After meeting at King George V DLR station, we walked to Woolwich Ferry North Terminal for our (free) cruise across the Thames.  It was over too soon; we disembarked and continued along the river to Woolwich Arsenal which has been nicely renovated.  We passed Woolwich Market and the former imposing home of the Woolwich Equitable Building Society before our first climb to reach Plumstead Common.  After the wingless windmill situated above the Old Mill Public House, we continued on Winn’s Common which we crossed. We went down the valley and up the other side to Bostall Woods where we had our picnic in a clearing on tables and benches conveniently placed there.

After lunch, we continued through the woods and passed the Abbey Wood Caravan Club Site – a camping site in London, who knew!  We went up Knee Hill and, on the way, stopped at a memorial to William Morris who passed that spot regularly to and from Abbey Wood Station. We entered Lesnes Abbey Park. This was the site of an Augustinian abbey founded by Richard de Luci, Chief Justiciar of England in 1178 as penance for his role in the murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.  Its closure by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525 was one of the earliest, predating the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536.   We missed the opportunity of stopping for a drink in the café as I knew that there were two possible coffee shops further on.  Moral of the story: stop in the first café you find.

After going through Lesnes Abbey Monks Garden, we continued through Lesnes Abbey Woods, Bostall Woods, East Wickham Open Space (previously a Council tip) and Shooters Hill.  Here the path was closed, and we could not follow the brook between open fields. We had to walk through a housing estate and around Hillview Cemetery.  Geoffrey had a quick drink in a pub and then we entered Oxleas Wood.  Emerging onto Oxleas Meadow, we were hoping to stop for a drink in the café, but it was later than I thought, and it was shutting.   We were able to use the facilities before continuing through Jack Wood and its few sequoias trees.  The tearoom at Severndroog Castle was also shut.  We walked downhill to Eltham Common, went across Woolwich Common, alongside Woolwich Barracks and finally reached Woolwich Dockyard railway station after walking 14 miles (and not the 10 miles mentioned in my guidebook).