Magnificent views and an intriguing finale, that’s what this route brings.

But before I even reached Plumstead I got a great big shiny bum in my face. The bloke next to me on the bus stood up and his already low-riding jeans decided to give up the ghost completely. Even more unfortunate for me was the fact he was riding public transport commando style. Unpleasant.

But back to the walk:

Starting point: Plumstead Common, reachable by bus from Woolwich.

Finishing point: Mottingham railway station.

Length: 6.2 miles (10km)

I attached myself to the start of section 4 of the Green Chain, where I passed by the day before. Looking south the height of Shooter’s Hill promised views with its tree-lined slopes and patches of open grassland.

You climb very quickly from the main road beside the Common and in no more than ten minutes you are indeed being rewarded with glimpses of city centre views through the hedgerow on the right.

I clocked and skirted puddles with the last vestiges of winter ice stretching across them. Temperatures were on the rise but the harsh winds whipping in from the North Sea were keep things frozen.

The path edged through Shrewsbury Park and sadly avoided the benches at the summit of the main slope. On this occasion they were islands in a wide expanse of boggy grass but the views from them, looking east, are breathtaking.

The view from Shrewsbury Park, Green Chain section 4

Mud becomes unavoidable after this as you need to cross the park for an unremarkable alley beside the golf course. The suburban walk from here to the top of Shooter’s Hill was filled with residents going about their mundane business in silence. It feels middle class and content. Shooter's Hill water tower, Green Chain section 4The perfect tennis courts belonging to the Shooter’s Hill club a testament to local priorities.

Eaglesfield Recreation Ground provides even loftier views and a small playground before you finally get to meet the monolith that watches over the Green Chain walk.

Shooter’s Hill water tower is quite stern but pretty up close. I’ve long watched out for its pointy roof as I traversed the fields and parks of south-east London so it feels like a friendly landmark.

I wanted to stand and snap it for a while but workmen were bustling around all the best viewpoints so I passed on.

The cafe overlooking Oxleas Meadow, Green Chain and Capital RingCrown Woods lane smells like dung and yeast, fermenting horse droppings? It’s pungent but not repulsive. At the bottom you meet the wonderfully verdant vista of most of south-east London in one go. The café sheltered a few sad looking walkers, even though the day was pristine, so I avoided going in – as I did last time.

Passing the outdoor gym was amusing as young kids tried to master the treadmill whilst also ignoring semi-agitated parental urges to catch up on their half-term walk.

Oxleas Wood came and went easily. I’ve seen a lot of this place recently and every time it grows on me. It’s a thick piece of woodland with clear paths. Almost unpassable after heavy rain but only mildly damp the rest of the time.

Now I followed section 7 of the Green Chain as I did on my walk from Thamesmead, but this time I wanted to hit the ‘Tarns’ at Mottingham.

I discovered the Shuttle Riverway existed and started in Avery Hill Park – another walk for the future!

Outdoor gym in Fairy Hill Recreation Ground, Green Chain

Passing Charlton Athletic’s training ground I watched their keepers flying around saving shots. The rest of the squad fiddled around with cones and dribbling practise. I wanted to take photos here but two PCSOs were walking my path, picking up bits and pieces from the verges as if they were Eltham CSI, so I got out of there before I became embroiled in the plot. Whatever that was…

I finally took the Green Chain beyond New Eltham train station for the first time and explored the small park and the green space next door. Which is completely dull and pointless. You simply circumnavigate a rectangle of grass and pass a dilapidated club house or changing rooms. Two youths mounted their bikes and rode away as I approached, and that was honestly the highlight of this patch. Woo.

You follow back streets for a few minutes until Fairy Hill Recreation Ground, a park with a lot packed into a small area. Another one of those outdoor gym collections, a kiddies playground, and absolutely shocking instructions to call 999 in emergencies. Tatty tennis courts provide a natty contrast to those seen an hour earlier.

Holed tennis nets in Fairy Hill Recreation Ground, Green Chain

Oh, and surely the only icicles left in the area were those clinging to a lonely and completely sunbathed tree.

Icicle in Fairy Hill Recreation Ground, the only one left in London perhaps

Finally and just around the corner comes the Tarn. Was it worth it? Well, yes actually. It’s an odd pond in a dip beside Mottingham Station. The ducks and geese mooch about being pretty and the gardeners work hard to further beautify the banks. There are plenty of places to sit for a bit. Even the decked bridge across the tarn has four small benches on it. The best thing of all is the old Ice Well just before you leave.

Ducks in Mottingham Tarn, Green Chain section 7

Designed to store ice taken from the water’s surface, and retained for Eltham Palace, it would have been covered with thatch to keep it frozen as long as possible.

Ice Well in The Tarn, Green Chain

Mulling on the value of medieval ice I ended my walk just here but you can continue the extra half mile to join the Capital Ring and Green Chain just south of the Palace. Frankly I didn’t see the point as for me there wasn’t anything new to see there and the the transport connections aren’t as good.

For me it finished off the Green Chain once and for all. It’s been a great network of short walks which surpassed my expectations and corrected many long-held prejudices I held about this part of town. This walk provides plenty of views early on and then is just pleasant enough to keep you interested before the intriguing finale. Not my favourite Green Chain route but as ever it is worth your time.