A Surrey Docks Walk

Route & what to see


The only docks area south of the river. At its peak it had 10 docks/timber ponds and a basin plus a canal. These along with storage sheds covered 300 acres. Some areas of water remain whilst others have been redeveloped, many during the LDDC's period of control. This walk takes in new developments plus remaining historic features. There is a pleasant wooded area and a good viewpoint in the former Russia Dock.

This walk from Surrey Quays Station (Overground) to Canada Water Station (Overground & Jubilee lines) includes a diversion along Deptford Strand. With this the distance is about 5 miles. Refreshment and toilet facilities are very limited away from the Surrey Quays Retail Centre. Cafe in Canada Water Library. Some restaurants on Rotherhithe Street.

There are some information boards on this route. More on features in UPPER CASE can be found on the additional information page.

Exit station on the retail centre side and walk to the right. Cross at the lights to a Wetherspoons pub and go alongside this towards a large red Bascule Bridge.
On the right is a former Docker's Shelter decorated with a mural. The bridge allowed ships access to Surrey Commercial Docks from Greenland Dock.

Go down the steps to GREENLAND DOCK. Walk along the south side (to the right) as far as an inlet
This is where the SURREY CANAL entered the Dock.

Go right and then left along Rope Street.
Two buildings associated with the canal remain. The South Dock Marina on the right now houses a variety of craft.

Diversion to Deptford (about 1 mile)
Cross the entrance lock to the right and continue along the riverside passing a parish boundary marker. On the flats ahead are faces of famous people associated with Deptford. Continue to Drake's Steps by the gap between the 2 blocks of the former Rum Warehouses (there are explanatory plaques). Return and turn left at the tall block of flats. On your right is the Terrace of the 1780's. At the end turn right to the old entrance gates with the Colonnade on your right. Retrace your steps crossing the entrances to South Dock and Greenland Dock.

Go left along Finland Street, right into Onega Gate and left through the passageway alongside the shops to the start of the RUSSIA DOCK WOODLAND. Go through this to the right but if the path under the road is closed (it can get flooded) go up and cross this road and go down to the park on the far side. Follow through on either the straight or meandering path.
Beyond an open space there is the opportunity to go up Stave Hill (signposted to the left). This artificial vantage point (with steps) gives a good view over the area and has a relief map feature.

Return and continue along the path past more water features. Where the path divides takes the left hand route (NOT to Nelson Dock).
This goes under the roadway via a mosiac-lined tunnel.

Continue onto Rotherhithe Street and the former 3 Compasses pub.
Opposite is Globe Wharf built in 1883 to store grain and later used as a rice mill. It has been converted to apartments.

Go right along Rotherhithe Street

Go around the water feature into Salter Road and turn left. You soon come to another branch of the Russia Dock Walk. Go down to this and follow it (left from Salter Road).
This emerges at NELSON DOCK.

Go north along Rotherhithe Street. You can walk along the riverside at the new development (signposted Thames Path). When you return to Rotherhithe Street you will be alongside an old fire station.
This was built by the LCC in 1902-3 for horse-drawn vehicles. It was one of London's busiest fire stations during the Blitz.

Continue along Rotherhithe Street but you can take the riverside path again at the next new development. At the Spice Island cross the bridge over the entrance lock and turn left. Cross the road and walk along the right hand side of Surrey Water.

Continue to follow the Albion Channel which goes under a roadway
This brings you to CANADA WATER.

Turn right alongside this to return to Canada Water Station. There is also a bus station. The library has a cafe and toilets plus some old photos of the area on the second floor.

london-footprints.co.uk 2013

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