Monday, 26 November 2012

London Loop Rainham to Harold Wood 22nd March 2012

On Thursday the 22nd of March 2012 I left home and caught a 165 bus from The Brewery ,Romford to Rainham. This bus goes just about everywhere and took about 40 ish minutes to get to the War memorial in Rainham. I eventually got off the bus and walked down to the Church of St Helen and St Giles, the oldest building in Havering being Norman. The church retains many of its original features, for example the round-headed arches. It was founded by Richard de Lucy, the son-in-law of Henry II of England. de Lucy was also one of the instigators of the assassination of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170. Construction of the church took place between 1160 and 1170. The church was restored during the period of 1893–1906, using donations from the Freemasons, yet it is still thought to closely resemble its original condition.The broad stumpy tower has little slits of Norman windows,a tiny Norman doorway can still be seen in the chancel wall and much of the stonework is black with age.

From here I crossed the road to the Rainham War Memorial which commemorates the fallen of World War I.
The Rainham War Memorial was added to the National Heritage List for England on 25 March 2002 as a Grade II listed structure.

 From here was more walking along roads towards Tesco's and the Dover's Roundabout and Rainham's Village sign.

I now cross the A13 and head up past The Alibon PH and along the road.On my right is a lake.

 Now my London Loop Book printed in 2006 has the route going along loads of roads before joining Hornchurch Country park.But Ive come across an entrance to Ingrebourne Hill country Park. Now I was pretty sure this would join up with Hornchurch Country park and would get me off the road. I'm so glad I did not only did it go my direction but I have found a great park and a mountain bike track!!

Looking down towards Hornchurch Country Park and Albyns Farm

I walked through the park heading down towards Albyns Farm.

Albyns Farm with a searchlight in the front,no doubt a link to Hornchurch Country Parks former use a airfield.

Further along the lane I passed another lake in Hornchurch Country Park. The former site of Hornchurch Airfield.  The River Ingrebourne passes through the park and if forms part of Thames Chase Community Forest.

Further along the path I come across a pill box the first of many,  the area was used as an airfield in the First and Second World Wars, with the Royal Flying Corps defending London from Zeppelins and the Spitfires of RAF Hornchurch playing an important role in the Battle of Britain.

First signs of Spring.

Looking out from the Pill box.

Further along in the park we come to a play area where there are again signs that link to the airfield.This time a large Spitfire.

 The path now again follows the Ingrebourne River.

The path now crosses the river.

After following the river for some distance, the path emerges next to AFC Hornchurch Football Club.

Now again its more streets to walk as I pass Upminster Bridge Underground Station and more streets until finally we rejoin a footpath.Nice to get off the streets again.

The path follows the river again and goes behind Emerson Park school. we again now cross the river and follow a muddy path that I found out is actually a small stream through a wood before emerging out onto more roads.
The batteries on my camera have gone and I now to have to use the camera on my mobile.

The LOOP now follows Hall Lane up to The Strawberry Farm before crossing the A12,

A View from Hall Lane
then a left turn again into Hall Lane before crossing the road into Pages Wood.

A Duck shaped bench in Pages wood.

After a long walk through Pages Wood, I leave the park and walk to Harold Wood Train Station the end of the walk passing St Peters church.

I got a 294 bus bus home after a 9 mile walk.