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Green Chain Walk - sections

Section 1: Thamesmead Riverside to Lesnes Abbey

Explore the ruins of a 12th Century Cistercian Abbey and visit one of the capital's finest nature reserves at Crossness.

Distance: 2.25 miles (1 hour 10 minutes)

Download an MP3 to listen to the directions

  1. Start from the Green Chain major signpost and follow the path away from the Riverside.
  2. Follow the path along Manor Way. Go through the underpass beneath Crossway and keep going to Manor Way Green open space. Turn left along the path and then right to cross the canal footbridge, this brings you onto Fieldfare Road.
  3. Cross over Fieldfare Road. Follow the footpath between 70 and 71 Fieldfare Road to the Green. Turn left and cross the footbridge into the tump (a tump is a mound or clump of trees).
  4. Leave the tump at the other end, and keep going through Curlew Close. Take the first left into Gargeney Walk. Cross the footbridge, turn right and follow the canal under the road (Crossway). Keep the canal to your right, and follow the path through Crossway Park to the Green Chain signpost, just before the pond.
  5. Keep going around the pond, head right and leave the park to cross Eastern Way by the concrete suspension footbridge. Turn left along Belvedere Road, and then right to Southmere Lake. Turn left before the lake behind the pavilion, to Green Chain signpost.
    • (5a) Alternatively turn left at the signpost and follow the path to turn right under Eastern Way. Go down to Belvedere Road, follow the road and turn left to reach the same Green Chain signpost at the lake edge.
  6. Follow the lakeside path through Southmere Park past the adventure playground. Take the path (Abbey Way) directly southwards, and cross over Yarnton Way by the footbridge and on over Wolvercote Road.
  7. Keep going along Abbey Way, and cross over Alsike Road, the railway and Abbey Road by the footbridge. Then go into Lesnes Abbey Park.
  8. Keep going up to the Abbey ruins. Follow the wooden marker posts around the ruins, and through the gardens. Then go into the woods to reach the Green Chain major signpost.

OS Map: Explorer 162, Or a Green Chain route guide which costs £3.50 and can be ordered from the South East London Green Chain on 020 8921 5876 or email the Green Chain

Start point: Thamesmead, Thameside Walk, off Crossway, (Grid Reference 472-814)

End point: Lesnes Abbey Woods (Grid Reference 480-787)

Get there:

  • By railway: Abbey Wood
  • By bus: Thamesmead, Abbey Wood

The section of the walk passes through Bexley. The London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark look after this walk.