8th September 2016: London Loop, Final stretch: Rainham to Purfleet

The London Loopers completed their nine-month trek around the 150 mile London Loop on Thursday 8th September. This proved a bright, warm day with occasional gusty breezes. Starting at Rainham we walked through an industrial no-man’s land between the HS1 rail track and the Thames sea wall to reach the old Coldharbour ferry point, now dominated by Veolia’s waste processing silos with modern barges taking stuff in and out rather mysteriously. Behind stood a 1k long hill now being smoothed and grassed, actually a landfill mountain covering an old salt marsh. With the industrial moonscape behind us we walked along the margin of Rainham marshes with river vistas.stretching from Erith (where we had begun) to Canary Wharf and the City. The RSPB cafe and visitor centre provided coffee and information on wetland birds (egrets, redshanks, lapwings) as well as World War II history of an air force presence here. Finally another half mile on the river bank took us to the victorian Royal Hotel in Purfleet where we had a well-earned lunch to celebrate the completion of the project. A discussion of the next Thursday project centred on possibilities for walking the Essex Way from Epping to Harwich, or perhaps Harwich to Epping, beginning in October. We offer a small prize for anyone (not on the walk) who can identify all the shadowy characters in the photo attached.


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