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Words and Photography by

Harry Hawkins

Edith Station to Bexley Station

Moored Sailing Boats

September 2007

The London Loop Leg 10

Erith Station to Bexley Station

Saturday, 29th September, 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 followed the path using "The London Loop" by David Sharp, ISBN1854107593, £13 rrp.

Click photos below for larger image

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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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From Erith Station, we headed down to the Thames. The tide was out and Erith's pier stood just above mud (Image 1). Left of the pier we looked up river (Image 2) and to the right we looked downstream (Image 3).

2

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We saw these moorings and a Cobelfret ferry passed us, a commercial line - Purfleet to Zeebrugge.

3

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Crayfield Marsh, east of Erith, is described on this information board. Dartford Creek is the alternative name for the river Darent where it becomes tidal.

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Here are four similar images. Images 1 and 2 face across the river while 2 and 4 are essentially the same view looking upriver, capturing both banks.

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An interesting information board about the Erith Saltings.

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A view I liked of Erith with industry, town, boats and pier as a backdrop to Crayford Marsh.

7

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This is the river Darent barrier. Image 1- from the Thames and image 2 -  towards the river. Images 3 and 4 were taken standing beside the barrier, i.e., 3, down to the Thames and 4, up the Darent.

The barrier is lowered from the top when required. Its height must have been calculated to allow passage of the masted boats illustrated in section 11.

8

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A general information board about marshland birds.

9

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At low tide, we walked south alongside the Darent which looked narrow. The wet, oozy mud shows the water level at high tide.

10

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This picture, taken facing south, shows the confluence of the Darent (left) and the Cray (right). Presumably, this is where the mud slides from one river into the other.

11

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Another information board, Crayford Creek, which I assume is the name of the tidal part of the Cray.

On the board is a photo of tall masted boats, which would have sailed under the barrier, plus a 'You are here' sign which shows where I photographed it.

12

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There were lots of industrial pockets. Image 1 shows how to recycle your house! We crossed the A206 then continued to follow the Cray. See images 2 and 3 - it now looked a delightful little river.

13

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We went through Crayford Town then crossed the A207. We entered a recreation ground then returned to the river. Across this open space a goods train passed on the line that runs from Crayford to Bexley.

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The same place as in section 13, but including the river.

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Our leader kept up a good pace and we were rewarded with a longish stop at Hall Place - the facilities are shown on this information board.

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Hall Place Mansion. At the time, there was a free photographic exhibition here

17

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Image 1 - the rose garden, with Hall Place on the right and topiary in the distance. Image 2 - the topiary and the Hall, image 3 - inside the Hall and Image 4 - a designer garden - one of several.

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Magnificent Topiary.

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We crossed the railway and the A2, walked through Churchfield Wood, then approached Bexley.

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St Mary's Church, Bexley, with an octagonal cap on a square spire.