View from the House: I’ve been exploring Beckton by bike

East Ham MP Stephen Timms, has been on his bike during lockdown.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms, has been on his bike during lockdown. - Credit: Archant

I have taken advantage of lockdown for local exploring on my bicycle. I found a great route which starts at the back of Showcase Cinema in Beckton.

The path isn’t obvious. There is a signpost at a fork a few yards in. I followed the sign to Northern Lagoon Walkway.

The path follows the perimeter of the vast Thames Water plant.

It is quite narrow at first, but soon opens out and leads, after a few hundred yards, to a gate into a nature reserve I have never heard of before.

Beckton Creekside Nature Reserve, managed by Thames Water, is a wonderful wilderness area tucked in alongside the River Roding, full of birds and riverside flora. A path runs through the nature reserve and out of a gate at the far end.

Turning left out of the gate, an unmade road runs all the way to the spectacular point where the Roding meets the Thames. Nearby, a pier runs out into the Thames.

The day I was there, the gate onto the pier was unlocked, so I was able to cycle along it. The river views were breathtaking.

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The Roding Valley Way starts at Daines Close, Manor Park, off the Romford Road opposite Dersingham Avenue, and runs north for several miles through Redbridge, initially between the City of London Cemetery and the Golf Course, then past Wanstead Park.

It should be extended south from Romford Road too. It could run through Little Ilford Park, Barrington Arches, the old British Gas sports ground and the Lady Trower Trust land behind Burges Road, then over the A406 footbridge and along the Roding itself to the A13.

The final mile along the path I followed, from Showcase Cinema to the meeting point of the Roding and the Thames, would make a great ending.

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