Upminster station, the end of the line (well District line anyway) was the meeting place for today’s walk. Heading through South Park (no, I didn’t see Kenny for those that know the show) to the station, I noticed something unusual, not seen on any walk for some time, a large bright object in the sky, maybe a good omen (weird eh!).
Arriving at Upminster I met up with Fran, Elliot, Terry and Sherry and we were soon joined by Steve, and then set off. The first mile was along the main road, before we turned off into a rough track and followed this to a church, opposite an old farm complex now converted to gated housing. Leaving these, we continued through fields to Cranham Nature Reserve with a mixture of open field and woodland, hearing (but not seeing) woodpeckers, amongst other wildlife, enjoying the warm sunshine, continuing to a gate over a very muddy, and large, puddle which we crossed with some style.
We then continued on a muddy path between a small stream and cemetery, before crossing over a road and entering Parklands, the remains of the historic Gaynes Park, with its listed bridge and lake, providing a good spot for a drinks break and photo opportunities. Resuming, we continued alongside the lake to its end where we followed the route through holly woods and across open fields to another field with friendly horses which decided to come and meet us. Leaving our equine friends behind, we made our way to the strangely named The Optimist Pub, for a well deserved drink.
Leaving the pub we followed the path to a small bridge where we turned off to walk alongside the winding river Ingrebourne, on part of the London loop, spotting little egrets in the river and trees, before walking through Upminster Park to St Mary’s Road and going to look at what is reputedly Upminster windmill. However, whatever is really there, was covered by so much plastic sheeting it could be anything. We returned from the mystery object to the station to conclude the walk. It had been a good walk with some warmth and sunshine with us. At times, it felt almost spring-like, a sign of walks to come perhaps.