Havering’s Rainham Riverside Walk

The medieval marshes of Rainham, Wennington and Aveley are one of the very few ancient landscapes remaining in London.”*

Rainham Riverside is an idiosyncratic gem. If you’re hoping for chocolate box beauty you’ll be disappointed. Approaching the car park you pass through an industrial area. Once beyond that there’s a narrow road with lush vegetation on either side. The last half mile or so prepares you for the small car park and the Thames in front of you. You’ve entered a different world.

Once on the riverside footpath, which is a good, sound surface, you can choose to go east or west. We took the eastwards route towards the RSPB site. Immediately you notice the sweep of the river. It isn’t glorious, it’s a working river. There are hulks from WW2 left in the mud. Their glory days supporting the Allied invasion on D-Day long gone. Numerous hand painted signs and information boards are scattered on fencing adjacent to the path.

One reason we didn’t get to the RSPB was that it was shut. The other reason was it was too far. Younger people could easily walk it. We needed more benches. Not very ambitious is it? A walk based on the distance between benches, but there you are. We did about a mile each way and found it to be most satisfactory.

It’s very popular with cyclists, many of whom have bells, unlike the ones who populate Hornchurch pavements. Small groups of walkers and families enjoyed the day as well. Recommended especially for the wonderful fresh air.


* https://www.walkingclub.org.uk/walk/rainham-to-purfleet-via-rspb-rainham-marshes/ This is the website of the Saturday Walkers Club who do this walk four times a year


For a blog on a walk from the RSPB, Rainham to Grays see https://exploring-urban-wastelands.co.uk/rainham-to-grays/

2 thoughts on “Havering’s Rainham Riverside Walk

  1. Hi , I’m a regular visitor to Cold Harbour lane riverside walk .Unfortunately I have had to stop visiting the car park area because of the excessive Rat infestation. The Rat multitude is so vast that I cannot take my grandson to visit anymore .This is because people are feeding the Rats on a daily basis with breadcrumbs . I have had to take my car on two occasions to my garage because Rats have entered the engine compartment and eaten into the engine bay, causing damage to the radiator and cooling system . I have found the riverside walk a great pleasure over the years, and am very sorry to terminate my visits. I felt that I had to report the issue ,as soon someone may get bitten, or injured by the Rats . Thank you best wishes


    1. Thank you for your comment

      To be absolutely honest I was unaware of the rat infestation problem that you have identified. The car park is tiny and it is used by people pic-nicking in their cars so presumably they throw their waste food out of the window. On each occasion I’ve been there it has been clean but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. The amount of vegetation surrounding the car park is significant.

      I would recommend that you contact Havering’s parks division to further discuss this matter.


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