If you were to walk from London Bridge towards Charing Cross along the riverside, there really isn’t much doubt that the south side of the river has the more developed and cultural route to walk along.

The City of London side has always felt rather jumbled, a bit 1970s in places, non-existent in others. A lot quieter at weekends, and actually, quite a pleasant walk, in a sort of ramshackle sort of way.

As the floating walkway plans were killed off, that is presumably given the City a remit to take a fresh look at their riverside frontage and have opened a consultation about the plans.

Lacking a huge “demolish it all and start again”, these are more tweaks and tidy up proposals, but some of them are quite interesting. There has actually been a plan in action since 2005, and 15 projects have been carried out. Now they are on the final, and by the sounds of it, most significant phase.


For me, one of the pleasures of this part of the riverside is in fact the lack of tarting up that has taken place. The passage underneath Cannon Street is undeniably a municipal road. The narrow alleyways under some offices are clean, but a delightful diversion from almost anything elsewhere in London.

I love the high railings and narrow, sometimes flooded path by Custom House.

It is the inconveniences that give the walk some of its flavour.

So, while I think the plans to improve the already wide spaces look reasonable enough, it would be a shame to lose the fences at Custom House. Lets keep some of the difficulties intact!


One “difficulty” that might be restored is the currently sealed off passages underneath Globe View and a new passageway underneath a hotel planned at Queenhithe — which will avoid the need to leave the riverside as head inland a bit to walk along a noisy main road.

They sound like they could also add some flavour to the walk by giving us more alleyways to break up the wide open plaza spaces. London is defined in part by its narrow paths and alleys, and building a few new ones is not an entirely bad thing.

If you are minded to read very lengthy, and in places sometimes quite eye-opening in that way that planning documents can be, then the whole lot are over here.


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  1. kompani101 says:

    I agree about not making the walk too sanitised and ‘easy’. Retaining the features of what makes the walk enjoyable now should be incorporated to make a journey with something different to notice and experience on each trip.

  2. Martin says:

    I fully understand the point about making the walk too easy and “pretty” but everytime I walk this stretch I inevitably end up thinking “I wish they would improve this”.

    I agree City alleyways etc need preserving but on balance I say go for the improvements!

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