Dave Sergeant

The London Loop is a walking route of 150 miles length around the outer boundaries of London split into 24 sections. I am currently walking the loop and this is a blog of a few sections. See tfl.gov.uk/modes/walking/loop-walk for more details.

London Loop Section 22 Harold Wood to Upminster October 10th 2019

Section 21  →Section 23

Today I did section 22 of the London Loop, a fairly shortish 4.5 mile section from Harold Wood to Upminster. I was planning to do this tomorrow but it looked like it would be a bit wet then so on the spur of the moment did it today, it was a quite pleasant day but a bit breezy. Usual good trip up to town then on TFL Rail to Harold Wood station, arriving there around 11.15. Detour through the station carpark as the ticket hall is currently being rebuilt, all part of Cross Rail which you know is running very late.

The start of the walk was through Harold Wood Park, a quite pleasant small park with tennis courts, a cricket pitch and kiddies playground. The sports pavilion is sometimes open to the public with a cafe but today it seemed occupied by a nursery school.

Then into Pages Wood which formed quite a long stretch of today's walk. This is a brand new wood, only opened in 2002 and all the trees were planted then in a big Forestry Commission project. No doubt in years to come it will come into form.

At various places in the wood are wooden sculptures of animals with information boards, all part of a nature trail.

After this lovely stretch of new woodland I reached civilisation again, hitting the busy Hall Lane (with a short detour on a parallel residential road). I thought I had crossed all the main arterial roads on the loop but here is another, the A127 Southend Arterial Road, which Hall Lane does a big detour over via a bridge. The Loop path even goes right over one of the exit slip roads. A tedious trek of a mile or so along Hall Lane before turning off across a mini roundabout into peace and quiet.

Now into real woodland along a narrow, rather uneven, path through the woods beside a stream. It was a little muddy and at times it was almost as if the path went right through the stream, I had to take care.

Much of this section of the Loop follows the River Ingrebourne, a continuation of Carter's Brook and Paine's Brook which I had met on last week's walk. But you don't see much of the river as it is quite far away from the path. Here is one of the few views when the path crosses it on a footbridge, about the best view you get which is not much.

Then into open farmland where the Loop follows the edge of several fields with a lovely view across the valley. Upminster is looming up in the distance as the walk nears its end.

Right at the end, while crossing a bridge over the Overground railway line, is this view of Upminster Windmill Normally an impressive sight, but at the moment it is undergoing extensive refurbishment and most of the upper bits are missing. Scheduled to be reopen to the public in April 2020.

So into the hubhub of Upminster where I lunched in the Windmill pub before making my way back home from Upminster Bridge underground station. This is right at the end of the District line and various options are suggested for getting back to Waterloo, all taking close to an hour. When I changed to the Jubilee line I found the train was terminating at Waterloo but didn't know why. Later it transpired that sadly somebody had died on the tracks at Green Park station and so that half of the line was closed. But there were no real delays and I arrived home around 4.30.

I had seen nothing of the Extinction Rebellion demonstrators at all in London. But when I got off the train at my local station a group of half a dozen people got off sporting XR banners on their clothing. They seemed to be a quiet lot however. An enjoyable day

Section 21  →Section 23