Cycling at Rainham Marshes
Located on ancient marshland nestled beside the river Thames, Rainham Marshes really is a special place to enjoy the great outdoors. Find out more information about how to enjoy our reserve by bike!
Our wonderful cycle hire scheme will give you an opportunity to loop the perimeter of the reserve and explore the surrounding landscape, taking in views over the river Thames and down to London from the river wall.
Rainham is ideally positioned for a cycle adventure, with easy access to Sustrans route 13 and further afield, exploring Beam Valley and The Gaynes Parkway.
- Full day: £10 for non members and £8 for members.
- Half day (up to 4 hours): £5 for non members and £4 for members.
- Additional charges may apply in the case of events.
For full terms and conditions see our downloadable document.
Recommended route - Reserve Loop
Take in fantastic views across the Thames following the river wall to the concrete barges before turning off to appreciate the wildlife across the reserve on the way back to the centre.
What to look out for: Look for seals basking on the shore of the river and lapwings soaring over head. Different sea birds and waders can be observed on the near shore beaches as well as dragonflies enjoying the vegetation on the side of the trails.
The grasses and flowers along the trails are a haven for bees and butterflies. If you’re lucky, you might even see a water vole in the ditches running through the reserve and if you listen carefully you may hear the marsh frogs calling.
Distance: 8.5 km
Ability: Easy flat terrain. There are A frame barrier’s along the river wall. One road crossing on Cold Harbour Lane.
Recommended route - Ingrebourne Hill Loop
Explore the off road trails around Ingrebourne Hill and continuing up through Hornchurch Country Park.
Rest and enjoy the tranquility by the ponds and the abundance of wildlife nearby. Return along the reserve river wall, enjoying views across the Thames and down to London. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous you can try out the 2km mountain bike course at Ingrebourne hill, with a mixture of camel humps and narrow ridge top tracks.
What to look out for: Keep an eye open for woodpeckers in the woodland areas and swans and Greylag geese enjoying the ponds along the way.
Along the river wall, look out for seals basking on the shore and lapwings flying above the reserve. Hornchurch country park mixes history and ecology, providing an area where you can view WWI and II relics, dating from when RAF Hornchurch Spitfire Squadrons were based here. Birdsong has long since replaced the roar of their engines.
Distance: 20-25 km (if you do not want to do the entire loop you can easily re-trace your tracks at any time)
Ability: Medium more strenuous ride with the option of a 2km mountain bike loop. There is a stretch of main road cycling between Rainham railway station and the country park.