This walk is part of the trek The Route of the London Green Belt Way.
Starts at Thames Chase Forest Centre, the headquarters of the Thames Chase Community Forest, at Broadfields Farm. Route passes thru' the old village of Cranham, then Cranham Marsh Nature Reserve, Corbets Tey, Belhus Country Park, Belhus Chase & the town of Aveley. For the last two miles we follow the Mardyke Way thru' Davy Down, then thru' Stifford Green and Warren Gorge Nature Reserve to finish at Chafford Hundre Railway Station.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D) Start facing the entrance to the Thames Chase Forest Centre and turn right for just a few yards to the lane past the Forest Centre. Turn left along the lane for just 30 yards.
Turn right onto a path going south and just to the east of the car park. After 15 yards turn right at a T-junction of paths and continue straight on ignoring a path to the left after another 100 yards. Soon turn right past a pond with a bench next to it to your right hand side.
On approaching the lane turn left past an area of small wooden carved animals. Then follow a footpath through trees. The path veers left and then right and now going directly west. Ignore any paths going off to the left until you reach a road (Pike Lane at 0.33 miles).
(1) Cross straight over Pike Lane, onto a footpath "227" going west along the left hand side of a large open field and next to a ditch. On reaching the other side of the field, turn right, keeping the trees to the left. After another 50 yards turn left through a gap and into a second field.
Follow the path straight on along the edge of the field. At the corner turn right keeping the field edge to the left and now below a railway line. After 160 yards turn left through a tunnel under the railway and then straight on across a field, soon past some trees with and lake in the centre to your left hand side.
At the other side of the field, go straight on along a narrow enclosed path. The path leads to a metal stile and into a small remembrance garden. Keep on straight.
(2) Then, turn left into the main churchyard. Follow the path as it veers right through the churchyard to and out of the gate. Turn left along the lane ("The Chase"), signed "Cranham Marsh Nature Reserve", past Cranham Farm to your right hand side, soon Cranham Hall to your left hand side and straight on through a kissing gate next to a larger gate.
Go straight on, signed F.P. No's 228 & 229, Ockendon Road and Pike Lane, along a wide track between a wall and a fence. The track soon opens out with fields on both sides. Continue straight on, directly south and after 0.3 miles past a gate and along the edge of a wood to your right hand side (Spring Wood). Now in Cranham Marsh Nature Reserve.
After another 130 yards where the path opens out, and at a Y-junction of paths, veer right, soon to cross a footbridge over a stream. Then follow the path as it turns right.
Continue straight (directly west) for 350 yards, with a fence to your right hand side, to the end of the fence, where a path turns right to lead north. DO NOT turn onto this path, go straight on for a short distance on a grass path, then follow it as it veers right to go diagonally across an open green space.
At the opposite corner of the opening follow the path over a footbridge then almost immediately turn left to cross over the stream again via a second bridge. Once over, continue straight on, through a wooden kissing gate, along a narrow path through trees and adjacent to and past the Memorial Gardens of Upminster Cemetery.
(3) After 350 yards and with a school to the right follow the path as it turns left and after 100 yards comes to an open field. Turn right along the edge of the field, then eventually straight on along an enclosed path between houses (at 2 miles).
The footpath comes out onto a residential road (Huntsman's Drive). Turn left along the road and follow it for 120 yards. On approaching the far end, cross the road then veer right, staying with the houses on the right hand side and keeping some trees to your left. Follow this as it narrows to a short enclosed footpath which cuts through to a small layby next to Ockendon Road.
(4) Turn left, and at end of the layby cross straight over Ockendon Road, then left along the pavement and almost immediately follow it as it turns right into Sunnings Lane. There are now houses to your right and a hedgerow across the road to your left.
(5) After 0.9 miles, at the southern end of Sunnings Lane, at the junction, continue straight on, signed Bramble Lane (and past Dennises Lane to the left). TAKE CARE along here as there is no pavement.
After 160 yards, and where the road turns sharp right, by concrete slabs with a large metal gate behind them, stay left past the slabs and go through a narrow gap to the left hand side of the metal gate and straight on (south) along a wide track - Green Lane. (NOTE: At times the start of the track can be blocked by skips and rubbish, if so, after going through a narrow gap, immediately bear left into the woods. After a very short distance turn right along track through corridor of trees and over earth 'bump' at the end to open area. Turn right for a short distance, then turn left along wide track. The obstruction has now been bypassed and you are back on the track continuing south). AN EXTRA NOTE: There seems to be a lot of work going on at present at the northern end of Green Lane and depending what happens here I may need to change the route into Belhus Country Park.
After 300 yards the track divides into two, running south and parallel to each other, follow the safest one. After another 420 yards cross straight over a wide track. After another 260 yards, as the main track turns sharp right, go straight on along a bridleway.
After 40 yards turn right, at a crossroads of paths, and off the now main track, signed “Footpath 264’ to Belhus Park (be sure not to miss this). Then just before a gate to a field turn left over a stile onto "Footpath 246" to Belhus Park.
(6) Follow the narrow path directly south – a small stream and trees are to the left; an open field is to the right through the hedgerow. After 220 yards, follow the path over a footbridge and then straight on at a junction of paths and into the woods.
160 yards later the path comes out onto a wide track/lane. Turn left and after just a few yards, go right (at 4 miles) and continue south, eventually to a gate.
Go through the metal kissing gate next to a gate and straight on and south across Belhus Chase. The path continues south across the Chase for half a mile (with the hedgerow to your right hand side) to come to another metal kissing gate. Go through the gate and straight on into a thick wood.
(7) The path through the wood is narrow and you must take care from overhanging trees. At a junction of paths take the left fork. Shortly to the left, through a metal fence, golfers can be seen teeing off on a hole of Belhus Park Golf Club.
After another 260 yards turn left through a gap in the fence to the golf course. Then, turn left to pass the teeing area and veer diagonally right to a hedge gap (waymarker post there) then straight down the edge of the fairway due south. NOTE: Please be wary of the golfers as it is easy to distract them or to get hit by a golf ball.
After 360 yards, follow the path as it goes through the fence to leave the golf course and exits Belhus Park onto Park Lane, Aveley (at 5 miles).
(8) Turn right to follow Park Lane south. After 250 yards, and immediately after the entrance to Parkside Stadium. bear left along a cycle track / footpath. Then just 50 yards later take the footbridge to cross over the B1335 (Aveley Bypass). Once over go straight on along the southern half of Park Lane staying on the right hand side. At the T-junction at the end of Park Lane, cross straight over and turn right along the High Street.
(9) After 200 yards turn left at The Old Ship Pub into Ship Lane. Follow Ship Lane out into the countryside and after 0.4 miles over the A13 trunk road (at 6 miles). Stay straight on along Ship Lane for another 350 yards then turn left onto a bridleway signed "Mardyke Way". The bridleway follows the valley at a short distance north of the Mardyke River and along a contour above the floodplain.
(10) Follow the Mardyke Way Path for almost half a mile to and under the M25 road bridge. Continue straight on soon passing under the A13 road bridge (at 7 miles). Stay straight again along an enclosed path with a wood to the left and a fence to the right with the river a short distance away and below. The path follows the edge of the wood for 0.65 miles. Then turn right with the path and after 80 yards turn left towards a large viaduct.
(11) Follow the path under the viaduct and 30 yards later turn right to cross a footbridge over the river. Once over, go straight on along the centre path (staying just to the right of the trees and a pond) and through Davy Down. After 400 yards veer left onto the road (Back Lane) and past a car park entrance to your right hand side. Follow Back Lane up to exit Davy Down.
(12) Cross straight over the road (Pilgrims Lane, B186) and turn right along the pavement. After just a few yards turn left, past metal barriers, onto cycle track/footpath and follow for 250 yards to the residential road (Guardian Avenue). Stay straight on following the pavement - houses to left hand side and a green to right hand side.
(13) After 440 yards Guardian Avenue comes to a T-junction with Clockhouse Lane. Turn right and at the end cross the footbridge over a dual carriageway (A13). Once over follow the lane past Harvester Pub using right hand side pavement. On reaching road (A1306) turn right for just a few yards, then left to cross over using the staggered pelican crossing. Then go straight on along the cycle track/footpath.
(14) After 250 yards out onto Drake Road. Turn right staying on right hand side pavement. Soon over the entrance to Edmund Road. After another 45 yards, and soon after the last house, turn right through a gap in a wooden fence and across a car park at Chafford Gorges. Stay to the right hand side of the car park. On the opposite side go straight over the cycle track to the visitor centre.
Turn right past the visitor centre on a path to Warren Gorge - the path zig zags downhill. After 400 yards, at bottom of the gorge, take the left fork. The rule of thumb down here is to always stay left each time you reach a junction of paths. This takes you around the whole gorge and back out after another 0.6 miles.
(15) Exit Warren Gorge via a metal kissing gate and turn sharp left onto a footpath next to a cycle track (at 10 miles). Follow this (mainly south) for 320 yards. It then turns right. Then after just 35 yards, at crossroads of paths/cycle tracks, turn left (now going south again). Continue for 460 yards to just past a children's play area at (Chafford Hundred Park) and just before a mini-roundabout.
(16) Turn right to cross over Rainbow Road and go through a wooden kissing gate, by Chafford Gorges Board, and into woods (Mill Wood). Follow enclosed path across Mill Wood (woods to right hand side and wire fence to left hand side), eventually down some steps and soon to a cycle path.
(17) Turn right along the cycle route for a short distance to the path junction. Then left and out onto the residential road (Saffron Road). Follow for 400 yards, past two roundabouts to Chafford Hundred Station at the End of the Stage.(A)
D : mi 0 - alt. 39ft - Thames Chase Forest Centre
1 : mi 0.33 - alt. 39ft - Pike Lane
2 : mi 0.93 - alt. 79ft - Main churchyard
3 : mi 1.9 - alt. 52ft - School
4 : mi 2.16 - alt. 62ft - Ockendon Road
5 : mi 3.16 - alt. 72ft - End of Sunnings Lane
6 : mi 4.12 - alt. 39ft - Narrow path
7 : mi 4.51 - alt. 62ft - Wood
8 : mi 5.3 - alt. 62ft - Park Lane
9 : mi 5.62 - alt. 66ft - Ship Lane
10 : mi 6.71 - alt. 10ft - Mardyke Way Path
11 : mi 7.81 - alt. 13ft - Viaduct
12 : mi 8.25 - alt. 56ft - Pilgrims Lane
13 : mi 8.66 - alt. 69ft - Clockhouse Lane
14 : mi 8.99 - alt. 62ft - Drake Road
15 : mi 9.97 - alt. 39ft - Metal kissing gate
16 : mi 10.49 - alt. 105ft - Rainbow Road
17 : mi 10.72 - alt. 82ft - Cycle route
A : mi 11 - alt. 56ft - Chafford Hundred Station
More details : http://greenbeltrelay.org.uk/Green%20Bel...
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
From wooden bus stop we follow Hutton Village, then off-road to the old church. We go cross-country to Ingrave, past the huge pile of Thorndon House & thru' Thorndon Park North. As well as the park, the route takes in many other properties owned by the Thames Chase Community Forest, including Warley Gap, Codham Hall Woods & Franks Wood. We pass thru' Little Warley, Great Warley and skirt the outside of Upminster on our way to the finish at the Thames Chase Forest Centre at Broadfields Farm.
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