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
, height profile
, gpx/kml files
and some photos
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).