Walk 17 - From Upminster, at the Eastern End of the District Line, to Rainham




8 km (5 miles)


Good paths throughout

Outward Journey

By District Line to Upminster.  About 55 minutes from Central London


By train from Rainham

Points of Interest

Upminster Windmill, Ingebourne Valley


Visitor Centre half way, Albion pub near the end

Public Toilets

At  Upminster Station

Shortening the Walk

No opportunities


What to Expect from This Walk

This is an easy walk on good paths through a ribbon of countryside by the side of the River Ingrebourne.  It begins with a stretch of road walking which is enhanced by passing the attractive Upminster Windmill.  Visits are possible at certain times. There is a pub of the same name just a bit further on.  Once you reach the river, routefinding is very straightforward, particularly so since you are also following green "London Loop" roundels. At the end you may wish to visit Rainham Village before catching your train home.

Route Directions

1. Leave Upminster station and walk up Station Approach to the main road.  Turn left, cross over, turn right into Branfill Road and follow it as it turns left. Turn right into Highview Gardens and then almost immediately left  into Cranbourne Gardens.  You may be able to see the windmill between the houses.  To reach it, go to the bottom of the road and turn right along St Mary’s Lane (A124). The windmill is on your right. At the time of writing, it was closed for restoration, but due to re-open in 2020.

2. Continue to the bottom of the hill and turn left into Bridge Avenue. This road has no street sign, but you can identify it by the London Loop sign on the opposite side of the A124, together with a large sign for Hornchurch Sports Stadium, both pointing your way. Walk along Bridge Avenue for 450m and then turn right between hedges, as indicated by another London Loop sign.  The path leads you briefly towards Hornchurch Football Stadium but turns left before reaching the gates and passes a car park.  Keep left and climb a small slope. You are now on a path which will lead you all the way to Rainham.  Follow the path, which takes you back to the river bank, and continue in the same direction as before.  You pass a sign for the Ingrebourne Valley. 

3. Go ahead, ignoring all turnings to the left or right, and reach a play area and a visitor centre with a café, toilets and a gift shop.  Carry on until you reach a signpost which gives you a choice of route to a lake.  Take the left-hand path. Descending slightly, you come to the viewing area for Ingrebourne Marshes  with an information panel.  Continue on the path and turn right at a corner. Continue on the path to reach a lake on your right.  At the end of the lake, turn right and walk for about 350m to reach a walled house (Albyns Farm) on your right.


4. Shortly afterwards, turn left on a car-wide track. When the track ends, go right between some wooden posts and then turn left to continue in the same direction as before. After another 500m you can see a lake on your left and a car park ahead, with a road beyond it.  Pass to the right of the car park and walk out to the road.  Turn left and after 300m reach The Albion pub. After the pub, continue to a major roundabout and use the pedestrian lights to continue ahead.  Cross the River Ingrebourne via Red Bridge. This is the last time you will see the river on this walk. Cross the access road to a large supermarket and turn left on Bridge Road. Follow it past a church to reach Rainham Station on your right

Information on Things You Will See

Upminster Windmill was built in 1803 and was formerly known as Abraham’s Mill. The mill has a four-storey smock on a single-storey brick base. It is 15.8m high (52 feet) It has a boat-shaped cap with a gallery. Four patent sails are carried on a cast-iron windshaft. In 2004 the Upminster Windmill Preservation Trust was granted a 35-year lease on the mill. Subsequently it has been restored and is a museum open to the public at selected times

The River Ingrebourne rises near Brentford in Essex and flows for 43 Kilometres (27 miles)  in a south westerly direction to enter the River Thames near Rainham.  It passes under the M25 near Junction 28 and skirts Harold Hill before passing between the suburbs of Upminster and Hornchurch. Ingrebourne Marshes is a site of special scientific interest due the diversity of birds and other wildlife in the extensive beds of wetland reeds. The Ingrebourne Valley is a local nature reserve.

Rainham is a suburban town on the outskirts of east London, part of the London Borough of Havering, historically part of the county of Essex.  It is 22Km (14 miles) east of Charing Cross.  Rainham is located in part of London that is susceptible to flooding.  It is mostly situated on gravel and a tidal section of the River Ingrebourne forms its western boundary. The nearby marshlands along the boundary of the River Thames are only about 1.5m above sea level.  The high ground you can see to the south east is a major landfill site and a destination for London’s waste which is brought downriver by barge.