Ankle Deep in Creekside Mud

On the 21st of June I finally got muddy in Deptford Creek with the Creekside Education Trust. The trust regularly runs walks for the general public, and for schools in the local area.

Each walk is organised for low tide as at high tide you would be swimming! You are armed with waders and a trusty stick to keep you upright, and after a briefing in the beautiful surrounds of the flower garden, you are then led down to the creek.

It is a bit smelly, but the pure joy of tramping about in mud soon wafts the aroma of the creek away.



The trust’s base of operations is situated next to the London Bridge to Greenwich Railway Viaduct between Greenwich and Deptford, and the access path to the creek leads you to exact spot where the railway line crosses Deptford Creek.

The bridge itself was modified in 1954 to include a lifting mechanism that allowed boats with tall masts to pass up the creek. The mechanism is now defunct but luckily for us it is safe from removal, and can still be viewed at close proximity from the Ha’Penny Hatch footbridge.

We headed upstream away from the mouth of the Thames, towards the first DLR bridge over the creek. This bit of the DLR crosses the creek three times between Deptford Bridge and Greenwich.

View upstream towards The Art in Perpetuity Trust and Creekside Artists.

Third DLR bridge over the creek with a view towards the boats permanently moored and lived on in the creek.

My beautiful waders protecting me from the sludge and mud.

A little further upstream we cross the creek at a small weir, and we were carefully aided by the volunteers on the slippy bit!

Now renovated flats, the S. P. & C. Mumford Grain Silo was built in 1897 by architect Sir Aston Webb.



A dead crab shell found by our guide, a brief discussion on the creek’s biodiversity followed, plus a bad joke from me…

Guide: How do you check if a crab is male or female?
Me: Check if it has a willy

Cue many laughs and childish giggles. 😀

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Just after the dead crab, we reached the weir at the top of the creek, the weir pushes the water underground as it crosses the A2. Once it resurfaces on the other side it is known as River Ravensbourne, and at Lewisham it joins with another tributary – the River Quaggy.

We then made our way back to the start of the walk to catch some river creatures. You grind the river dirt under your feet to move it about, then see what appears in your net.

View towards the trust’s wild flower garden.

We also walked under the rail bridge and headed towards Trinity Laban‘s dance centre.

View south towards Deptford and Lewisham.

Thank you for an excellent Sunday in the bright sunshine!

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Formed in 1999, the trust’s mission is to “work with the local and wider community to sustain and promote the regeneration of Deptford Creek through education, conservation and the forging of partnerships. The trust also aims to act as a voice for nature conservation and biodiversity in the area.”

The centre itself mainly runs on a volunteer basis and more help is always welcomed, if you would like to get involved with this wonderful organisation please click here.

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Billingsgate Fish Market

5am on a Saturday is not the best way to start the weekend but going to Billingsgate Fish Market is definitely a good enough reason.


It was a wee bit cold though, and dark. 🙁


Foot tunnel running over A1261, the boyfriend insisted we had to get the DLR one stop to Poplar instead of just walking from West India Quay. He did however concede that I was right and this was unnecessary.


The City of London’s site has some great information about the history of the fish market and its original location by London Bridge in central London.

The current building was opened in 1982 and “has 98 stands, 30 shops and 79 offices”, and is one of those odd bits of land run by the City of London Corporation even though it is in the middle of the borough of Tower Hamlets.




Prawns and sea bass from the Asian Fresh stall

I did ask before taking photos as photography at Billingsgate generally requires prior permission. We also bought our sea bass from this trader unlike some of the other snap happy tourists. Hmm.

We bought our huge crab from S&A Hart and our salmon trimmings from another trader who I can’t remember, darn it.


Our reward. The McDonald’s is conveniently situated next to the exit to the market


The boyfriend’s video of the crabs


Beautiful sunrise looking east, taken from the West India Quay DLR platform


£6 for 1.135kg of smoked salmon trimmings. OMG indeed


£10 for four sea bass, the de-scaling was done in the garden at the in-laws, it is so messy!


£24 for four huge crab, post boiling

I would thoroughly recommend a visit to Billingsgate, it is a wonderful place to go and the fish is so cheap. Be prepared to de-scale, gut and fillet your fish of course. You can buy prepared fish but that costs more money and defeats the point of going there in the first place. However, the prepared fish is still cheaper than anything you will find at a supermarket.

My favourite buy would have to be a whole salmon for £10. You need to de-scale, gut and fillet it but you will get up to fourteen fillets plus loads of bits for a really good salmon and leek pie.

If you buy sea bass this Gordon Ramsay recipe is my favourite.

As for our smoked salmon trimmings, I vote for smoked salmon and scrambled egg or cream cheese on bagels for breakfast.

Alternatively, lightly fry some cherry tomatoes in a little olive oil with some balsamic vinegar thrown in at the end. Serve with rocket and smoked salmon with some lemon juice and black pepper mixed in together (credit to the boyfriend for this lovely dish).

But because we have 1.135kg of smoked salmon we can do both, twice. 😀

The market is open from 5am to 8.30am Tuesday to Saturday, and we got up at 5am to get the first DLR from Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich at 5.30am. I would get there by about 6am as the market gets really busy by then and you don’t want to miss out on the good stuff. The market has plenty of parking if you come by car, and of course you can get there earlier if you don’t mind getting a bus.

Be prepared to smell a bit of fish when you get home but that is all part of the fun!

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