Return to the River Roding

It was hard to believe that it had been over 7 months since my last stroll along the River Roding, when I had left this beguiling watercourse at Roding Valley after walking up from Redbridge Station one warm July morning.

River Roding

I decided to pick up where I’d left off and found the river bank where I’d sat down and felt like Huckleberry Finn. Where lush green undergrowth burst from the bank today was muddy brown and spindly bare. It was a beautiful clear late February day, great walking weather.

River Roding IMG_7890 IMG_7941

It’s crazy in a way that I’m walking this short river in sections given that it runs a mere 11 miles from Dunmow in Essex before spilling into the Thames at Barking Creek, but there it is, and I shall now endeavour to divide my walks along its course across the 4 seasons. This particular river ramble involved two significant diversions, one through the backstreets of Buckhurst Hill and another through an industrial estate at Debden. It was a detour that led to an interesting encounter at one of Britain’s most sensitive buildings – but you’ll need to watch the video above to get that story.

River Roding IMG_7963


  1. Clive Power   •  

    It’s a very pleasant walk and you have captured it well.

    But I also hope one day you can walk further southward. I attended an on-street consultation last week in Ilford where the river flows alongside the North Circular as they cross Romford Road.

    Living Streets (was the Pedestrians Association) are working for Newham and Redbridge councils to look at this very poor junction for pedestrians walking from Manor Park to Ilford. We also suggested that the councils should also look at opening up the enclosed river here and make it possible to walk both north to Wanstead Park and south towards Barking Creek.

    • JohnR   •     Author

      Hi Clive – thanks for your comment. I’ve looked at that section of the river a number of times and wondered how walkable it was. I haven’t made it further south along the River than the City of London Cemetery.
      I stood at that crossing under the North Circ just a couple of weeks ago after I naively thought it might be possible to reach the river from Little Ilford Park. Hope the Council take your recommendations on board.

      • Clive Power   •  

        I also thought there would be access from Little Ilford Park. There’s intermittent access further south, near Langdon school.

        I wasn’t surprised to read others previously suggested better access at Ilford. The town and Barking are short of tourism draws; a walk could attract and end near the often deserted, yet rather good, Barking Abbey and the former Barking docks (once UK’s largest fishing port.)

        • JohnR   •     Author

          That’s a great suggestion. I still haven’t made it to Barking docks, going to head that way soon

  2. Mike Gregory   •  

    Enamored with your site. My mother used to play on Wanstead flats and my posh Aunt lived on the Ilford side and my Mother and Father were cremated in the Cemetery. I am a Barking boy and only knew the Roding from the Town Quay to the Thames, famed for its extreme pollution. Barking had been a significance fishing port and had a saint: st Ethelberga, or maybe not.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.