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
. 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.
After this prolonged spell of wet'n'windy weather I thought I'd offer one walk where much of the route is on surfaced paths. It's not really a country walk, more a riverside stroll along the “evocative and atmospheric” Thames Path on the capital's eastern fringe. In less than two hours you'll reach the RSPB's Rainham Marshes
reserve where you can decide whether to spend the afternoon squinting at the birdlife from the 4 km circuit around the reserve (£5 entry for non-members) before heading for Purfleet station, about 1 km away. The RSPB café is open to non-visitors and you can have lunch and/or tea there as you wish; there's also a large pub (the Royal Hotel
) on the way to the station.
You'll need to print the directions from the Extra Walk 172
page. Optional Adventure
: A few weeks ago one of our number toyed with the idea of posting a longer version of this walk past the “dramatic industrial scenery” promised on the Extra Walk 203
page (Rainham to Grays), but feedback from a knowledgeable local about the dire state of the Thames Path on this extension swiftly deterred him. At least one SWC walker has done this in the past and lived to tell the tale, so if you're one of the Sunday hardnuts (© Mr M Tiger) you might like to see for yourself. At your own risk! T=swc.172