Criss-crossing boundaries

Next weekend it is our first Seasonal Slow marathon length walk around the boundary of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.  Or at least that’s what we are laying claim to accomplish on our Winter Slow.  However, we think we need to iron out a few discrepancies and with the help of at least a dozen intrepid participants (more may yet book a place) we are going to tackle some tough issues.

It cannot be a truly authentic boundary walk as the borough boundary follows the mid-channel of the Thames as well as passing along the mouth of the River Ravensbourne at Deptford Creek.  So we are limited already to walking on solid land, along the Thames Path and having to choose whether we criss-cross the boundary and end up walking in the borough of Lewisham.

When we measured the actual boundary of the Royal Borough (including the Thames mid-channel) it came to 27.9 miles or just beyond marathon distance at 26 miles and 385 yards (42.2.kms). Our fist recce (see image right) carried out by bicycle over three rain-drenched days, came in with a route that followed the landed boundary fairly accurately and was 29.6 miles in length.  We then tried to find a route that was more pleasant than just keeping as close to the boundary as possible, one which would involve walking through green areas and away from heavy trafficked and polluted roads.  It took us into the borough of Bexley as well as into the borough of Lewisham. This clipped the route length by half a mile coming in at 29.1 miles.

So should we aim to keep as close to the marathon distance and cut the route still more, possibly missing out a chunk of the borough as we try to lose 2.8 miles to bring us as close to a true marathon distance?  Perhaps this way we could ensure that we don’t criss-cross a boundary and trespass on a neighbouring borough. How far from the Greenwich borough boundary should one stray?

And does this all really matter? why are we doing it anyway?

In part, we are doing it to show that a marathon distance can be walked comfortably in a couple of days, and in part, to observe the changing seasons and how they are revealed around the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Of course, history reveals that the borough was almost named as the Borough of Woolwich , and there are signs that still reveal the older borough boundaries (see image on a bridge over the River Quaggy), some of which we will encounter on our Winter Slow route, whichever route we settle on.

Why not come and join us – you would be most welcome even for half the distance – just £5 to book your place and you can ask for your money back and still join the walkread more and book your (almost free) place here

All about walking blog posting is unpredictable – if it’s raining biblical downpours then a blog post is more likely to appear, in most other weather conditions we are out walking and not blogging on a keyboard…..

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