Starting The London Loop

Published on 9 April 2024 at 21:38

A friend was keen to do this long distance walk of 150 miles. It’s well waymarked and starts at Erith in east London. The first leg was 8.7 miles from Erith to Bexley. We used Travelcards on the train and went via Waterloo. The first part of the walk is not visually enticing and it was very windy and occasionally wet. It feels like east London is the place for every kind of waste disposal you can think of! After intermittent sights of the Thames and some nice reedbeds we soon found ourselves walking along the banks of the River Darent and Cray and views improved immeasurably. In the distance was the Dartford river crossing on the Queen Elizabeth Bridge. There was some good birdwatching to be done but I forgot my binoculars! Easy to see were the shelducks, redshanks were calling loudly and Cetti's warblers were everywhere! I also heard some marsh frogs!

The walk ends at Bexley after passing through Crayford where a nice cafe tempted Louis into apple pie and custard and I went for jam rolypoly and custard, reviving school dinners in my memory! Bexley is a pleasant old village and cleverly we arrived with 5 minutes to spare before our train back to Waterloo East. The paths were good so no mud to trouble us and I expect a lot of the walk will be on solid paths or in urban parks with good surfaces to walk along. The final section approaching Bexley routed us through some delightful woodland with so many wild flowers including bluebells, wood anemones and few flowered leeks. Marsh marigolds were seen along some of the rivers and wetlands we passed through.This will be an enjoyable project but not an urgent one!

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