|Trail:||London Loop 17-18|
|Contributor:||liam1745||Activity Type:||Walking||Difficulty:||Easy||Distance:||14.757 mi (23.749 km)|
|Description:||London Loop: Section 17-(Cockfosters to Enfield Lock) - Walk details:
Apart from a road section from Rainham through an industrial area, the rest of the existing walk, shared with the Havering Riverside Path, is a fascinating contrast to the rest of the London Loop.
The view to your right is dominated by the river, with its south bank diminutive in the distance, while shipping adds further interest.
On the foreshore is a 'graveyard' of historic concrete barges used during the D-Day Landings of the Second World War, while a heritage mural painted by local students, a rice packaging plant and a waste transfer station occupy the adjacent land.
To your left and ahead, Rainham and Wennington Marshes, including a former military firing range, were acquired in 2000 by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, who are creating a nature reserve for a rich variety of birds and other wildlife.
The RSPB have a visitor centre with cafe and toilets.You are welcomed to Coldharbour Point by a navigation beacon serving river shipping.
Opposite is the starting point of Section 1 of the London Loop at Erith, and it is frustrating that the ferry that used to cross here would have taken you directly to it.
Anyone wishing to continue from Section 24 to Section 1 would need to travel by car, buses or taxi via the Dartford Crossing (13km/8ml by road).
A longer, but possibly more practical, alternative using public transport is by train from Rainham or Purfleet to Limehouse, Docklands Light Railway to Greenwich and train to Erith.
Section 18-(Enfield Lock to Chingford) - Walk details:
You are in green surroundings nearly all the way to Chingford, with very little roadwalking.
There are three short waterside paths: beside Turkey Brook, the Lee Navigation (together with the Lea Valley Walk), and the River Lea diversion channel.
A stiff climb into the Sewardstone Hills is rewarded with a magnificent view across north London and the massive Lea Valley reservoirs, then you pass Gilwell Park, former home of Lord Baden Powell and now headquarters of the Scout movement.
In Epping Forest you encounter another steepish climb up to Hawk Wood, and a final roadside stretch leads into Chingford.
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