Thames Path: Greenwich to Woolwich

Walking from Greenwich to Woolwich along the Thames path offers an interesting route along the river that takes you through the heart of industrial docklands, glamorous new developments, and past significant points of interest like the Millenium Dome and the Thames Barrier.

We wandered from Greenwich to Woolwich as the second part of a longer walk along the Thames. You can read about the first part of the walk from London Bridge to Greenwich here.

It was a mild day in December when we completed this walk, and it was later in the afternoon when we did this stretch from Greenwich to Woolwich. The sun was setting quickly and there was a race against time to see the Thames Barrier before we lost daylight, but the setting sun provided a great atmosphere and backdrop for the city.

This is one of the best walks along the Thames in London due to the sight you’ll see and how quiet this part of the Thames Path is.

Walking out from Greenwich

Having already walked from London Bridge to Greenwich earlier in the day, we’d stopped for lunch before setting off, heading away from the Old Royal Naval College along the Thames Path, with Canary Wharf across the river to our left.

Canary Wharf across the River Thames
Looking north across the Thames towards Canary Wharf

One of the first sights you’ll notice to your right is Trinity Hospital, next to Greenwich Power Station.

Trinity Hospital in Greenwich
Trinity Hospital in Greenwich

Passing by Crowley’s Wharf, you’ll notice a series of painted tiles on the wall to your right. These tiles tell the story of “Stan”, and it’s entertaining to pause for a moment and read it from start to end.

The wall tile story in Crowleys Wharf
The Wall Tile Story

Further on, you’ll head past Cutty Sark pub, which is a good option if you need a quick stop-off point early in the walk.

The Cutty Sark pub
The Cutty Sark pub in Greenwich

As you head around the bend of the river, you’ll see the Millenium Dome up ahead, indicating which direction you need to be heading. So, along with the signs pointing out the Thames Path, it’s not easy to get lost!

The Millenium Dome in the distance
Looking towards the Millenium Dome

Cutting across Greenwich Peninsula

Continuing along the Thames as it curves northwards, you’ll pass by various new developments along the waterfront.

Developments by the River Thames
Apartments by the river

At one point, the Thames Path will cut inland and away from the river. You’ll come across a fork in the path with a signpost indicating two routes: one heading up to the Millenium Dome and following the curve of the river, and the other a quicker route cutting across Greenwich Peninsula.

Signposts on the Thames Path
A signpost indicating the two routes along the Thames Path

You can take either route, depending on how much time you have. We opted for the slightly shorter path inland in order to reach our destination in the light and to see a different part of the city.

For this route, follow the signs to a footbridge that takes you over the busy road leading into Blackwall Tunnel and then down the other side.

The road into Blackwall Tunnel
The road into Blackwall Tunnel

You’ll be led to Central Park, where you can see the Millenium Dome and a first look at the IFS Cloud Cable Car in the distance.

A view of the Millenium Dome from Central Park in London
A view of the Millenium Dome from Central Park in London

Head across the park, take a right then and left shortly after and the road will take you back to the river where you can rejoin the Thames Path.

Down the Thames Path from Greenwich Peninsula

Now you’re back by the river, you can get an even better view of the cable car crossing the Thames to the north of your position.

A view of the cable car in London from Greenwich Peninsula
A view of the cable car

The Thames Path is easy to follow from here, following the river as it curves south and then east. It will take you past a series of impressive waterfront apartments, and then past Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park.

The Thames Path heading south down Greenwich Peninsula
Walking past new apartments on Greenwich peninsula

You’ll be able to see the Thames Barrier in the distance – the next major landmark to head for.

Looking southeast along the Thames, with the Thames Barrier in the distance
The Thames Barrier visible in the distance

Towards the Thames Barrier

Once you’re heading away from Greenwich Peninsula, the Thames Path will lead you through industrial docklands as it leads towards the Thames Barrier.

A beach boat on the Thames
Looking back north up the river

You’ll briefly be taken along a road that passes the Hope & Anchor pub before coming back out along the river, where you can get great views of the city skyline behind you.

The city skyline of London
The cable cars still visible in the distance

On our walk, with the daylight already fading, we got some amazing shots of the city. 

Funny graffiti by the River Thames
Funny graffiti by the river

Heading by the Thames Barrier

The Thames Path will then take you past one of the most impressive feats of engineering and architecture in the city – the Thames Barrier.

The Thames Barrier at dusk
The Thames Barrier

You’ll be led through a (slightly scary-looking) tunnel, and out the other side you’ll have even more great views.

The tunnel under the Thames Barrier
The Thames Path under the barrier

Continue along the river and up a small embankment to get perfect views of the barrier and city to the west of you.

Looking westward at the Thames Barrier
Looking westward at the Thames Barrier
The Thames Barrier
Another view of the Thames Barrier in the evening

Navigating your way towards Woolwich

From here, the Thames Path breaks away from the river and you’ll have to follow a slightly windy path down small roads and old warehouses before being led back to the waterfront again.

Part of the Thames Path heading towards Woolwich
Heading east

Keep along the Thames Promenade as it takes you east towards Woolwich.

If you want to see how far you’ve come, back a look behind at how distant Canary Wharf seems compares to the start of the walk.

Looking back at London from the Thames Path near Woolwich
Looking back at London from the Thames Path

You’ll soon pass by a pair of old cannons – the first sign of the history of Woolwich Arsenal.

A cannon by the River Thames
A cannon by the River Thames

Into Woolwich

Keep straight along the path and you’ll eventually reach Woolwich Pier, which will likely be busy with cars waiting for the ferry across the Thames.

Woolwich high street in the evening
Walking up Woolwich high street

From there, you can head into the centre of Woolwich up the high street if you’re looking for somewhere to have a bite to eat, or a little further along the river you’ll be able to hop on an Uber Boat back towards central London.

We headed straight for Woolwich Arsenal station and got a train back to London Bridge where we started out earlier in the morning, wrapping up our long walk back where we began.

Woolwich Arsenal station at night
Woolwich Arsenal station

Other recommended London walks to try out

Explore our blog to learn about more of the best walks in London, including:

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