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

Walk Distance   8Km (5 miles)

Underfoot   Good paths throughout

Journey Time (from Central London to Upminster by District Line)   45 minutes

Getting Back to Central London   Return from Rainham Railway Station

Points of Interest   Upminster Windmill, Ingrebourne Valley

Refreshments -  Cafes and pubs near the start in Upminster.  Visitor Centre with all facilities at the half way point. Pub near the end.


Opportunities For Shortening This Walk  - None

Route Directions

1.   Leave Upminster station and walk up to the main road.  Turn left, cross over, and then right into Branfill Road. Continue to the end and turn left.  Turn right into Highview Gardens and left almost immediately into Cranbourne Gardens.  You should be able to see a windmill between the houses.  To reach it,  go to the bottom of the road and turn right along The A124 St Mary’s Lane. The windmill is on your right. After passing (or visiting) the windmill,  descend to the bottom of the hill and turn left into Bridge Avenue.  It was missing its name plate when I did this walk but you can recognise it by the London Loop sign on the opposite side of the A124 together with a large brown sign saying “Hornchurch Sports Stadium” both pointing the way.

2.   Walk along Bridge Avenue for 450m and then turn right between hedges as indicated by another green “London Loop” sign.  The path descends towards Hornchurch Football Stadium but turns left before reaching the gates and passes a small car park.  Keep left and climb a small slope.  You are now on a nicely surfaced path which will lead you all the way to Rainham.

3.   Presently you will see a short stretch of the River Ingrebourne.  This is also with you all the way to Rainham but is visible only infrequently because of the lush undergrowth along its banks. Go ahead on the path and after 700m reach a bridge on your right. Cross the bridge.  Turn left and follow the path out to a road where there are pedestrian lights to let you cross safely.

4.   Regain the riverbank and continue in the same direction as before.  Pass an “Ingrebourne Valley” sign. Continue ahead ignoring all turnings to left or right and and reach a play area and a visitor centre with a café, gift shop and toilets.  Continue past the visitor centre and reach a signpost which gives you optional routes to a “lake”.  Take the left-most route, virtually straight on.

5.   Descend slightly and reach an “Ingrebourne Marshes” viewing area with a large information panel.  Continue on the path and swing right at a corner.  Presently,  there is brief up and down which qualifies as a hill in this flat part of Essex.  Continue on the good path to reach a lake on your right.

6.   At the end of the lake turn right and walk for about 350m to reach a walled house on the right. This is Albyns Farm. Shortly after the entrance to the house turn left  on car wide track. After 200m the track ends.  Go right between some wooden posts and turn left again to continue in the same direction. 

7.   After another 500m you can see a lake on your left and a car park ahead of you with a busy road beyond it.  Pass to the right of the car park and walk out to the road.  Turn left and after 300m reach a pub called descriptively “The Flaming Grill –The Albion”. After the pub continue to the major roundabout and use the pedestrian lights to your left to continue ahead along the footway.  Cross the Ingrebourne on Red Bridge.  This is the last occasion on whichyou will see it.  Cross the access road to a large supermarket and turn left at Bridge Road. Follow it past a church on the left to reach Rainham Railway Station on the right.