Greenhithe Station – Scotland

Greenhithe is now a commuter town that has been boosted by its proximity to the vast shopping centre of Bluewater. It also boasts the Pier Hotel, and has a historic high street.

On 19th May 1845 Sir John Franklin’s expedition ships left from Greenhithe on their way to Stromness in the Orkney Islands, where they took on stores and equipment for the journey to Greenland.

The High Street

With Greenhithe Station only a short distance away, there is much to see and do in the area. The Bluewater shopping complex, river walks and the famous Pier Hotel are just a few of the highlights.

The station itself has undergone considerable modernisation in recent years, with the opening of Bluewater leading to the re-scheduling of all services. A new ticket hall and booking office was constructed between the platforms in 2008, replacing the original SER subway stairwells.

A bridge was also built between the London-bound platform and the bus stop beyond (Fastrack service halts here). This replaced the old stairway, and facilitated disabled access between the platforms. The original “up” side waiting shelter of SER design was demolished, as was the curved roof of the subway stairwell. A new signal box was established upon the ramp at the western end of the ‘up’ platform, and was of the SER in-house design. This was topped by a pyramid-shaped slated roof.

The Pier Hotel

Known for British food, the Pier Hotel is a must-visit pub. The staff is welcoming and friendly, and the prices are democratic. Customers recommend this place to their friends.

Leaving Greenhithe station and walking down the High Street is like traveling back in time. From the apocalyptic vista of concrete highways and dusty construction sites, you’ll find yourself in a village from another time.

There are many places to visit in the area, including Bluewater Shopping Centre and Worchester Park. The riverside walk along the Thames Path National Trail is also a must-do. For those with a car, the M25 is nearby and offers quick access to London. In addition, Greenhithe is connected to the Eurostar at Ebbsfleet International Station. The hamlet is also home to the Thames Valley Railway, a heritage steam train line that travels to Gravesend and Gillingham. The hamlet of Greenhithe is growing in popularity thanks to its proximity to one of the largest shopping centres in the UK and regular trains into central London.

The Sir John Franklin Memorial

The main London box to tick on a tour of Franklin sites, the Sir John Franklin Memorial (link) is a statue of Britain’s polar hero. The bronze sculpture was unveiled here in 1866 as a result of a campaign by Lady Franklin to get a statue of her husband erected in Trafalgar Square.

It would be hard to find a more significant Franklin location than this. Greenhithe Station was where the two state-of-the-art hulks, Erebus and Terror, set sail for the Northwest Passage on their disastrous voyage, and bits and pieces of their fate were found across the Arctic, often by Franklin searchers.

The station was refurbished by Network Rail in 2006, with the addition of a new building midway along the “down” platform. This new structure was a more modern design, with elevations clad in orange tiles and a flat roof overhanging it. The SER’s diamond-shaped gas lamps were replaced by swan neck variants.

The Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark is an immersive experience for the whole family. Kids can explore interactive displays that evoke the sights and smells of life at sea, take part in activities, or visit the lower deck to walk underneath the hull of this historic ship!

The Cutty Sark was built for the great tea races between England and China. A fashion developed among Victorians for consuming tea twice daily, so the race was fierce to bring back the fastest ship with the precious cargo.

This famous clipper was a close contender for first place in 1883 when she sailed from Newcastle with 4,289 bales of wool, arriving in London in just 83 days, 25 days faster than Thermopylae. Her captain, Moodie, was offered a PS50 bonus for winning the race, but declined. The prize went to the ship’s carpenter, Henry Henderson. He built a new rudder in just six days, working in gales and heavy seas that tossed the men around.

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