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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.

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Sunday, 11 December 2016

Sunday Walk 2 – A Nature Reserve on the Thames Path

Extra Walk 172 – Rainham to Purfleet via RSPB reserve
Length: About 12.8 km (8 miles). Toughness: 1/10

10:19 Grays train from Fenchurch Street (Limehouse 10:23, West Ham 10:28, Barking 10:34), arriving Rainham at 10:42. There are several ways to connect with this train en route, eg. Jubilee or District line at West Ham.

Trains back from Purfleet to Fenchurch Street are at 06 & 36 minutes past the hour. Rainham is in TfL Zone 6 and Purfleet just outside it, but you can use Oyster at both stations.

This isn't really a country walk, more a stroll on surfaced paths along the “evocative and atmospheric” (translator's note: bleak) Thames Path on the capital's eastern fringe. In less than two hours you'll reach the RSPB's Rainham Marshes reserve, where the café is open to non-visitors for lunch and/or tea. There's a good view across the nature reserve from the visitor centre but RSPB members will probably want to spend the afternoon exploring it (£5 entry for non-members) before heading for Purfleet station. However, you could devise a route back to Rainham or even continue along the Thames Path to Grays, though I understand that this extension isn't particularly rewarding.

You'll need to print the directions from the Extra Walk 172 page.


David Colver said...

n=1. Just me on this walk, on a day bright_enough_to_give_slight_sunburn. The designated train wasn't running, so it was necessary to take one bound for somewhere else as far as Barking, then a bus. Possibly others did something similar before or after me, but I never saw them if they did.

The RSPB cafe was much as these things always are, save that it was rather cramped due to the erection of a Christmas Fair in the restaurant, with most of the tables in course of diversion to the display of craft wares of that rather earnest kind most likely to test recipients' skills in feigning gratitude when they appear as Christmas presents in two weeks time.

The Royal Hotel 500m beyond the RSPB is so beaten up that it looked abandoned from the river. The impression was reinforced in the car park on other side of the building, where the first car had a completely flat tyre and had obviously travelled nowhere in some time. The grass was unmown and the plants in the window boxes look like plants in any window boxes I have ever owned, ie dead. The sign announcing the name and owner had been removed from high up on the wall, leaving its outline on the paint. The place was in fact open, but looked so frayed that I didn't dare venture beyond the lobby. I suggest it is removed in the walk notes until someone braver than me determines that it is as a viable lunch stop.

The notes have this walk just right. It's not a country walk, but it's a distinctive corner of the country that I'm glad to have had the opportunity to see.

David F said...

I planned to do the walk as well today, but started at the previous stage of the LOOP (Upminster Bridge), adding 4 miles to the walk. I got to Rainham station and saw that no trains were running, so decided to return to Barking and southeast London. I've walked the LOOP four times, so know the Rainham to Purfleet stretch very well. I recommend doing the extra four miles from Upminster Bridge tube station if this walk is done again. It's mud-free, so can be done any time of year.