Romford to Havering Park (Linear) 5.4 miles – 6th May

Despite the gloomy weather forecast, twenty-five members assembled at Romford station for this year’s May Day Bank Holiday walk. With the  predicted rain holding off for the time being, we initially traversed a short urban section. We then entered Lodge Farm Park, the first of a string of municipal parks, formed from Havering’s ancient private estates to realise an interwar local councillor’s vision of a ‘green lung’ winding up through the borough.

A miniature railway, sadly not in operation on the day, attracted our attention before we crossed into Raphael Park. Skirting a lake and an abundance of waterborne wildlife, we reached woodland containing wooden sculptures of ‘Percy the Park Keeper’ and some of his animal friends.

Another short urban section followed before we entered Rise Park and undertook a gentle incline suggested by the name. Bedfords Park was next and a steeper section took us to the top of Foxes Hill with its extensive views across London, partly obscured on the day by low clouds.

Some muddy patches were then encountered before we reached a visitor centre and its adjacent deer enclosure. Here we stopped for refreshments but while we were inside it started raining heavily. Venturing outside, we headed to the north end of the park where we joined the road into Havering-Atte-Bower, passing a splendid water tower and a scenic cricket ground enroute. Finally, in a rather soggy state, we reached the Orange Tree pub where the leader bought everyone a drink to celebrate his recent birthday. The group then proceeded to embarrass him by singing the traditional refrain.

Half our number decided to book Ubers to take them back to Romford as the promised bus unfortunately didn’t run on a bank holiday. After some refreshment, the remainder of the group had a short walk through Havering Country Park, past a Redwood Tree, to a bus stop which fortunately did have a service to Romford station.


Photos courtesy of Patricia, Nita and Hilary.