Four and a half years ago, my family and I relocated to the Isle of Wight from London. Quite a culture shock, coming from a fast paced to a gentle amble lifestyle! It took a bit of time to adjust to a quieter lifestyle, but this week I thought I’d write about my regular walks along the South Bank in London and describe the sights along the route.
Start: Embankment Tube Station
End: Butlers Wharf next to Tower Bridge
Difficulty: Easy – Flat for most of the route with a few steps.
Distance: 2.4 miles
Facilities: There are food, drink and toilet stops along the route
Springfield to Heybridge Basin approximately 4 – 6 hours of gentle paddling you can return the same way too, so a car shuttle need not be required. However return by bus possible as there are bus links also available (Chelmsford – Maldon; Maldon – Heybridge Basin)
Approximate distance: 14 miles
Start immediately below Springfield Lock. Access by a short lane from the far end of Wharf Road car park (Grid Reference TL 717063). Cross footbridge to access landing stage. Trail follows the full length of the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation via 14 miles and 11 locks to Heybridge Basin. Paper Mill Lock, midway along the trail, has refreshment facilities and WC.
Finish at the trip boat landing stage by Daisy Meadow car park, Heybridge Basin (Grid Reference TL 871059)
This independent little waterway was engineered by the great John Rennie between 1793 and 1797 and is the only waterway in the country that is stil l owned and operated by its original Company of Proprietors, although it is currently managed by Essex Waterways Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Inland Waterways Association. Being separate from the main waterway network of Britain it was probably forgotten when the waterways were nationalised! It was a barge canal with wide locks, and carried freight (mainly Scandinavian timber in its latter days) well into the 1970s – horse-drawn until the mid 1950s. Now it more resembles a midlands canal, as recent decades have seen its discovery by increasing numbers of narrowboaters with their colourful craft. Its route is almost entirely rural, with just a short industrial section through Heybridge village.
Distance: 5 miles (8km)
Time: Minimum time 2 hours
Ascent/gradient: 328ft (100m)
Grade/Paths: Easy – Moorland / farm paths and tracks, 2 stiles
Ordnance Survey Map: OS Explorer OL2 (Grid SD 765792)
Dogs: Can be off lead by viaduct, but on leads in farmland
Parking: Off B6255 and B6479
Public Transport: By Train – Ribblehead Station
Toilets/Refreshments: None on route – nearest The Station Inn
From the parking place or from Ribblehead Railway Station cross over the B6255, and head towards the Ribblehead Viaduct using one of the two tracks. At the sign, follow the route towards Whernside.
Climb up with the railway on your left hand side, and go through the gate. When the Blea Moor signal box is in sight, turn left to go underneath the railway, following the Public Bridleway sign. Go through the gate at the end of the archway under the railway and bear left along the track towards the farm buildings.
Go through the gate and follow the track past more farm buildings on your left. When you are at the next farm buildings, turn left and follow the Public Footpath over 2 styles through the fields towards the Viaduct.
The route of the week this week is courtesy of the British Canoe Union.
Length – 9 miles and 3 locks – (It is possible to use the locks instead of getting out to portage them therefore this route is suitable for those with ambulant problems).
Licence – A Thames Licence is required Canoe England Membership includes a Thames licence (take your membership card and sticker with you)
Duration – ½ to 1 day depending on your speed and the desire to stop and look at the scenery etc
The walk of the week this week comes courtesy of Walks Around Britain. They’ve written about a route, Ullswater from Patterdale.
Length of route:
4 miles (6.4km)
From the Pay and Display car park opposite The Patterdale Hotel, turn right and walk along the road until you reach the school on the right hand side. Head out on the public footpath between the school and follow the track over the footbridge.
When you get to Side Farm, head for the path between the buildings and then turn left , following the track up towards Devil’s Chimney. Here, you can get your first great view of Ullswater.
Then. taking care over the rocks, trek down the path before climbing again to reach Silver Crag. For the best view of Ullswater, bear left and climb up the path to get to Silver Point.
Once you’ve seen the view from Silver Point, head left, go past a small stream and then right at the split in the path. You must take care on the climb here, as the rocks can been slippy here.
The path drops down gradually, past some old quarry workings on your left. Keep following the path then bear right, across the footbridge which leads to a gate at the end of the track.
Once you’re through the gate, follow the path to meet the main road and turn right to head back to the car park – not before perhaps having a welcome drink at the White Lion Pub.
The map you will need for this walk is OS Explorer OL5
If you’d like some pictures of Ullswater walks, you can download them from Walks Around Britain’sFlickr photostream.