The first section of the London LOOP is a great start of the 240 km walk circling London. This first section, starting at Erith station and finishing at Bexley station, is 14 km long and follows the Thames, the Darent, and the river Cray and is a surprising introduction to London’s green and blue spaces. The waymarking on this route is generally good, so you could probably walk this section relying on those alone. However, I carried this guidebook by Colin Saunders to find my way.
The walk starts at Erith Station from where you quickly reach the river Thames. The first half of this walk is a delightful stretch along the river Thames at first and then along the Darent. After navigating around the busy roundabout in Crayford, the scenery is less open than before, but still through a lovely green space along the river Cray. At the other side of Crayford, you have to bear with walking along busy roads for about 500 meters before entering the sports fields of Hall Place Park.
The remainder of the walk is very pleasing and partly continues along the river Cray. This area around Hall Place Park and Gardens is very popular, especially when the sun is out there will be many families relaxing along the banks of the river and children and dogs playing in the water. The final stretch, just before entering Old Bexley, goes through the lovely Churchfield Woods. Once in Old Bexley, follow the LOOP signposts into the High Street and then to Bexley station just off the High Street, where this first section of the London LOOP ends.