London Loop, Stage 1

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Essentials

  • Starts at Erith Railway Station and ends near Bexley Railway station. The train trips to and from London are fun in themselves.
  • The walk consists of (mainly) sealed and (some) unsealed path, it is longish (15km) but not demanding.
  • It is well sign posted.
  • Level of difficulty (on scale of 1 easy to 5 challenging): 2 (can be muddy).

 

The walk

We did this walk in December 2010, but the weather was quite fine and not cold. The walk is the first stage of a much longer walk, the ‘Loop’ that circumnavigates greater London.

There are some impressive water views along the way, first of the Thames as it becomes and estuary and then little rivers, mainly the Cray. The walk is more urban than the official site indicates, there are lots of industrial sites along the way, but the rivers remain the focus and they soften the whole thing. The path was pretty basic too, not much of an effort to beautify it.

There are shops in the built up areas after the estuary, where there are toilets and pubs.

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Highlights and hidden treasures

  • The walk covers a number of important points relating to the Romans’ invasion of Britain and progress up to London.
  •  If you are into infrastructure there are some impressive anti-flooding structures and bridges along the way.
  • You can visit the 1573 mansion Hall Place along the way, well worth a look.
  • It is fun looking across the estuary at the start, where you can see the end of the Loop, all 150 or so miles of it.
  • The whole walk is a really refreshing view of a part of London that tourists would rarely experience.

 

External link (map)

http://www.walklondon.org.uk/section.asp?section=1