Running at Rainham Marshes

Get active in nature

Get closer to nature and get active at Rainham Marshes. Walk or cycle round peaceful lanes, discover marsh harriers, water voles and kingfishers, join a running class to see our reserves from a different perspective.


Walking is a great way to explore, and it’s good for your health. The paths and trails at Rainham Marshes are good flat paths – so there are options for you if you would like to go wildlife watching, walking your dog on the river wall path, bringing a pushchair or wheelchair, or walking for health.  

Perfect for those trying to reach their activity or step goals - one loop of the main trail is about 5,000 steps! 

If you enjoy walking, you can join in with one of our The Steps Series challenges – everyone can help us walk or run the same distance as a migratory route of one of Rainham’s wildlife visitors, or even distances to places - all your steps can count! Get outdoors and active – great for your health and a great way to explore!

Each Step Series will focus on a different element, and all of your steps will go to the reserve’s total – can you help us reach our goal? 

Borrow one of our pedometers, use your smart phone, or if you have Fitbits, Garmins, Tomtoms, Apple watches, Samsung gear or other trackers, use those to record your steps. Clock up your steps on your walk or run and then report back to the reception desk to log your steps! Let’s see how quickly we can complete our migration!

Parents walking and swinging child at Rainham marshes RSPB reserve


Rainham Marshes is a fantastic place to come for a run. With the River Thames on one side and the marshes on the other, your run will be accompanied by birds of prey or the occasional pursuing seal.

All of the paths are off road with a great surface to run on. From 3km to 12km routes within the reserve boundary – there is something for everyone! Stop off after your run for a cup of tea with views over the reserve.

You could always join our weekly social running group – ‘The Rainham Harriers’.

If you would like to start running keep an eye out for our Learn to Run – Sofa to 5km events. 

Running at Rainham


Clamber, climb, explore and enjoy at the RSPB’s first bouldering site!

Go up and down or round and round – our climbing boulders have something for everyone to challenge yourself, have fun and try something new, all accompanied by the reserves soothing soundtrack of birds and other wildlife.

Bouldering at Rainham is suitable for everyone, adults and children, even if you have never climbed before or if you have a bit more experience. Our grades range from beginner to more advanced (V0 – V5) to challenge and develop climbing skills.

Boulders at RSPB Rainham Marshes


General guidelines for your safety. PDF, 171Kb.

Rainham Marshes Boulder Safety Brief

A closer look at our boulders at Rainham Marshes. PDF, 798Kb.

Welcome to bouldering at Rainham Marshes


Both on the river wall section of the reserve and further afield, you will see a variety of interesting, sometimes rare, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians as well as bugs and beasties of all kinds.

The area has a rich military and cultural history too.  Bring your own bicycle or hire one of ours!

Visitors using the trails & footpaths at Hodbarrow RSPB reserve


Being active is beneficial to physical and mental wellbeing – you can walk, run or cycle at Rainham Marshes, or you can join one of our events. A regular social running club meet on Sundays, or you can join one of our special guided activities – from cycle rides to the Back to Nature Bootcamp sessions.  

The Back to Nature Bootcamp is all about get active outdoors, improving your fitness, meeting new people and having fun! 

You’ll be exercising outdoors, in an amazing place – at Rainham Marshes nature reserve. Fantastic views, fresh air, and a great group of people – group workouts are a great way to stay motivated and achieve your fitness goals. We’ll be exercising outdoors so you won’t need specialist equipment or knowledge; and being outside helps reduce anxiety and depression.

Sessions will cater for all levels of fitness, if you have any questions please contact us. 

Sessions will incorporate a warm up, a variety of team games and circuits (so each week will be different), and a warm down. At the end of the work out we’ll take a leisurely walk back to the visitor centre – if you want you can stay for a cuppa and join us for a chat!

You don’t need to bring anything, wear an old t-shirt and shorts or tracksuit and you are ready to go! We will be working out whatever the weather – so we’ll be warm in no time. Bring something warm to wear for the end of the session. Some exercises may involve getting down on the ground so be prepared to get a little bit dirty, it’s all part of the fun.   

Bootcamp jump, Rainham Marshes