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Day Trips From Woolwich That Won’t Break The Bank: No. 2

February 20, 2013

From The Hill To The Valley

A walk from Woolwich to Charlton Athletic’s heartland, via Shooters Hill

Welcome to the second in my series of cost-conscious day trips from Woolwich. I reckon a ticket to a Charlton Athletic game offers excellent value for money; the footy is usually exciting and skillful with some moments of real magic (like Haynes’ goal away at Leicester). And even when the playing is a bit flat, the supporters are anything but! Tickets are a fraction of the cost of a Premier League game and I reckon it’s more fun. On a good day, more than 20,000 Addicks would agree.

Game day at The Valley.

Game day at The Valley.

How: On foot, using Green Chain paths to take you up to Oxleas Wood and then to Charlton, returning to Woolwich on the 177 bus.

Details: If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Addick you might find this post a bit redundant as you’ll be going to the game anyway. You’ll already have your time-honoured, pre- and post-games rituals sorted (as my Twitter feed reveals every Saturday). But if you’ve never walked down Floyd Road on game day, listen  up.

Breakfast at The Great Harry in Woolwich (£4-£6) will give you the fuel you’ll need for a morning of walking up and down hills. The nosh and the hills will get your heart pumping in readiness to cheer on those mighty Addicks (tickets start at £20-£25 and pre-ordering is best, see

After polishing off your full English, walk up Woolwich New Road until you reach Woolwich Common. Once you get past the post-Olympics quagmire, head onto the common and find the path than runs parallel with Academy Road . Look out for the Green Chain signs pointing south (see The path will take you up through the common, across Shooters Hill Road, through Oxleas Meadow and past Severndroog Castle. Pause to admire this 18th-century folly before sauntering through Oxleas Wood, an 8,000-year-old forest, until you get to the clearing near the cafe. The view over Eltham is stunning, and you can enjoy it with a well-earned cuppa.

The clearing in Oxleas Wood, on Shooters Hill.

The clearing in Oxleas Wood, on Shooters Hill.

Then, return to Woolwich Common and continue on the Green Chain through Hornfair Park, Charlton Park, and down through Maryon Wilson Park, to Maryon Park, until you reach Woolwich Road. Walk a few steps in the direction of Greenwich and you’ll soon work out where The Valley is by following the crowds. Timing is of the essence at this stage. An important part of any trip to The Valley is to have a pint (£3.50-£4) at the Rose of Denmark before the game. Kick-off is usually 3pm so aim to rock up to the pub at about 1:30 and get bantering with the fans. If the game is a big one, the Rose of Denmark will be the busiest boozer you’ve ever seen, and 90 percent chaps.

I won’t go on about what it’s like to be at a game, because there are some expert bloggers who do a much better job than I ever could (see and and I’ll only add that when the place erupts after a goal and the Covered End is in full voice, there’s no place in London I’d rather be on a Saturday afternoon.

After the game, a chicken doner at the Charlton Kebab House on Charlton Church Lane will take care of that gnawing sensation in your vitals. Then, the 177 bus will convey you back to Woolwich to the hot bath you’ll have been dreaming about since early on in the second half.

Timing note: I’ve walked all that I’ve described here, but not all at once. I’ve calculated that you’d need to head off from Woolwich at about 10.30am to do the whole lot at a leisurely pace and get to the Rose of Denmark in time for a pint.

Kebab note: I’ve eaten a chicken doner at the Charlton Kebab House and can recommend one for post-game nourishment. I can’t remember exactly what it cost but it was good value. Go for a small unless you’re famished. Small is BIG in Kebab Land. The CKH chilli sauce beats the garlic sauce for mine.

Charlton Athletic note: At this stage of the season (which finds Charlton sitting mid-table) there’s more than a handful of great home games left. There’s Nottingham Forest on February 23 and Burnley on March 2. Later in March, Millwall and Bolton visit the Valley, followed by Leeds and Wolves in April, then Bristol City on May 4.

Severndroog Castle, Oxleas Wood on Shooters Hill.

Severndroog Castle, Oxleas Wood on Shooters Hill.

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