One of the highest points near to the Thames is Cox’s Mount in Maryon Park, Charlton in South-East London. Here you can reach almost 100 feet above sea level. Yes, almost 100 feet! The views of the Thames are impressive, with the Dome and North Greenwich to the West, and beyond them Greenwich itself. The Thames Barrier is immediately to the North, and a little to the East across the river is the Tate and Lyle factory at Silvertown.
Go at the right time and you have the place to yourself, and you feel as if you could be walking in proper hills, except for the built-up areas visible through the trees below. These slopes are steep, and the result of sand works known as Gilbert’s Pit, dug from 1880 to 1938. Some of the sand found its way into the casting moulds at the nearby Woolwich Arsenal. Cox’s Mount survives on the remaining ridge left by the excavations and has yielded pottery remains indicating a Romano-British settlement.
Ian McDiarmid is a qualified City of London Tour Guide who delivers guided walks and private tours in London. View all of Ian’s walking tours.