1. Shooters Hill
  2. The Longest Street

Shooters Hill

Eleven riders at Peckham Square for the ride to Shooters Hill with Bruce leading. Main road route to Deptford Bridge with below average traffic and for once no buses queued up approaching New Cross Gate Station. Crossed to National Route 21 through Brookmill Park (some nice bluebells here), then over the switchback bridge at Elverson Road Station and through to Lewisham town centre. Brief stop at the meeting of the Ravensbourne and Quaggy rivers. Lewisham Market less busy than usual then back streets to Manor Park and on to Manor House Gardens. Lots of people out in the parks in the summery sunshine. Continued to Kidbrooke where the pedestrianised route from the main road to the station is now open removing the need for a divsersion. New staton entrance and small square give this redeveloped area a good look. From now to Eltham we cycled alongside the railway and the busy A2. They are mostly up above the roads and path and so not too intrusive. From Kidbrooke you start on roads on the SW side but soon cross under the road and railway and ride mostly on paths with safe crossings, needed at the South Circular. At Well Hall Rd stopped at the Well Hall Pleasaunce where David said a few words about famous local resident Edith Nesbit, author of The Railway Children. More quiet streets (mostly) took us to the entrance to Jack Wood from Crookston Rd. Stopped at the botton of the path that climbs up to the summit of Shooters Hill. It is a short climb of about 400m, rising 40m to 115m at the castle. A few cycled, most walked much of the path. At the castle many unhappy cyclists as the cafe was closed wth a weddng in progress.

After a rest we turned homewards down the A207, first the steep section then the longer gently downhill run to the Sun in the Sands Roundabout. Used the underpasses to cross the A2 to Langton Way. At least most of us did. Have used these underpasses several times and had forgoten how confusing they are. 4 riders dropped back a bit on the first steep entry ramp. By the time they turned to cross the road bridge we had disppeared. There are several route choices at this point. They ended up on the SW exit on to Shooters Hil Rd. Communicatoin was re-established when the groups spotted each other and the “lost” riders re-entered the underpass maze this time guided to the correct exit. Lesson learnt – in places where route choices are not obvious always check you have all the group in view. Continued across the corner of Blackheath to Greenwich Park where, at last, we found coffee at the Pavilion Cafe. After a suitable break rode down the hill in the park, across to Cycleway 10 at Norman Rd and continued on the cycleway to Surrey Canal Rd. At this point crossed to Bridgehouse Meadows (until 1969 the site the New Cross Greyhound and Speedway Stadium, capacity 26,000), next across the Old Kent Rd to Brimmington Park and quiet streets to Peckham Square. Back at 1.30 as planned after the warmest ride for a while. Many thanks to Jamie for back marking. Route at https://bit.ly/2Fv5z5Z

The Longest Street

Report from Ride Leader Simon S.

Having organised the best weather of the year to date (20C and sunny!), Simon led a group of 15 riders to explore Rotherhithe Street. We took some fun detours to get to the start – through Burgess Park and Addington Square, then explored Pasley Park in Walworth, home of the Royal Surrey Zoological Gardens in the 1840s. Took a look at the Pullens Buildings (1870s) where some of “The King’s Speech” was set, and where they have a “special” Victorian bollard. Past Illife Yard artisan workshops and along C17 towards Guy’s Hospital. A detour past Leathermarket Park took us to Bermondsey Street and on to Tooley Street, where we picked up CS4. 
Rotherhithe Street is reported to be the longest street in London at 1.5 miles (see https://southwarknews.co.uk/news/the-fascinating-history-of-rotherhithe-street-londons-longest-road/), though we had some debate about the definition of “street” and whether there were longer “roads”. If you know the answer, please tell us. Got to the western end of Rotherhithe Street to enjoy cycling over some aggressive cobbles, and past St Mary’s Church, the Charity School and the Mayflower Pub (photo). Then past the Brunel Museum (must go sometime) and the Bascule Bridge over Surrey Water. (Bascule = see-saw in French). This uses the same mechanism as Tower Bridge, but only has one arm. 

After Rotherhithe Street, there was a detour through Russia Dock Woodland and the lovely views over Greenland Dock (more photos) to avoid the horrors of Lower Road and the Surrey Quays gyratory. Stopped at Southwark Park cafe for a very welcome (and excellent!) coffee and chin-wag. 

Then we explored the route of the new proposed cycle route from Rotherhithe (Surrey Quays) to Peckham. This is open for consultation until 14th May in case you want to add your views: https://consultations.southwark.gov.uk/environment-leisure/cfr-12/. It’s not a great route: it goes down the busy Hawkstone Road, then past Millwall stadium where there is a crime hotspot (muggings and bike thefts), through Bridgehouse Meadows (another secluded spot, possible crime risk), along busy Ilderton Road, over the Old Kent Road (new junction needed), through Brimmington Park (needs a decent path wide enough for pedestians and cyclists), before dumping riders at the junction of Goldsmith Road and Peckham Hill Road. 

Back safe and happy just after 12.30. Everyone enjoyed the ride and route. Maybe one to repeat. Many thanks to Simon K. and Jeremy for backmarkng.

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