London Bridge to Stave Hill Walk: If you want to walk along the River Thames and see a collection of historical landmarks, you’ll love the London Bridge to Stave Hill Walk. Begin at London Bridge where you will see the museum battleship HMS Belfast and the iconic Tower Bridge. Continue through the cobbled streets of Shad Thames via Bermondsey where you can admire industrial warehouse conversions. Rotherhithe Street is a real treat as is the idyllic St Mary’s Church. Other points of interest include the Brunel Museum and King’s Stairs Gardens. You’ll end with a spectacular view from the top of Stave Hill and a wander through the surrounding Ecological Park and Russia Dock Woodland. There is so much to see on this tour, so make sure you take your camera with you. The walk is perfect if you want to discover London walks by the River Thames, things to do in Bermondsey or things to do in Rotherhithe.
London Bridge to Stave Hill Walk Highlights
Start your walk at London Bridge Station, exit onto Tooley Street, through Haye’s Galleria shopping centre, and you will see the River Thames. Head in the direction of Tower Bridge and look out for these highlights:
Admire the World War II battleship HMS Belfast which is now a museum that is permanently moored on the River Thames.
The Mayor of London’s City Hall office is an impressive Bulbous glass structure designed by Sir Norman Foster.
Stop to appreciate the iconic Tower Bridge, a bascule and suspension combination bridge built between 1886 and 1984.
Across the river, on the north bank, you will see the historic Tower of London.
Walk under a tunnel near the Tower Bridge staircase to discover the atmospheric cobbled streets of Shad Thames. The beautiful warehouse buildings dating back to the 19th Century are now luxury apartments and restaurants.
Walkthrough Maggie Blake’s Cause passage and you can saunter along the riverbank past the upscale restaurants and moored boats.
Cross over St Saviours Dock Footbridge where you can view converted warehouse apartments. Walkthrough the alley where you see the Harpy Houseboat.
Wander through the streets of Bermondsey Wall West which has some stunning converted warehouse apartments.
The Tideway East Project takes up a portion of the riverfront where a super sewer is underway. After this, you come to Bermondsey Wall East, look out for the building with the plaque saying Sewers Surrey & Kent, Duffield Sluice 1822.
When you reach Cherry Garden Pier, look down, and you will see ‘Bermondsey Beach’ which is visible when the tide is out. The small beach can is accessible via concrete stairs.
Close by are a few statues by the river called Dr Salter’s Daydream. The sculptures are of Dr Alfred Salter (British Medical Practitioner and Labour Party Politician). His wife, Ada Salter (English Reformer, first woman Mayor in London and Bermondsey Beautification tree planting). Joyce Salter (daughter) and their cat.
Opposite are the ruins of the Moated Manor House of King Edward III.
You will see The Angel pub, which was re-built in 1837 and is recorded in the 17th Century and may even date back to the middle ages.
King’s Stairs Gardens is a beautiful green space which extends to Jamaica Road opposite Southwark Park.
Rotherhithe Street is delightful with walkways above the footpath and warehouse buildings converted into homes.
Take a moment to explore the front of St Mary’s Church and the gorgeous grounds.
On St Marychurch Street are The Rotherhithe Picture Research Library and Sands Film Studio which has a blue plaque. Continue to the back of the church and you will see The Old Mortuary housing the Time and Talents charity. Look out for the Watch House, Engine House, Old School and Hope Sufferance Wharf.
The historic Mayflower Pub name is a reference to the famous Mayflower ship. The blue plaque says “In 1620 the Mayflower sailed from Rotherhithe on the first stage of its epic voyage to America. In command was Captain Christopher Jones of Rotherhithe.”
Take a picture of the green canopy adorning the walkway above your head as you pass by the Mayflower Pub.
The Brunel Museum is inside the Brunel Engine House designed by Sir Marc Isambard Brunel which has a café inside.
A lovely example of a Nineteenth-Century building is the Charles Hay and Sons 1789 (barge builders) warehouse with blue painted doors and windows.
At Cumberland Wharf, you will discover the Pilgrim statue to celebrate the Mayflower’s voyage to America.
Cross over the red Rotherhithe bascule bridge.
Continue to your final destination of Stave Hill. Walk past Mayflower Park and Bacon’s Community Sports Center. Head down Dock Hill Avenue, and you will spot Stave Hill. The artificial 9.1m mound has a viewing platform at the top treating you to breathtaking views of Canary Wharf, the City of London and more. The cast bronze map of the former docks by Michael Rizzello sits on top of the mound.
Make sure you explore the Ecology Park and Russia Dock Woodland while you are walking around the grounds surrounding Stave Hill. The land was previously Russia Dock and Stave Dock which were filled in during the mid-1980s when the London Docklands Development Corporation redeveloped the land. It is very peaceful and serene, a relaxing place to escape hectic city life.
London Bridge to Stave Hill Walk End
The walk from London Bridge to Stave Hill takes approximately 50 minutes. However, you will be stopping to admire views, take photographs and sit down so allow longer. To return home, you can either retrace your steps back to London Bridge or choose an alternative route via Southwark Park to London Bridge or Bermondsey Station. Another option is to head for Rotherhithe or Canada Water stations after you have explored Stave Hill and the Ecological Park. I hope you enjoy this walk. It’s one of my favourites. You might want to read related articles I’ve written: Ten Things To Do Near Tower Bridge, Ten Things To Do In London Bridge and Southwark Park. To see more photographs of the area take a look at my Love Rotherhithe London Pinterest Board.
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London. Thanks: Homeboy for walking with me.