Upminster – Belhus Woods – Rainham Walk – 21.03.2010

Spring had finally sprung!   Although the sun had shone on previous walks, the wind had finally dropped and it was actually the first time I can record that it was beautiful warm walking weather (well for most of the time!!)

The walk started out in Upminster.  It was my first visit to Upminster (I had been to Upminster bridge – in one of my very first training walking blogs!)  and had thought that Upminster wasn’t an exciting name really.  But have since found out it was recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as Upmunstra – Sounds a bit scary to me I would expect Herman Munster to be living here!!.  Upminster is actually from old English upp and mynster, meaning the large church on high ground – so no Munsters living here then!

We discovered our first little surprise in Upminster, a Windmill.   It is still in pretty good condition and unlike most historic monuments, it was not chained off!  It was great to be able to see this one up close and personal – particularly as the one I had spotted in Ramsay only a few weeks ago was so far away…

From 2010 – 21.03.2010 – Upminster – Belhus Woods – Rainham Walk

I noted that Guided Tours (by the Friends of Upminster Windmill) will be available from April – what a treat to be able to go inside….  The one big thing that did get to me about this Windmill is it was difficult to find from the station (yep you guessed it – no signs)

Leaving the Windmill behind,  we took to our route.  We were off to Belhus Woods Country Park, which we were determined to find this time – armed with a map!  We took a shortcut through the small, but busy Upminster Park to our route.  I turned to take a picture, and it was then I noticed the windmill could be seen quite clearly – It seemed that the area had been a lot of farmland…

Unfortunately, it was not the case as we had to take to the urban roads to find our chosen destination.   It took us through a very residential area, and the road seem very busy, even for a Sunday.  But as we walked on, we came in to “Corbets Tey” – at this point we came to a large junction and the road we needed was a lane.  The houses were cottages and everything changed from residential to very rural!  It was  quite refreshing

From 2010 – 21.03.2010 – Upminster – Belhus Woods – Rainham Walk

We still needed to follow the roadway, which didn’t really didn’t bother us since the views were quite nice and the weather was lovely and warm.   We even came across a Farm Shop selling local honey, apples and such like – which was lovely – It was just like being in the countryside.  Sadly, the road was very busy (again!) – that was such a downside and making it more difficult to walk 😦

It was quite intriguing to find a place that did Paint ball on the otherside of the road and for some reason one farm had a Shetland pony…. (not quite sure why? – but lovely all the same) As we walked on the other noise we encountered was a little more pleasant.  Low flying aircraft… No not a Boeing 747!  Light aircraft.  There was a little landing strip which was not marked on our map at all.  We stopped to watch one land and take off – it was great

From 2010 – 21.03.2010 – Upminster – Belhus Woods – Rainham Walk

As we walked on we found out we were had come into “Thurrock” – it then dawned on me why the road would have been so busy… Lakeside shopping centre was obviously nearby!  Nevermind.  Amazingly enough we found Belhus Country Park, right opposite Cely Woods (not marked on our map)  which was a blessing.  So we decided to stop at the country park visitor centre for tea – great!

The country park itself is actually quite lovely, it has an Archery field, Falconery Display area, angling and a Railway Engineer Model Club meet there! We  took time to look around the park, and walk through the woods and through to the lakes – We only walked one of them this time – as the country park was quite a reasonable size.  The park is very well maintained and very well signposted – it looked like Orienteering was a popular past time!  A Swan and Butterfly trail was also noticeable – but not many butterflies were around this time of year.  One of the the surprises we had was a Woodpecker!  Sadly it flew off before I could take a photo it was beautiful.

Walking past the “running brook” and we then spotted some rail tracks on the other side of a hedge!  There was a little model railway that ran rides from April onwards – the tracks were small – I wonder how small the engines and carriages were!!

Leaving the Country Park behind we decided to change our route, since we discovered Cely Woods opposite (all part of Thames Chase – which has lots of Cycle Tracks) it is obvious this is new wooded area – the track and the signs are not that old.  We had to get a move on as the sun was setting – and it was obvious as all the rabbits were running for home!

From 2010 – 21.03.2010 – Upminster – Belhus Woods – Rainham Walk

It this point we decided to quicken our pace, and walk to the lane to get to Rainham.  Although we did decide to come off the road to explore “Warwick Woods” at one point, this does not seem to be managed at all – I would say woods left to nature to run! (maybe a good thing?!) Finding an escape route we found ourselves back in Cely Woods again (how that quite worked I was quite not sure) and then back onto the road.  We then walked back into Rainham – which began to look very familiar – in fact it was where we had finished our previous Rainham walk! (see the previous Rainham blog!!).    We then tried to make Rainham Village to catch the bus back for a late Sunday lunch!

Click here for my  route map . All My photos are –

2010 – 21.03.2010 – Upminster – Belhus Woods – Rainham Walk



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