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
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