A Walker’s Journal by Anthony Linick
The Green London Way is one of those routes that owes its very existence to the guidebook that describes it. It was fortunate, therefore, that Bob Gilbert’s description of an approximately 110-mile circuit of the metropolis received a new edition in 2012 (published by Lawrence & Wishart). Much of the more recently conceived Capital Ring resembles the older Green London Way – at least in those sections of the walk north of the Thames.
The search for relevant Ordnance Survey maps, which often needs to be undertaken when contemplating more rural routes, can be abandoned here. What is needed as a guidebook supplement is a good copy of the London A-Z, one providing a good overview of the streets that play so prominent a part on this urban route. I suspect that some use of such street maps may be of particular importance in the eastern sections of the route – where displacement due to the construction of the 2012 Olympic site is bound to affect the original line of the walk. The new edition of Gilbert’s book includes a walk around Stratford and the perimeter of the Olympic site.
The Green London Way provides a wonderful introduction to the flavors and variety by which a great city is known – particularly in its suburban guise. It has the advantage of offering many public transportation links and walkers can choose their own start and stop points as they make their way around the circle – a short walk one day, a longer one next time. There are also plenty of opportunities, on route, for refreshment: pubs and cafés galore. You can let me know if the route is still viable via my Contact Page. As a suggestion only, here is the schedule we observed in our own progress, in eleven stages, between 1993 and 2000.
Our stages were as follows:
Day 1: Hanwell to South Kenton – 9 miles
Day 2: South Kenton to Golders Green – 9 miles
Day 3: Golders Green to Finsbury Park – 8 miles
Day 4: Finsbury Park to Clapton – 7 miles
Day 5: Clapton to West Ham – 8.5 miles
Day 6: West Ham to Plumstead – 8 miles
Day 7: Plumstead to Woolwich Dockyard – 10 miles
Day 8: Woolwich Dockyard to Honor Oak – 9 miles
Day 9: Honor Oak to Balham – 10 miles
Day 10: Balham to Richmond – 10 miles
Day 11: Richmond to Hanwell – 8 miles