On a bright & breezy Sunday morning, sixteen members found their way to Blackheath Station for the start of a walk around an historic part of London. Ignoring the delights of a farmer’s market in the station car park, the group climbed away from the village centre which was rudely called the Dowager’s Bottom in the 18th Century! Passing fine villas, including one named Pagoda House because of its distinctive roof, we reached the heath itself, a treeless plateau 125 ft above sea level. Wat Tyler & his rebels assembled here to meet Richard 11 during the Peasant’s Revolt in 1381. Avoiding numerous Cancer for Life runners, we entered Greenwich Park, the oldest of the royal parks, enclosed by an uncle of Henry V1 in 1433. Passing attractive flower beds and a deer park denuded of their occupants because of maintenance works, we reached the ridge overlooking Greenwich town centre with its magnificent view of the Naval College and the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. After a short diversion down to the river, we climbed back up the Royal Observatory where we picnicked in hearing distance of a jazz concert in the ‘secret’ garden. Enroute back to Blackheath, we passed the remains of Queen Caroline’s Bath House which reputedly was the venue for wild parties in the early-19th Century! A stroll through the Cator Estate and a look at a topiary piano in front of the Conservatoire completed a hopefully interesting and varied walk for the participants. The majority were in no hurry to get away as they joined me in the Crown pub for a debrief!

Photographs courtesy of Nita, Hilary and Stuart.