Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Sports Relief 2016 – Cisco Bedfont to City office Thames Walk

April 21, 2016

I am very fortunate to work for a company that encourages employees’ charity volunteering activities and where Cisco really shows its commitment to its Corporate Social Responsibilities.

Each year Cisco staff have taken part in fund raising for Sports Relief and the 2016 activities in March included a walk from one Cisco office in Bedfont Lakes to another the City of London. Now this might sound quite trivial and straight forward, which is exactly what I thought, but as you will see, it was a little bit more than a casual walk and I sorely regretted my lack of preparation.

The route – some of the participants had done this walk two years ago but the exact distance was not clear. Google maps showed JSSthe shortest distance to be around 18 miles but following the Thames is anything but straight so it was bound to be further.

The participants – We were a varied group with people starting the walk at Bedfont Lakes, or joining in at Twickenham or at Putney.

The start – 6.30 at Bedfont Lakes and the motley crew set off aiming to stop in Twickenham to pick up more walkers.

The weather was very chilly that day and the extra clothes we had been advised to bring were definitely necessary. From Bedfont Lakes to Twickenham along the Crane River through Crane Park, and passing close to Twickenham Stadium and the Stoop, was much more pleasant than the expected main road route. 

The First stop – Over Twickenham bridge at 9am for bacon sandwiches and to pick up more walkers. From here the route was all along the Thames with fantastic views of Richmond and Kew

There was a lot of activity on the river with plenty of “8’s” going through their paces past Fulham Football club. When we approached Putney bridge the number of boats being unloaded was a good reminder of the Easter boat race taking place a week later.

Second stop – 1 pm at Putney to have lunch and add some more walkers

At this point feet were aching and blisters appearing and I made the brave decision to change out of my rubbing trainers and into more comfortable casual shoes. After a relaxing lunch we all struggled to stand up and start walking again 


The Last leg – heading for the City office in Finsbury Circus took us through Wandsworth Park and Battersea Park and along to the many new building sites between Battersea Power Station and Vauxhall Bridge. These caused several very disheartening diversions to get round blocked river walks, and this was the hardest part on the legs as the route was on pavements.

Further along by the Southbank, avoiding the many tourists was a real struggle but finally we reached the Millennium bridge and across to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Arrival – We did use the lift to get to the 7th floor for an exhausted finishing photo and finally sitting down.

But that was not the end as we all had to get home with legs that would hardly move and I found myself having to try and run for a train. Working it out later with a map and route finder the distance was at least 26.4 miles depending on detours and final route though London so we had walked further than the London Marathon

Recovery – The next day was all painful hobbling with knees, ankles and feet suffering. I would not recommend doing this kind of walk without well worn-in footwear with shock absorbing soles so it is off the custom trainer shop for me.

When all is said and done, the experience of walking past all the bridges between Twickenham and the Millennium Bridge, combined with fund raising and meeting and chatting with new colleagues, was well worth the effort.

To see more about Cisco CSR please visit


Leave a comment


  1. Amazing efforts! Sounds like it met all the goals – good laugh, meeting new colleagues and, of course, fundraising for Sport Relief!