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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Saturday Third Walk - Fully Revised: Wooded Hills, Nature Reserves and panoramic Thames Valley Views

SWC Walk 114 – Laindon Circular

Length: 20.8 km (12.9 mi) [shortcuts possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  370 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 4 ¾ hours
Toughness:  6 out of 10 

First posting of this new version of a former map-lead walk, which has now been enlarged and fully written up. We will take the opportunity to check the walk directions.

Take the 09.30 Shoeburyness train from Fenchurch Street (5 mins walk from Tower Hill or Aldgate tubes, 10 mins from Bank or L'pool Street), arriving Laindon at 09.59
On route the train calls: West Ham at 09.38 (DLR, Jubilee, H’smith & City and District Lines), Barking at 09.43  (Overground, H’smith & City and District Lines) and Upminster at 09.51 (District Line). Return trains: XX.05, XX.19, XX.35 and  XX.49 hours (34-37 minutes journey time)

This is an energetic and varied figure-of-eight walk through some tranquil, hilly parts of Essex, mostly through woods, both ancient and modern, and through flower-rich meadows and some farmland, which are all parts of Langdon Hills Country Park and the neighbouring Langdon Nature Reserve (which itself consists of five separate reserves). The hills form a crescent shaped ridge running West-to-East, giving panoramic views over the Thames Estuary from many points: out to Canvey Island and Fobbing Marshes in the East, across to Kent and to London’s Skyline in the West. The lunch destination Horndon-on-the-Hill is a conservation area and features several noteworthy buildings as well as a multi-award winning pub. On the return you walk through more beautiful, undulating woods and through the Dunton Plotlands part of the Nature Reserve, an interesting area formerly full of bungalows and chalets for Londoners.

The recommended lunch pub is the award-winning The Bell Inn (10.4 km/6.5 mi), an alternative is the Swan Inn next door. The bar area at The Bell Inn operates on a first-come-first-serve basis, so fast walkers should have no problem finding a place there. But to be sure of seats for the slow and medium paced walkers, a table has been booked in the restaurant area. For tea the Langdon Nature Reserve Visitor Centre is passed 3.1 km from the end of the walk. 

For  walk directions, map, height profile, gpx/kml files and some photos click here.
Two Shortcuts are possible: they reduce the walk by 2.4 km or by 2.7 km respectively and the rating to 5/10;
or to 4/10 when walking both Shortcuts (resulting in a 15.7 km/300m height gain-walk).


DAC said...

Intend going.

Unknown said...

Hello everyone, Can someone who is coming meet me at Laindon? I am coming with the train, my first time and would be good to join someone who knows the route.

Thank you,

Walker said...

The group will be obvious when you get off the train (if not before! Look for a bunch of walkers while on the train, if you like).

Otherwise you will see them easily on the platform on arrival at Laindon and I am sure they will make you very welcome. At least one person (see previous comment) has already said they are going, and it sounds like the walk poster is going too. And I am sure there will be others.

So don't worry: it all works.

Unknown said...

Now I might do that walk on Saturday. But I can't Guarantee I will.

Unknown said...

thanks all. very much look forward to it.

Kelda said...


Despite being a little soggy it was a lovely morning meandering through pretty woods and fields.

Lunch was a delicious restaurant-quality affair at the well-renowned Bell Inn at Horndon-on-the-Hill. Service was a little on the slow-side but the food was well worth the wait and it also gave a chance for the rain to pass!

The weather brightened up throughout the afternoon, so we were able to enjoy the stunning views across the London skyline. Afternoon tea and cake was devoured at the Langdon visitor centre before a quick jaunt around the Plotlands and back to the station with plenty of time for a couple of beers back in London.

A lovely (slightly soggy) day.