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Alexandra Lake

You've doubtless seen this lake a million times but we bet not one of you can even name it? Much less say anything about it. It is the lake on which the side is the shopping centre. But is it even a natural lake or was it purpose built? we always assumed it was built as a kind of ornament to the shopping area to give a sterile and functionary activity like clothes shopping a bit of balance with some natural beauty, but it was not, it's part of Thurrock's history and we suggest it looked at lot better before 9 million tons of concrete called Lakeside shopping centre was put up next to it but then this is one of the most popular shopping centres in the country and something we all benefit from.

So what of the lake? Well it's not the easiest place to navigate around but it's a pleasant if short walk as you can't go all the way around, well you can but at parts you get the distinct impression they would rather you didn't as the path starts to lose heart and takes you away from the water's edge. They clearly encourage users though as you are met, at the beginning of the path, with a helpful sign advising you what you could experience on you navigation. That's an array of birds, snakes and other feral creatures. We consulted a University biologist in London however who quickly pointed out that with the roads nearby this was actually unlikely anymore, but hey, this is still a pleasant lake to sit by.

They have of course added a water sports club. Here you can learn scuba diving, (you would have deduced this from driving to the shops) but also they have canoes, kayaks, pedlows, and in summer time zorbing (the big plastic ball you get inside of). And finally of course it's big with the fisherman, so the area does have wildlife, all be it ones that couldn't migrate when the diggers turned up.

Ultimately this is not a destination to drive to visit. But given how much more pleasant it could be it is an oddity that not more has not been made of it in terms of water side hangout. Even the boardwalk manages to cut you off from it with their metal barriers. For us we think they should spend some money making the walk around it more easy and agreeable. But then this is Thurrock and the shopping venues are always more likely to get the investment than the natural beauty spots.

Postocode: RM20 2ZP

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