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Words and Photography by

Harry Hawkins

Harold Wood Station to Purfleet Station

WW11 Ferro-Concrete Barge near Cold Harbour Point

July 2007

The London Loop Leg 9

Harold Wood Station to Purfleet Station

Saturday, 28th July, 2007

The London Loop is a 140 mile walk around London and roughly just inside the M25 (although you do not see it) passing through as many green places as possible such as parks, woods, commons, riverside protected areas and open farmland.

The West Essex Ramblers covered this in about 10 mile stretches over the period 2006 to 2008.

We were following the path using "The London Loop" by David Sharp, ISBN1854107593, £13 rrp.

Click photos below for larger image

Click below for largest image as specified

Some commentary on the photos,

which is also a reflection on the walk

[Road information is just to help identify where we were].

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Soon after leaving Harold Wood Station, we were in Harold Wood Park. Here, the customary explanation of the day's itinerary was given by the leader.

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Crossing the Ingrebourne (Image 1). In image 2 we were close to the river.

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Another view near the river.

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[We had crossed the A127].

We crossed the Ingrebourne, again.

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Images 1 & 2 were near the course of the river and image 3 shows the National Rail line to Upminster Station.

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The Bridge Pub on the A124 Upminster Road, near Upminster Bridge Underground Station, where lunch was taken.

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We walked more of the Ingrebourne valley, this time along Gaynes Park Way.

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We crossed a footbridge then went along to Hacton Lane.

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Hornchurch Country Park where cattle were spotted at the bottom of a slope - as if in a Ha Ha.

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This marsh area is still in Hornchurch Country Park. There was a lake (Image 1) then a second lake (Image 2) -  spot the Heron.

Near here was the site of a WW II Airfield with a WW II pillbox (Image 3). Finally there was a ‘garden’ of a view, but I'm not sure exactly where we were.

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We walked along streets to Bridge Broadway, Rainham, where there is a Clock Tower, with the Church of St Helen and St Giles in the background.

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The second section of the 67 mile High Speed Rail Link from the English Channel to London which was due to open on 14th November 2007.

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Five Images here. Image 1, the thin one, was of a roundabout near our afternoon drink stop at Tesco. Image 2 was, I believe, one of the four LED constructions for Project Litmus (designed by Jason Bruges) - they have been placed on roundabouts just off the A13. Image 3 was taken where the A13 flies overhead at Rainham - is this Britain's answer to the Egyptian columns of  Karnak Temple, Luxor? Then, Images 4 & 5 show part of the industrial area we passed on our way to the Thames.

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We reached the Thames. Images 1 & 2 are views upstream and 4 is downstream. Image 3 shows a plaque celebrating the founding of the Pilgrims Ferry in 1199.

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Some more Thames' Views.

Across to Kent (Image 1), presumably Erith to the left and Erith Oil Depot to the right; the riverbank (Image 2); back upriver with Ford's two Wind Turbines on the horizon (Image 3) and a jetty into the river (Image 4).

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Seemingly abandoned Ferro-cement barges which supported the D-Day landing of WW II.

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Some walkers went to the official end of the London Loop at Cold Harbour Point, then returned to Rainham. Others went on to Purfleet.

Image 1 - back along the main path we used, with Image 2 showing the route ahead. Image 3 was taken at Rainham Marshes where the A13 flyover bridges it. Image 4 was the view as we neared Purfleet.

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Image 2 - across the river to the Derwent Flood Barrier in Kent. The other three Images are views of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge.

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A beacon near the Heritage Centre, Purfleet. I cannot find any information about this beacon.

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The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, viewed from Purfleet Station footbridge.