverted under the Bell Green Gas Works!

We continued on our route along the riverside across the lovely wooden bridge (I termed it the “Monet” style bridge since it reminded me of his one of bridge paintings!  Others would disagree!) The way then lead us on to Parklands: Ladywell Fields. We soon realised the area was being completely renovated – which seems to be the way when we are walking at the moment (see the Beam Valley Country Walk) Luckily they had provided a temporary path through park  which was good, but sadly when we turned off to go back to the river, we had to pass under a road bridge and river was being pumped out and the banks of the river were being replanted.          Just to note that the park is split by the river and railway to reach the next part of the waterlink way – but by using the railway bridge we did manage to have a nice view of the football stadium!  The next part of the “fields” looked a little nicer 🙂

From 2011 – 19.02.2011 – Forest Hill – Greenwich Walk

A little background history to the Ladywell fields has revealed that the park, but it had been in existence since 1889 – and was originally Water Meadows! As for the name “Lady Well” – It is in fact derived from the  a well which was used until approximately 1850’s and wasbeside the Ladywell Road, nearby the station. It was probably a holy well dedicated to the Virgin Mary, as is Lewisham’s ancient parish church. The well is marked and named on a map of 1592.

At this point the “way” just seemed to run out.    On reaching the bridge,  there were signs for the route 😦 .  So using our logic we deducted the way that should follow!   Luckily that we deducted correctly since we found a Cycle Route pointing in the direction of Greenwich!  We continued this section by road.  The road obviously runs (sort of!) parallel to the river.    Eventually the route meets up with “Cornmill” Gardens.

This area is obviously newly landscaped – along with new flats.    Although I am trying to discover if the term Cornmill is actual derived from a Cornmill being in the area – I would presume that would be correct!!  I did note a large building – allbeit being boarded up – which could have used at some time for a Cornmill as some time.  Reading up on Lewisham history  I do note that the the Riverdale mill, which was built in 1828, which was originally a Leather Mill did eventually become a Cornmill – is this the same one?  Can anyone confirm?

On leaving Cornmill Gardens we came out at Lewisham – which was easy to note with Lewisham station right in front of us!   I have found out of Lewisham that the Poet and author of the Children’s Books “The Wouldbegoods (1899)” E Nesbit said of Lewisham  –

“In London, or at any rate Lewisham, nothing happens unless you make it happen; or if it happens it doesn’t happen to you, and you don’t know the people it does happen to.”

However this part became rather tricky, since the route did become extremely difficult to find!  In fact we did not find the route at all!    We looked at a local map, and after using our common sense we headed towards Greenwich hoping to pick up the river.  Unfortunately we did not come across the river or cycle route 21 again on our walk, however, we did pick up another National Cycle Route – Cycle Route 2.    This did take us through Greenwich village – but I did not take many photos as we just started to lose light.

We did reach Greenwich station safely.  It was then we realised we could have managed a longer walk – which is good sign for future walking… just a shame it is still winter sunlight hours!  Anyway here are all the photos for the walk –

2011 – 19.02.2011 – Forest Hill – Greenwich Walk



3 responses to “Forest Hill – Greenwich Walk – 19.02.2011

  1. Bono and Chris Martin

    Fab walk 🙂

  2. Pingback: Harrow Lodge Park – Elm Park Walk – 06.03.2011 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

  3. Pingback: Thames Path – South Bank – Greenwich Walk – 10.02.2012 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

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