London Parks & Gardens Trust

Self-guided Walks and Rides

Docks and Ducks


Directions

Photos

Background

This circular ride starts and finishes in Emma Cons Gardens, at the junction of Waterloo Road and The Cut, opposite the Old Vic theatre and near Waterloo Station. It is best followed in a clockwise direction.

The ride is about 15 miles / 25KM long.

Start Magnifier

On this ride you can see how nature has taken over parts of the former Surrey Docks, to the south of the Thames. Although known for its major commercial and residential developments, this area also has a number of significant nature reserves. Warehouses, bridges and dock fittings will remind you of the area's past life as a thriving port.

Much of the ride follows routes 4 (eastbound) 2 and 22 (westbound) of the London Cycle Network. These routes – short stretches of which are cobbled – generally pass through quiet streets or along hard-surfaced paths through the open spaces.


The ride starts from Emma Cons Gardens at the junction of The Cut and Waterloo Road, opposite the Old Vic theatre and near Waterloo Station.

Emma Cons Gardens
Emma Cons Gardens Magnifier

This small street garden commemorates the Old Vic's benefactress, Emma Cons, 'an ardent reformer and legendary impresario' who managed the theatre from 1880 until her death in 1912. The Old Vic opened in 1818 as the Royal Coburg Theatre and changed to the Victoria Theatre in 1833. In 1879 it was bought by public subscription and given to the Coffee Palace Association, which provided musical and variety acts as well as lectures.

The site opposite the theatre was bombed in WWII and was derelict until purchased by the LCC and opened as a public garden in 1958, originally laid out with trees, raised grass plots and seats, and since re-landscaped. The site has lighting provided by the Old Vic and was refurbished in association with Putting Down Roots.


From Emma Cons Gardens, go to the left along The Cut.

Immediately after passing Hatfields on the left, and just before Southwark Station, you go past Styles House, which takes part in Open Garden Squares Weekend. The garden is behind the building, partly visible through the gate in Hatfields.

There are some cafés in Isabella Street, behind Styles House and the station.

Styles House
Styles House Magnifier

Styles House allotment was developed on a piece of derelict Transport for London land above Southwark Tube station. With funding from Capital Growth and Southwark Council, residents built raised beds for food growing.


Passing Southwark Station on your left, go straight across Blackfriars Road into Union Street. After passing under a railway bridge, turn left at the traffic lights into Great Suffolk Street. Continue across Southwark Street into Sumner Street. Follow the street round to the right, with Tate Modern on your left. Turn left into Park Street.

Near the junction of Park Street with Sumner Street, a path on the left leads towards the river. The Community Garden at Tate Modern, which opens for Open Garden Squares Weekend, is behind a metal fence on the right.

Community Garden at Tate Modern
Community Garden at Tate Modern Magnifier

A gated community garden with pond and wildflowers opened in 2006 and is run in partnership by Tate Modern and the green community charity Bankside Open Spaces Trust.

The garden is enjoyed by local residents, including schoolchildren, who take part in events including planting days, pond-dipping, wildlife-spotting, events and gardening clubs. Local people can meet, dig, have fun and take pleasure in flowers, plants and animals, in what is otherwise a busy tourist thoroughfare.


Follow the cycle route along Park Street under the approach to Southwark Bridge. At the end of Park Street, turn left into Bank End (outside Vinopolis) and right into the atmospheric Clink Street, passing under the railway. Take the first right into Stoney Street (not currently signposted) and left into Winchester Walk, passing Borough Market on your right. Southwark Cathedral Gardens are at the far end of the street.

Southwark Cathedral Gardens
Southwark Cathedral Gardens Magnifier

The cathedral gardens are on three sides of London's oldest Gothic church, completed in the 13th century after the original church burnt down. Much reduced in size from the original churchyard, the present garden was restored in 2001 and opened by Nelson Mandela, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was a curate in the Southwark diocese. The East Churchyard herb garden was constructed around the ruins of the medieval Lady Chapel, using herbs which were grown in the Apothecaries' Garden of St Thomas' Hospital, originally near the site. The South Churchyard was designed using plants with Shakespearean and biblical resonance. There are good views from the river embankment to the north. Accessible toilet available.


Keeping the cathedral to your right, follow Cathedral Street round to the right into Montague Close. Pass under the approach to London Bridge along Tooley Street, merging with a busier road converging from your right. Follow the cycle lane past converted warehouses for just over 500 metres, until you come to the ornamental railings of Potter's Field on the left.

Potter's Field
Potter's Field Magnifier

Maps of 1682 refer to this site as Potts Fields and excavations in 1965 revealed that it was the site of the earliest delftware kilns in England, which were established here c.1618. It was also the site of the graveyard of St Olave's church and a few gravestones remain.

It was laid out as a recreation ground in 1888 by St Olave's Board of Works, later converted to a public garden in 1909 by the London County Council. In the 21st century it became part of the landscaped public open space adjoining the river adjacent to the new GLA City Hall designed by Foster Architects and at the south-west foot of Tower Bridge, of which it provides excellent views. In May 2007 an extensive re-landscaping scheme was completed, with a new layout of paths, lawns, planting of trees and beds, fixed seating; the gravestones from the old churchyard now exposed on wall; new gate screens on Tooley Street. The park has been the venue for various outdoor events.


The road splits shortly after Potter's Field. Take the left fork, Queen Elizabeth Street, and cross Tower Bridge Road. At the end, turn right into Shad Thames, at the end of which turn right into Jamaica Road (traffic signals). Turn immediately left into Mill Street. The entrance to Downing's Roads Moorings is at the far end. You can get a good view by turning right into Bermondsey Wall West and looking over the wall on the left.

Downing's Roads Moorings
Downing's Roads Moorings Magnifier

These historic moorings date back 200 years or more. Gardens have been created on the decks of many of the barges to form an ‘inside-out’ floating garden square. The barges take part in Open Garden Squares Weekend under the name Garden Barge Square.

Across the road, the gardens of Jacob's Island have been planted with marshy plants.


Continue along Bermondsey Wall West as far as you can. When the current development is completed, you may well be able to continue straight ahead into Bermondsey Wall East. In the meantime, you will have to turn right into East Lane and left along Chambers Street. At the end, turn left into Bevington Street and right into Bermondsey Wall East. Continue as far as the Angel pub, where the remains of Edward III's palace are on the right.

Manor House of Edward III
Manor House of Edward III Magnifier

Edward III's small palace was built in 1353, costing £1200. It survived partly through avoiding being subsumed into the network of docks to its east. It was excavated in 1985, revealing two courtyards and a moat. It was known as the ‘paradise’, referring to its walled pleasure gardens where exotic fruits were grown. The name Paradise Street recalls this name. The King's Stairs which survive today mark the landing stage where the royal party disembarked to visit the palace.


From the Angel pub continue along the path parallel with the river into King's Stairs Gardens. At the farther end of the gardens, take the riverside path, which later leaves the riverside to reach Rotherhithe Street.

You may need to follow a diversion while Thames Water's works are taking place.

King's Stairs Gardens
King's Stairs Gardens Magnifier

First proposed in 1947 as an extension to Southwark Park, the gardens finally opened in 1982. The eponymous stairs would have been used by Edward III to reach the nearby manor house.

The gardens are currently under threat of closure while Thames Water constructs a new sewer.


The church, with its conspicuous tower, is situated between Rotherhithe Street and St Marychurch Street.

St Mary's Churchyard
St Mary's Churchyard Magnifier

The present church dates from 1715. The village of Rotherhithe had early maritime links and St Mary's was a seafarers' parish; the wooden frame of the present building appears to have been constructed by a skilled shipwright.

The Mayflower sailed from Rotherhithe to pick up the Pilgrim Fathers and thence to the New World, and many of her crew were from Rotherhithe. They are commemorated by a sculpture in the churchyard.


Continue along Rotherhithe Street. The Brunel Museum is a little further on, on the right.

Brunel Museum
Brunel Museum Magnifier

The museum is on the site of the only project both Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel worked on together, the Thames Tunnel. The museum's building contained the steam engines used to keep pumping the Thames Tunnel dry of water.

The museum, situated above the Thames Tunnel, has sculpture gardens and a newly opened compass garden with a giant sundial on the roof of the Grand Entrance Hall.


From Rotherhithe Street, turn right into Railway Avenue, following the signs for Cycle Route 4. Cross Brunel Road (by Rotherhithe Station) and continue along the path opposite. At the end, turn left along Albion Street and right into Swan Road. Near the end of the road, follow the path on the left (later called Albatross Way) across Needleman Street. Turn left on reaching Albion Channel and cross the water on the next bridge. Follow the path, which eventually emerges into Archangel Street. Turn left into Timber Pond Road and take the third turning on the right, Dock Hill Avenue, which leads up to Stave Hill.

Stave Hill
Stave Hill Magnifier

Stave Hill is an artificial hill created from spoil when the docks were infilled in 1985-9. From the top are fine views and at the summit is a bronze map by Michael Rizzello, 1986. The hill overlooks a nature reserve created by the Trust for Urban Ecology, which was planted with saplings in 1987. Trees include field maple, alder, ash, birch, aspen, cherry, rowan and oak and numerous shrubs plus a number of ponds.


Leave Stave Hill in a southwesterly direction along the path at right angles to Dock Hill Avenue. Look out for the path that avoids the steps. The path emerges into St Elmos Road. Turn left on reaching the cycle route in Archangel Street and enter Russia Dock Woodland.

It is quite easy to get lost in Russia Dock Woodland, but you can reduce the risk by following only paths divided into two halves for pedestrians and cyclists.

Follow the path down and across a bridge, where you come to a point where two cycle routes cross.

Russia Dock Woodland
Russia Dock Woodland Magnifier

Russia Dock was once was part of the Surrey Commercial Docks, created in 1864 when the various companies owning Rotherhithe's C19th commercial docks amalgamated. Surrey Docks came to cover over 185 hectares, and was particularly important for imported timber. The Docks were finally closed in 1969.

The linear wooded park was created by Southwark in 1980 from the former Russia Dock basin - parts of the old canal wall and boat moorings are still visible. It contains a water feature which connects streams, a canal and lagoon and two ponds. Numerous species of trees and shrubs have been planted.


The next stage can be omitted by proceeding straight ahead towards the Ship York pub. But you will miss one of the most scenic parts of the ride.

Turn left along the former dockside. Ignore a branch off towards Redriff Primary School on the right. After crossing the second wooden bridge, take the path on the right (Nelson Walk). This passes under a road and emerges into Pearson Park at the side of Rotherhithe Street. Immediately after a canal bridge, turn left into Lavender Road.

After visiting the pond, return to Rotherhithe Street and turn left. At the Compass pub, turn left along Beatson Walk. After passing under a road and past the back of some houses, you will return to the junction of three paths by a wooden bridge. Cross the bridge and return along Waterman's Walk to the point where you started this stage, where you turn left.

Lavender Pond
Lavender Pond Magnifier

Lavender Pond Nature Reserve was once was in the northern part of the Surrey Commercial Docks. Lavender Pond was created in 1982 by the Trust for Urban Ecology, when the landscape naturalised with funding from LB Southwark and the London Docklands Development Corporation to provide a small wild-life pond. The park also has a wet meadow and woodland planted with native trees; a small tree nursery was established in 1985. Nearby are the remains of Lavender Lock, built in 1863 to serve a timber pond that belonged to the Surrey Docks.

The Pump House, built by Port of London Authority in 1928-9 over the channel through to the Thames, was used to regulate the water in Lavender Pond. It was converted in 1981-2 for educational use and is run by an educational trust with an emphasis on environmental education. Since 1997 the basement of the Pump House has been used as Rotherhithe Heritage Museum, which exhibits archaeological finds from the area.


Follow Lady Dock Path, passing under a road and emerging onto Rotherhithe Street by the Ship York Pub. If you wish to omit the next stage, continue straight ahead towards Bonding Yard Walk. Otherwise turn left, past the pub, and continue into Odessa Street. Where the street bends right at the Ship & Whale pub, take the path straight ahead towards the river. On reaching the river, turn left along the riverside path, which goes past the back of Surrey Docks Farm. At the end of the farm, turn left down the path that leads to the main entrance to the farm. There is cycle parking and a popular café on the site.

On leaving the farm, turn left along Rotherhithe Street. Turn left at the junction with the link to the main road. Turn right at the Aardvark pub and left at the Ship York, onto Bonding Yard Walk, following the cycle route.

Surrey Docks Farm
Surrey Docks Farm Magnifier

The farm works with local communities and the people of Southwark to provide many unique opportunities for people to learn about farming and food production, and to be actively involved in the ongoing work of the farm.

Animals reared on the farm include a herd of milking goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens, turkeys, bees and donkeys. The herds and flocks are farmed with specific attention to animal welfare.

There are a variety of green and horticultural areas such as the orchard, herb garden, dye garden, vegetable plots, and the wild area. Fresh food and produce are on sale to the public.

The Farm was first established in 1975 on derelict dockland between the entrance to Greenland Dock and the River Thames. In June 1986 it re-located to its present site, a new 2.2 acre site on the river at South Wharf. During the working lifetime of the docks, the site formed part of the largest shipyard on the Rotherhithe peninsula.


Follow Cycle Route 4 along Bonding Yard Walk. At the end of the path, turn left into Finland Street and right into South Seas Street. Cross the entrance of Greenland Dock on a bridge and turn left, following the river past Greenland Pier. Cross the entrance to South Dock on a lock and continue to follow the river until you come to a pair of large 18th-century brick buildings on Deptford Strand, the former rum warehouses of the Royal Naval Victualling Yard. Turn right between the two buildings into Foreshore, which becomes Barfleur Lane. Turn left into Bowditch and follow the road around to the right. Pepys Park is on the left.

 

This open space was created as part of the LCC's Pepys Estate, built over the site of the Royal Naval Victualling Yard, established for storage of provisions and clothing for the Royal Navy in 1742. The yard had a river frontage of 460 metres, and became the largest naval victualling yard in the country, manufacturing a range of provisions including biscuit, chocolate, mustard and pepper, and housing massive supplies of food, tobacco, rum, medical supplies and clothing. It closed in 1961.

The estate was named after Samuel Pepys, who was Secretary to the Admiralty in the reign of Charles II and so had connections with the area. He visited John Evelyn who lived at Sayes Court (q.v.).


Turn left along Grove Street. After the street bends half-right, Sayes Court Park is on the left.

Sayes Court
Sayes Court Magnifier

Near the royal Dockyard, Sayes Court became the home of diarist John Evelyn, who lived here from 1652 to 1694, after which he moved to Surrey, although still owning Sayes Court. In 1698 he let the house for four months to Peter the Great, who came to study shipbuilding in the Royal Naval Dockyard, working as a ship's carpenter. He created havoc, reputedly having wheelbarrow races in the gardens with Edmund Halley, Royal Astronomer. In November 1703 Evelyn's diary noted that the ‘house, trees, garden etc. at Sayes Court suffer'd very much’ in bad storms. Sayes Court house was demolished in 1729 and a workhouse was built on the site. Its historical associations are recalled in street names such as Evelyn Street, Czar Street and Sayes Court Street. In 1878 part of the former grounds became a small recreation ground; now reduced in size by 20th-century development on the east side.


Turn right into Evelyn Street. If this is difficult, use the pedestrian crossing. Take the second left, Gosterwood Road - the entrance is closed to motor vehicles. At the end of the street, follow the path under the railway. After emerging from under the railway bridge, enter Folkestone Gardens and follow the path nearest the railway on your right.

Folkestone Gardens
Folkestone Gardens Magnifier

Folkestone Gardens was created in the 1970s on the site of war-damaged housing and is on undulating ground with woodland areas, grass and a large pond in the north-west, which was restored in 1994. An island with weeping willow is in the centre of the pond. The gardens are overlooked and completely surrounded by railway lines.

By the early 20th century the area was heavily built up with housing. The Grand Surrey Canal ran past the northern end of the present park from Camberwell to the Surrey Docks. In 1945 the area was badly bombed, destroying many houses and causing 52 deaths. In the late 1960s/early 1970s the houses were cleared and the park was laid out.


You will emerge from Folkestone Gardens at a busy junction with a railway bridge to your right. Make your way carefully to the path along the right-hand side of the road to your left (Surrey Canal Road). This runs along the course of the Grand Surrey Canal. Take care crossing the entrances to the sites along this road.

At the end of Surrey Canal Road, turn right into Ilderton Road, using the toucan crossing. Turn left at the traffic signals into Verney Road and right at a mini roundabout into Credon Road. Emerging onto Rotherhithe New Road, turn left along the cycle track as far as a crossing. Cross Rotherhithe New Road, turn right, immediately left into Catlin Street and immediately right into Stevenson Crescent.

Take the left branch of Stevenson Crescent and follow the road under a bridge into Abercorn Way and through a closure into Oxley Close. Turn left, following a cycle route sign, left again into Rolls Road and first right into Coopers Road. Turn left into Mawbey Place and first right towards a crossing of the Old Kent Road.

Cross the Old Kent Road into Glengall Road and take the first right into Glengall Terrace. Go through the road closure and turn left along Trafalgar Avenue. Enter Burgess Park through the gate on the right by a pedestrian crossing. Follow the broad path through the park as far as a pedestrian footbridge.

Burgess Park
Burgess Park Magnifier

Work began to provide the new public space which eventually became Burgess Park in the post World War II years as a result of initiatives such as the Abercrombie Plan of 1943, which highlighted the lack of open space in London. Abercrombie had proposed a large park to the south of Albany Road as North Camberwell Open Space to act as a 'green lung' for the area and this was eventually agreed in 1951. The park was created by demolishing numerous houses, streets, churches and factories such as Robert White's famous lemonade factory, and by infilling the disused Grand Surrey Canal.


Shortly after passing under the footbridge in Burgess Park, look out for a group of buildings towards the right-hand edge of the park and make your way towards them.

Chumleigh Gardens
Chumleigh Gardens Magnifier

In 1821 the Friendly Female Society, founded in 1802 ‘for the relief of poor infirm aged widows and single women of good character who have seen better days’ opened its almshouses for 20 occupants in Chumleigh Gardens, the north and south sides built in the early 19th century, the west side c.1840. They were occupied until World War II, when they were bombed.

After remaining derelict for many years, the almshouses were renovated and now house meeting rooms, offices for Park Rangers and the Art in the Park team of artists. There is an English Garden in front of the buildings and a World Garden with four different styles of garden – Oriental, Mediterranean, African and Caribbean and Islamic – at the back. There is a café round the corner on the north side of the buildings.


Return to the main path through Burgess Park and turn right. Follow it under a road as far as a tennis centre on the left, where you turn left along a path into Addington Square.

Addington Square
Addington Square Magnifier

Addington Square, completed by 1855, was probably named after Henry Addington, Prime Minister from 1801 to 1804. The houses were built on three sides around a private communal garden, the northern side once occupied by a commercial swimming bath, which later became the site of King George's Fields, now within Burgess Park. The garden was restored as a public amenity in 1897 and it is largely lawn with floral displays, and trees including mature planes.


Turn right out of Addington Square. Cross the Camberwell Road into Bethwin Road, using the contraflow cycle lane. At the end, turn right into John Ruskin Street and left into Cooks Road. After about half a kilometre, you will go past Kennington Park on the left-hand side.

Kennington Park
Kennington Park Magnifier

Kennington Park was laid out in 1852-54 by James Pennethorne for the Department of Woods and Forests on c.7.5 hectares of reclaimed land which was part of Kennington Common, the site of the famous Chartist demonstration. It opened to the public in 1854, laid out with a central area of lawns enclosed by paths lined by plane trees. In the north-east corner the C19th Prince Consort's Model Lodge remains and twin cottages designed 1851 by Henry Roberts for display at the Great Exhibition were re-erected as lodges midway along the west boundary on Kennington Park Road. To north and south of this were sunken gardens with massed bedding which was replaced in the later C20th by rose beds. Paths lead from here across the park with a bandstand and tennis courts within the lawns, a café to the south east. There have been a number of additions to the park resulting from slum clearance.

The keeper's lodge at the first corner of the park is the site of Bee Urban. This is a beekeeping and environmental education community project. It has transformed the unused garden, carving out new growing beds and planting fruit trees, soft fruit, nectar-rich plants, herbs and flowers. It opens to the public on Open Garden Squares Weekend.


Turn right at the traffic signals into Kennington Park Road and take the second left into Cleaver Square.

Cleaver Square
Cleaver Square Magnifier

Development of the square began in 1789 after the landowner Mary Cleaver leased the site to Thomas Ellis, the publican of the Horns Tavern nearby. It was the first square to be developed south of the Thames following the building of Westminster Bridge, although it was not finally completed until the 1850s; the central garden was laid out in c.1799. The central garden layout in the late C18th had grass, and it was later used as a nursery garden. The garden was recently restored by LB Lambeth and English Heritage with the MPGA grant to form an open tree lined area of considerable charm and architectural merit with gravel, cobbles and numerous seats, with traditional post-and-rail enclosure.


Leave Cleaver Square at the far end. When you are blocked by a 'no entry' sign, turn left into Bowden Street. Turn right into Milverton Street and second right into Windmill Row. Cross Kennington Road and Kennington Lane (traffic signals) into the contraflow cycle lane in Cardigan Street. Turn left into Courtenay Square.

Courtenay Square
Courtenay Square Magnifier

At the back of Courtenay Square, turn right into Courtenay Street. At the end of the street, turn half-right into Newburn Street, using the contraflow cycle track. At the end, turn left into Black Prince Road. After passing under the railway, you will pass the former Royal Daulton factory on the right. Take the next right (Lambeth High Street), shortly before the junction with the Albert Embankment. The Recreational Ground is on the right.

Lambeth High Street Recreational Ground
Lambeth High Street Recreational Ground

The land was originally provided to the parish by Archbishop Thomas Tenison of Canterbury for a burial ground. The site had been leased to a gardener and was purchased for £120 in 1703. It was extended in 1816 but, being full, was closed in 1853. By 1880 it was ‘very unsightly&rsquo and the vestry decided to turn it into a public garden, which was completed in 1884. Gravestones were moved to boundary walls with the mortuary left standing. A watch house erected on High Street for holding ‘the drunk and disorderly’ in 1825 was originally left but is now gone, its site marked with a stone. The new garden was conveyed to Lambeth Vestry and then to Lambeth Borough Council. In 1929 it was enlarged when the site of a glass bottle factory in Whitgift Street was purchased for £700.

Since the late 1970s the recreation ground has been re-landscaped with grassy mounds, pergolas, shrubs and spring bulbs. A water feature and a playground are provided.


Turn right on leaving the Lambeth High Street Recreational Ground. On reaching the junction with Lambeth Road, dismount and use the zebra crossing to the right to reach St Mary's Garden.

St Mary's Garden
St Mary's Garden Magnifier

St Mary's Garden is a small public garden, laid out by Lambeth Borough Council in 1932-3. The site was formerly part of the old road which led to the earlier Lambeth Bridge of 1862, replaced in 1932 by a new bridge to the south. The outer area is grassed with shrubs, the central area paved with a pergola, seating and a water feature.


The Garden Museum (admission charge) is in the former church at the back of St Mary's Gardens.

After leaving the museum, cross Lambeth Palace Road on foot, using the pedestrian crossings, and ride in a northerly direction. On reaching the complex junction after St Thomas' Hospital, use the shared-use footway on the left, turning the corner towards Westminster Bridge. Use the second toucan crossing to reach the road behind County Hall, where the ride began.

The Garden Museum
The Garden Museum

The Church of St-Mary-at-Lambeth (now the Garden Museum) dates from 1377 and was restored by Philip Hardwick in the 1850s. Royal gardeners John Tradescant the Elder and John Tradescant the Younger, who introduced many plants to England, are buried here in a hard sandstone tomb with high relief carvings. They established a physic garden in South Lambeth and their collections eventually went to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. The Coade stone sarcophagus of Admiral William Bligh, Captain of the 'Bounty', was erected in 1817.

By 1971 the church was redundant and threatened with demolition, and the churchyard unkempt. In 1977 the Tradescant Trust was formed and campaigned to save the church and turn it into a museum. A replica 17th century knot garden, designed by Lady Salisbury, opened in the churchyard in 1983. The garden features plants of the period, a large climbing musk rose, reputedly the largest in the country, old brick paths, a sundial and retained gravestones. The Garden Museum is open daily 10:30-5 but closed Christmas/New Year. Café, accessible toilet and shop.


Leaving the Garden Museum / the Garden Museum, turn left along Lambeth Road. Just before a zebra crossing, enter Archbishop's Park through a path on the left.

Archbishop's Park
Archbishop's Park Magnifier

The site was formerly within the grounds of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lambeth Palace and in the late C19th the 'local poor' were given limited public access to what became known as Lambeth Palace Field. Following a campaign for it to have unrestricted opening, in 1900 a licence was granted by the Church Commissioners for it to become a public park, which was laid out and opened in 1901. Various facilities have been added over the years, including a garden area dedicated to Octavia Hill and a community orchard was planted in 2010.


Make towards the back right corner of Archbishop's Park. As you leave the park, the street facing you (Virgil Street) is no-entry. So go along Carlisle Lane to your left, with the railway on your right. At the next junction, turn right into Centaur Street and pass under the railway. At the end, turn left into Hercules Road. At the junction with Kennington Road, opposite Lambeth North Station, go straight ahead into Baylis Road. Waterloo Millennium Green is on your right at the end of Baylis Road, diagonally opposite Emma Cons Gardens, where the ride began.

Waterloo Millennium Green
Waterloo Millennium Green Magnifier

This area was once part of the ancient Lambeth Marsh. The park, created on derelict land, was opened in 2001 and is community owned and managed. It has water features, a wildflower meadow, supervised play area and ball park. Living Space beyond the playground has a café and accessible toilets.


Ride prepared by Colin Wing for the London Parks & Gardens Trust, 2011.

Much of the historical information above comes from the London Parks & Gardens Trust's London Inventory of Historic Green Spaces, a database of over 2,300 sites.

The ride is recommended for use in daylight hours only. Please cycle safely. Ensure that your bicycle is roadworthy and that you can be seen. Follow the Highway Code and use lights in poor visibility. Use a detailed cycle map (see www.tfl.gov.uk/cycling) in conjunction with this material.

All due care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of information in this ride, which is offered in good faith. Please advise us of any changes or inaccuracies you may encounter by writing to LPGT, Duck Island Cottage, St James's Park, London SW1A 2BJ, or email us.