Rainham to Grays walk

Dracula, outdoor art, concrete barges, an ace nature reserve, industrial sculpture, history and heritage, accompanied by the mighty Thames.


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date # Post
Sun, 21-Jan-18 2

Sunday Walk: Rainham to Purfleet or Grays

Rainham to Purfleet or Grays
Length: 12.8km (8 miles) or 16.2km (10.1 miles) Toughness: 2/10

If you’re fed up with winter mud, this is an easy walk on firm surfaces along an atmospheric stretch of the Thames Path just outside London, with alternative options for the afternoon.

After traversing the edge of the RSPB reserve at Rainham Marshes, lunch can be taken at the RSPB Visitor Centre cafe at the far end of the marshes. Those with an interest in birdwatching can then explore the marshes at leisure or join the guided Wildlife Walk starting at 1pm at the Visitor Centre. In either case, you’ll finish the walk with a short 1km stroll to Purfleet station.

If your tastes tend more towards industrial heritage, you can continue along the Thames Path after lunch, passing the Purfleet Heritage and Military Centre (closes 3pm), to proceed to Grays on a challenging route through dramatic industrial landscapes and under the soaring Dartford bridge. On the way is a location used in ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ and another associated with Dracula as well as an amazing exhibition of graffiti art. The extensive fly-tipping that formerly blighted part of this stretch appears to have been removed and there have been no recent reports of it resuming.

10:19 Grays train from Fenchurch Street (Limehouse 10:23, West Ham 10:28) arriving Rainham at 10:42.

Return trains from Grays to Fenchurch Street are at xx:00 (Purfleet xx:06), xx:11, xx:30 (Purfleet xx:36) and xx:41 (journey time 37 mins). Buy an off-peak day return to Purfleet or Grays, according to your preferred destination.

You can find further information and the walk directions for both options:
Rainham Marshes & Purfleet, and
Rainham to Grays.
T=swc.203 T=swc.172
It won't necessarily be your cheapest option but it's worth noting that you can use Oyster PAYG at all these stations, even though Purfleet and Grays are outside TfL Zone 6.
2 Sleet and rain and cold. This would be an interesting walk on a better day. From the station you are directly on to the marsh and soon the Thames bank. The path is macadam all the way to the RSBP, so no mud! It was a great relief to get out of the cold into the warmth of the RSBP cafe for soup or a veggie curry. Lots of binoculars and scopes to try out from the cafe and the plenty of birds to see on the feeders. It was still sleeting after lunch so we got the train at Purfleet.