Sara Hartley’s networking group walk, 2 July 2021 at 10am

Chimneys & Tunnels Along the Thames

On this riverside walk we track down the unmarked monuments and buried tubes around Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs. We seek out their stories of power, pollution and danger.

We start by speeding across the Thames by Clipper from Greenwich Pier to Masthouse Terrace Quay. From there it’s a 3 and a half mile ‘dot-to-dot’ walk as we link together the chimneys above our heads, sometimes tracing the routes of tunnels.

Note to budding steeplejacks and subterranean explorers: leave your harnesses, torches and hard hats at home! Apart from the descent into one tunnel, we’ll keep our feet firmly on ground level as we let our minds wander above and below.

What to expect

This two and a half hour guided walk explores the many layers of history that make up Greenwich, through stories about past and present chimneys and tunnels. Tour goers will:

  • • cross the Thames by Clipper boat and return beneath it through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel.
  • • explore riverside Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs with its spectacular views of the Royal Naval College, and pass round Greenwich Park and the Queen’s House.
  • • learn about the area’s industrial history, the world’s largest ship, the early railways, London’s smoky smelly past and its tubular infrastructure.
  • • find out about hidden tunnels, unmarked chimneys, eighteenth century mass hysteria and other seldom-told stories.
  • • hear how the powerful – from pier owners to the Astronomers Royal – have influenced the area’s development.

Practical details

Meet between 9.50am and 10am outside Cutty Sark DLR 

There are regular DLR trains from Bank (Lewisham branch).
If coming by car, there’s a local authority car park at Cutty Sark gardens.

Tour starts at 10am. We’ll then head  for Greenwich Pier to catch the 10.21am Thames Clipper across the river to Masthouse Terrace Pier. You will need a contactless/Oyster card to pay for this, or you can buy a ticket at the ticket office.

If you are late, head for Greenwich Pier to catch the Clipper to Masthouse Terrace (one stop, Westbound). You’ll find us on the Thames Path over there, or very nearby (heading East, back towards Greenwich).

Tour ends: in Central Greenwich shortly before 1pm. Those who want can head for the park for a byo picnic lunch (weather permitting!).

Cost: £15 pp, provided we can muster 8 people. Bring cash on the day.

Who's coming?

List as at 28 June:


Alex (if in London)
Samantha (if not on holiday)