Abbey Wood to Woolwich Brutalist architecture, ruins & Thames guided walk


Abbey Wood Station

Abbey Wood Station, London, SE2

London, England, GB, SE2

Walk the Elizabeth Line in this guided walk, exploring ancient ruins, Thamesmead Brutalist architecture then to Woolwich along the Thames.

Get a new perspective of London that melds the future town of the late ‘60’s, Thamesmead, with what could have been and might yet still be, with the ruins of a 12th Century Abbey, connected by the Green Chain Walk and the Thames Path to Woolwich, all in the space of a three and half hour walk.

What to expect

Starting at Abbey Wood station at 11.30 am, shortly afterwards you’ll be surrounded by ancient Abbey ruins and wood, amongst a lovely Monk’s Garden and viewing platform with distant views of central London.

Then moving on to Southmere Park with a closer look at some of the iconic buildings and possibly some horses that frequent the area as well as the famous lake that was originally home to a sailing club, with plans to bring back boating to Southmere with a new boathouse already built.

Then along the Ridgeway path, we cross into a more central part of Thamesmead, as we explore parts of the canals and the Moorings offers a quick pit stop.

Then nearing the Thames via the canal and through a nice green space, we continue along the Thames Path, a chance to see the river at its quietest, then past Gallons Reach Park, before reaching our destination, Woolwich Elizabeth Line station.

About me

Hi, my name is Cian! I have been walking in Thamesmead for over five years, and more recently I wanted to turn this into a guided walk, this year I have been exploring routes in-depth and only at the end of April did I decide on the route to offer, after looking at alternatives.

This shows some of the routes I tried this year, as well as to get to know the location better. The area is seeing a transformation after being ignored for decades, new transport links, improved amenities, and massive new housing developments with much more to come. This raises the reuse vs restart environmental considerations, with adapting existing housing or demolition with new buildings following, or a combination of both, see this this in action at Thamesmead, where there is a multi-decade plan in motion.

The above image shows Southmere in 2019. with new housing being built, to the right, which has turned into the Cygnet Square development.