Greenwich, Woolwich and Isle of Dogs

Cycling in Greenwich Credit: Orhan Tsolak

(Cycle Guides 7 and 8)

Although you aren’t going to find the countryside in this stretch, the area around Greenwich, Woolwich and the Isle of Dogs is interesting for its architecture and its history. National Cycle Network Route 1 runs along the South Bank of the river from the Cutty Sark towards the East. You can continue along this further eastwards, but the two crossings at Woolwich and Greenwich allow you to do a circular route along one side of the river then the other.

At Greenwich there is much to see and do. It was a Royal Estate as far back as King Alfred the Great, and was developed by Henry VIII into docks for his fleet. The Cutty Sark, a Victorian tea clipper, and the Royal Naval College hark back to the days when Greenwich was the maritime centre of the British Empire.

Nearby are Greenwich Park and the Royal Observatory, the home of Greenwich Mean Time. From here, you can follow the river around the Greenwich peninsula, past the Dome and on towards Woolwich, famous for the Woolwich Arsenal, which besides being the original home of Arsenal FC, is now Firepower, the museum of the Royal Artillery.

From Woolwich you can take the free Woolwich ferry to North Woolwich for the journey back. A cycle path runs alongside the road towards Canning Town and the Isle of Dogs. As you cross the River Lea you can again see the Dome across the Thames.

However, in the midst of all this you can find the Mudchute city farm, the largest in Europe, and at the southern tip of the Island you can take the foot tunnel (walk, don’t ride) back to Greenwich.