Saturday strolling

Had a fab day out and about with Phil …

We got the DLR out to Prince Regent intending to visit the architect-designed park out by the Thames Barrier.

Getting from the station to the park wasn’t quite as simple as one might expect, more of an obstacle course of building sites (swanky apartment complexes in the making) and major roadways, roundabouts and bridges, interspersed with the occasional building left over from Old Docklands Time. Not for much longer though.

That siad, once we found the pedestrianised waterside by ExCel, things were very pleasant and mistily atmospheric, but on the City Airport side of the waterways things were less pedestrian friendly, especially at the roundabouts, which didn’t really make sense given the amount of space given over to the pleasantly landscaped pavements/cycle paths.

Once we managed to work out how to get into the park we found ourselves in a pedestrian haven. OK, the topiary looked a bit tatty and the fountain water display isn’t functioning at this time of year, but the place was virtually deserted and is in a stunning setting.

Along one side there are almost-finished south of France style modern white apartments, on the other, more apartments under construction. And beyond those, a Thames-side factory with gleaming steel chimneys billowing out white smoke/steam. Panning round you see the Thames Barrier (a bizarre sight at low tide, with mud flats and small streams instead of perilously high river level) and then the factories which still occupy the far bank.

Whilst it was lovely to look at, there is absolutely nothing in terms of social amenities – nowhere obvious for you to buy a paper or pint of milk, let alone more substantial supplies. No cafes or restaurants, no libraries or bookshops.

Leaving the City Slicker Isolation Pods beind us we caught the bus and Jubilee Line to Greenwich, mooching through the park and the museums in the sunshine, looking at Canary Wharf, hovering like a mirage over the old Naval College. Then onwards to mooch around the open air antiques market (with the gyrating geisha) and the chi-chi tourist-oriented stalls in Greenwich Market (and buying olives) before making our way back on the DLR to Bank via the film set scale scenery of Canary Wharf.

A very lovely day indeed.