The Pool of London is the stretch of the River Thames from London Bridge to just below Tower Bridge. In existence for over 1000 years with trading on this part of the river dating back to roman times it is why London grew into one of the world’s major cities.
Starting and finishing at the Monument underground station our self-guided walk takes you across London Bridge, through ancient passage ways and paths to Tower Bridge and beyond.
Returning via the Tower of London you will walk past beautiful riverside buildings and through historic markets to top tourist attractions and museums. Many of the original wharfs still remain, converted into shops, restaurants, cafes and bars making the Pool of London an ideal place to walk, rest and relax.
Leisure walker: 2 hours
Power walker: 45 minutes
START: Monument Underground: Northern , District and Circle Lines
→ London Bridge → Southwark Catherdral → Borough Market → Clink Prison
→ Golden Hinde → London Bridge Experance
→ Hay's Galleria → Britain at War
→ London Dungeon → H.M.S. Belfast
→ City Hall → Shad Thames
→ Design Museum→ Butler Wharf
→ Tower Bridge → St Katherin's Dock
→ Tower of London → Monument (Great Fire of London)
FINISH: Monument Underground: Northern , District and Circle Lines
POOL OF LONDON WALK
London Bridge was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973 having replaced a 19th century bridge that was sold and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The oldest crossing point of the tidal Thames the first bridge was built here by the Romans in AD52. The famous medieval bridge was lined both sides with houses and shops and lasted for over 600 years.
Southwark Cathedral is the oldest cathedral church in London. Built on the site of a roman villa and later 7th century convent this 13th century church was the first example of gothic architecture in London. Home to the Bishop of Southwark, inside you can see remains of the Roman Villa's paving and a Norman arch. John Harvard was baptised here 1607.
A market at Borough, with its strategic riverside location, has been trading for over
a 1000 of years. Now a wholesale fruit and vegetable market it comes to life for three days a week as London’s most popular ‘fine food’ retail market selling
produce from all around the world. The 19th century buildings are often used by television chefs and the surrounding streets as a film set.
The Clink, named after the rattling of chains prisoners wore, was first and most notorious medieval prison in England. Built in the 12th century by the Bishop of Winchester to stem the rising crime near his Palace the prison was burned down in 1780. The Clink Prison Museum is in the basement of a 19th century warehouse, on the original site of the prison.
The Golden Hinde was Sir Francis Drake’s flagship during his famous 1577-80 round-the-world voyage. Preserved by Elizabeth I as Britain’s first museum ship the original English galleon rotted away in the late 17th century. This fully working replica, which has also circumnavigated the globe, was launched in 1973 and is moored St Mary Overie Dock.
Three of London’s top tourist attractions; the horrific and gruesome London Tombs, formerly a plague pit in vaults below London Bridge; a museum of ‘horrible history’", brought to life by an actor-led interactive experience; recall the London Blitz with sights, sounds and smells and take cover in a recreation of a London Underground air raid shelter.
Hay’s Galleria was created from one of the Pool of London’s busiest 19th century wharfs. At its height Hay’s Wharf landed most of London’s imported dry produce, included tea. The wharf, dock and surrounding warehouses were converted in the 1980’s into a range of shops, offices, cafes and restaurants popular with locals and tourists.
H.M.S Belfast, designed for the protection of trade and offensive action, was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1939. Seeing much action in WWII Belfast was the largest and most powerful cruiser in the Royal Navy. Equipped with advanced radar systems, her massive fire power protected arctic convoys the opened up firing on the 1945 D-day landings.
City Hall is the main offices for London’s governing elected body, the London Assembly, led by the Mayor of London. The bulbous shape building was designed by Norman Foster using similar design techniques he used on the rebuilding of the Reichstag (parliament) in Germany. Opened 2002 the 10 story ‘leaning glass sphere’ has an internal rising ramp that rises to the top of the building.
Butler Wharf was the largest warehouse complex in the Pool of London. Now a collection of leading restaurants, shops and bars the pretty Shad Thames runs its length. The Design Museum promotes the contemporary design, showcasing the talents of the world’s best designers and architects
through a collection and programme of exhibitions.
Tower Bridge, one of London’s leading landmarks, is probably the most famous bridge in the world. Opened in 1894 by the Prince of Wales, the draw bridges two huge 1000 ton bascules can be raised in less than 5 minutes to allow river traffic into the upper Pool of London. At the top, in the covered pedestrian walkway which offers spectacular views of London, is an exhibition.
St Katharine Dock was built in 1828 on the site of the medieval hospital of St. Katharine. Once a thriving commercial port handling valuable cargoes from the West Indies to the Far East the docks are now home to warehouse apartments and numerous shops, cafes and restaurants. The original docks twin basins are used for a marina where luxury yachts lie next to historic Thames barges.
The Tower of London, build by William the Conqueror after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, is the oldest Normal Castle in England and oldest complete building in London. Home to the Crown Jewels and guarded by the famous Beefeaters it has played a prominent role in English history, as defensive fort, royal palace, prison, execution site, royal mint and royal menagerie.
The Monument, designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1671 on the orders of Charles II, was built to commemorate the 1666 Great Fire of London and to celebrate the rebuilding of the City. The Monument at 61.5m is the tallest free-standing stone-column in the world. The viewing platform near the top is reached by climbing 311 spiral steps.
Pool of London Walk - Interactive Google Sightseeing Map
MONUMENT to GOLDEN HINDE
Our Pool of London Wall STARTS at Monument Underground Station. Come out of the station at the Cannon Street EXIT and turn sharp left. Walk down the west (right hand) side of KING WILLIAM STREET EC4 onto LONDON BRIDGE. Continue over the right-hand side of LONDON BRIDGE to Glaziers Hall. Take the narrow flight of steps behind Glaziers Hall down onto MONTAGUE CLOSE SE1 (Thames Path) and turn right at the bottom. Follow Montague Close around to the left, walking behind Southwark Cathedral.
Turn right onto WINCHESTER WALK SE1 then left through Jubilee Market into Borough Market. After walking around the markets exit left back onto Winchester Walk. At the end turn right into STONEY STREET SE1 then left into CLINK STREET SE1 for the Clink Prison Museum.
Re-trace your steps back along Clink Street into PICKFORD'S WHARF SE1. Passing the 12th century ruins of Winchester Palace walk up to the Golden Hinde.
GOLDEN HINDE to SHAD THAMES
(London Bridge to Tower Bridge)
Walk around the front of the Golden Hinde onto CATHEDRAL STREET SE1, and then turning sharp left back into MONTAGUE CLOSE SE1. Follow the road under LONDON BRIDGE to the London Bridge Experience.
From the London Bridge Experience continue under LONDON BRIDGE into TOOLEY STREET SE1. Turn left down the narrow passage way just before Saint Clave House, turning right at the end onto the Thames Path (The Queen’s Walk). Walk along the riverside path to Hay’s Galleria.
For the Britain at War and London Dungeon attractions walk through Hay's Galleria back onto Tooley Street, turn right and cross the road. Walk back through Hay's Galleria to re-join the walk.
Continue along the riverside path pass Hay’s Galleria to H.M.S. Belfast.
Continue along the riverside path from H.M.S. Belfast to City Hall.
Continue along the riverside path from City Hall to Tower Bridge.
SHAD THAMES to ST KATHERIN'S DOCK
Walk under Tower Bridge and along the narrow SHAD THAMES SE1 road to
the Design Museum.
From the Design Museum walk back to Tower Bridge along the riverside path, in front of Butler's Wharf restaurants and shops, to the passage way at the end that leads back through to SHAD THAMES SE1. Turn right and continue back to TOWER BRIDGE.
Walk up the
west (left hand) flight of steps onto TOWER BRIDGE and walk across to the first flight of steps on the other side. Walk down the steps on to ST KATHERINE'S WAY E1. St Katharine's Way.
ST KATHERINE'S DOCK to MONUMENT
After walking round St Katherine's dock take the footpath leading to the front of the Tower Thistle Hotel and continue back to TOWER BRIDGE. Walk under Tower Bridge along the cobbled road to the Tower of London and Traitors Gate. Continue along the river front path past, Three Quays, Sugar Quays, Customs House and Old Billingsgate Market to LONDON BRIDGE.
Walk under the first part of LONDON BRIDGE, turn right and take the steps up onto LONDON BRIDGE. Turn right at the top of the steps on to KING WILLIAM STREET EC4. Continue a short distance and turn right into MONUMENT STREET EC4for the Monument column.