Grand Surrey Canal, Royal Navy Victualling Yard, Greenland Dock

(1 customer review)

Surrey Quays Overground railway station

Guided by Canal Guides

Walk Times

Day Walk Type Start Time End Time
4 September 2022 Tour du Jour 2.30 pm 4.30 pm Summer

Short read: Fire in the hole!

N.B. this walk has to be booked. It is a towpath walk – space is limited – and in consequence, we strictly limit the number of walkers to 14. More than 15 people (guide plus walkers) it is impossible to maintain social distancing.

Long read: Avast! All hands on deck! Action stations! Anchors away! Cunard liners and Dunkirk Little ship and timber-laden barquentines and Thames sailing barges and London’s largest marina and Phoenix section of the Mulberry Harbour being built and floated out before D-Day and rum and ship’s biscuit and… well, we could be in 1805. Or 1905. Or 1605. Or May 28, 1940. Or June 6, 1944. We’ve got an old canal here. And a dock. And memories – let alone traces – of the Royal Navy’s leading victualling yard.

Walking this stretch fore to aft – maybe the dimensions of a couple of Super Tankers laid bow to stern – is to stowaway in the past. Decks heaving with history. Awash with memories. The tang of salt-sea air. What a past. This place kept Nelson’s fleet fed and seaworthy.  It built some of his ships that fought at Trafalgar. Samuel Pepys visited it when he forged the scabbard that held the sword that Nelson used. Still further back – a sou’wester ripping the calendar pages off and carrying us way back – we’ve got Elizabeth I knighting Sir Francis Drake. And still further back – topsails just glimpsable, coming over the horizon –  her father, King Henry VIII’s shipyard. Our canal and dock and victualling yard lead on to the Thames of course. And to walk there: ZOWIE! It’s like crow’s nesting our naval, our maritime history. A view of the Cutty Sark and Greenwich Naval College. On to Greenland Dock (the earliest wet dock in London – more than a century older than St. Katherine’s Dock – it served the East India Company’s ships). Arr! Shiver me timbers! Becalmed your historical imagination ain’t gonna at the end of your watch. 1630 hours. Tea ration time. Steady as she goes.


The Grand Surrey Canal – Royal Navy Victualling Yard & Greenland Dock walk takes place at 2.30 pm on Sunday, March 6 and at 2.30 pm on Sunday, June 5 and at 2.30 pm on Sunday, September 4.

Meeting place is Surrey Quays Overground Station.



If you can’t make one of the regularly scheduled, just-turn-up, Grand Surrey Canal, Royal Navy Victualling Yard, Greenland Dock it can always be booked as a private tour. If you go private you can have the Grand Surrey Canal, Royal Navy Victualling Yard, Greenland Dock walk – or any other London Walk – on a day and at a time that suits your convenience. We’ll tailor it to your requirements. Ring Fiona or Mary on 020 7624 3978 or email us at [email protected] and we’ll set it up and make it happen for you. A private London Walk – they’re good value for an individual or couple and sensational value for a group – makes an ideal group or educational or birthday party or office (team-building) or club outing.


A private London Walk makes a fab gift – be it a birthday or anniversary or Christmas present or whatever. Merchandise schmerchandise (gift wrapped or not) – but giving someone an experience, now that’s special. Memories make us rich.


Don’t just take it from us.


1 review for Grand Surrey Canal, Royal Navy Victualling Yard, Greenland Dock

  1. WendyF

    A fascinating walk around a part of London that has changed so substantially in the recent past following the closure of the working docks. Our guide Roger was a mine of information on the maritime history of the area and really brought to life the days when the river, docks and canal were bustling with craft, as well as bringing us up to date with Greenland Dock’s more recent history. Well worth visiting this often overlooked part of south London.

Add A Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *