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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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Monday, 2 April 2018

Easter Monday - Double Bill: East London Short Walks --- The Ingrebourne Valley (Hornchurch to Upminster) [New Walk] [Walk-Check]

Length: 11.7 km (7.3 mi) [shorter and longer walks possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  90m
Net Walking Time: ca. 2 ½ hours

Arrive at Hornchurch station for a 14.00 start. Hornchurch Underground Station is in Zone 6, on the District Line to Upminster. Journey time from Aldgate East is 36 minutes, from Victoria 53 minutes. You can shave off time by taking mainline trains from Fenchurch Street (or from Limehouse or West Ham) to Upminster and then travel back a couple of stops on the Underground. Upminster Station is also in Zone 6 and served by the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway from Fenchurch Street (journey time 22 minutes, via Limehouse, West Ham and Barking), as well as the terminus of the District Line and of the Romford to Upminster Overground. Return trains to Fenchurch Street: xx.21, xx.25, xx.51, xx.55.

The part of the Ingrebourne Valley walked through on this walk comprises a varied and unique mixture of interlinked and partly overlapping local green spaces - Ingrebourne Valley Greenway, Berwick Glades, Berwick Woods, Hornchurch Country Park, Ingrebourne Hill and the Sutton, Hacton and Gaynes Parkways. These include habitats ranging from river, open water, grassland, secondary and ancient woodland, marshland, fenland (with the largest continuous area of freshwater reed beds in Greater London), and – not to forget – some arable farmland.
Partly former airfield, ex-quarries, farmland or landfill site, it is now a continuous green space and contains – pound for pound – one of the best viewpoints of London’s Skyline, from all of 11 metres above sea!

Walk Options:
Several shortcuts are possible, as the southerly parts of the outbound and return routes are running close to each other, these are obvious on the route map.
Bus Stops for services to District Line stations are located close to the route after 8.0 km and 9.2 km.
Follow the outbound route back to Hornchurch station instead of going to Upminster: cut 1.8 km.
An Extension through Berwick Woods to the reed-fringed Berwick Pond adds 1.4 km.

For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here.
Tea:  Ingrebourne Valley Visitor Centre (open to 17.00, located 3.9 km from the end of the walk).
Several cafés, bistros and restaurants in Upminster, and also…
The Crumpled Horn A Marston’s pub. Food served.
The Upminster Tap Room South West Essex CAMRA Pub of the Year 2017, with a wide variety of excellent ales, and also selling well chilled Wine and Prosecco. No food. 
The Junction A Greene King pub. Food served to 21.30 every day. T=short.34

3 comments:

Thomas G said...

Note that the Upminster Tap Room has a 'Beer, Cider & Gin Festival (+ Wine & Prosecco)' on over Easter. Open to 21.00 on Easter Monday.

Anonymous said...

Hoping to join you for this pm section of the walk.

Thomas G said...

After the morning walk from Dagenham East we lost 10 walkers to appointments or 'mud-fatigue', but gained 5 others, endorsing the concept of a Double Bill of walks in close proximity. So n=11 in w=dry-with-one-short-period-of-drizzle type weather.
The overnight deluge on already sodden ground meant that a some of the (mostly tarmac) paths had standing water on them, which mostly was easy to walk around though. But it also meant that two critical areas were flooded, so much that in case 1 only dogged determination to find an alternative route through the trees and undergrowth saved us from cutting out the 'arable fields'-stretch of the route, and in case 2 it necessitated a diversion along a higher lying path (this will be added to text and gpx).
We got to the Ingrebourne Visitor Centre in good time for a tea stop, and this proved to be a very welcoming place with a good selection of drinks and food (although sadly they had just run out of clotted cream) and some fine views over the marshland pond SSSI from the dining area.
At the end most went to the Upminster Taproom, and stayed for a few hours to give everyone a chance to get through the very varied drinks menu in pretty convivial atmosphere.
All in, I think everone agreed this to be a surprisingly varied route with plenty of interesting features (incl. several relics from the RAF Hornchurch days) on the very outskirts of London.