Greenwich’s Thames Path quietly re-opens – but stays in the dark

Warning: post contains mild terror.

A nice surprise at the weekend was to discover that most of the Thames Path along the west side of the Greenwich Peninsula has re-opened once again.

From what I could tell, it looks like the river wall at the site of the old Tunnel Refineries plant has been shored up with concrete.

The path’s now open from Banning Street right the way up to Delta Wharf, although it’s not exactly difficult to slip past the barriers at either end and do a complete run all the way up the peninsula.

One catch, though, is that most of the street lights remain switched off. Lighting’s a problem on all the path, but it looks like some of the lamps have either broken or become disconnected throughout the lengthy closures of the path.

Of course, not all of it is lit anyway, if you pass through the aggregates yard by the Blackwall Tunnel then you’re relying on the lights from Canary Wharf.

It makes for an eerie journey – and one which was downright terrifying when I did the same ride again in the fog on Sunday. Needless to say, bring a torch if you think you’ll be caught out by nightfall if you’re walking round this way.

Here’s some views from Sunday’s fog – I gave up halfway along the path out of a genuine worry that I’d end up cycling into the river…

And here’s some views from Saturday:

So that means the only closed bits of the path now are the short stretch at Lovell’s Wharf (destroyed by London and Regional Properties), Delta Wharf (safety works) and just south of North Greenwich Pier (cable car works). Add to that list a short closure of the path around the Thames Barrier, starting today for a fortnight, to complete security works by the Environment Agency.

One thing the reopened section of path betrays, though – no sign of any work at all on the cruise liner terminal at Enderby’s Wharf, approved by planners nearly 10 months ago. What is going on there?

PS. For an overview of the entire Thames Path, take a look at this website by Leigh Hatts.


  1. Wonderfully moody photos and there’s something appealing about the path’s weathered and run-down surroundings. The Greenwich peninsula stretch of the Thames footpath has to be one of the quietest places in London too, on a Sunday at least.

  2. Thank you for this, which led to a lovely walk along there this afternoon. Great to have the path back, though it’s changing… Cyclists or walkers in the dark who go along the supposedly closed Delta Wharf bit should watch out for the collapsing metal fence, near the Dome end of this section – sticking-out metal post at head height. Apart from that, not at all clear why this bit is closed. The (open) path through the aggregates yard is quite scary now, diggers, conveyer belts and sand-hills, like the end of Get Carter.

  3. One of my favourite walks along the river – the desolation is amazing and I always feel theres going to be a gangland murder taking place amongst the run down machinery, very dramatic I know!!

  4. Nothing changes then – I’ve just submitted a street lighting fault report on the website of ‘Royal Greenwich’ for most of the Thames Path on the east side of the peninsula… Been cycling there quite a lot at dusk and after-dark….

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