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Purfleet Riverside

Purfleet is more than just a station on the way to work.
If you're a commuter Purfleet most likely means nothing more to you than another railway-station-impediment between you and the office, indeed any drive through it can be over before you realize it's started given the swiftness you will pass through the one street that it is. But as ever in these communities there is a slightly more to it than there appears to be though. We're not here to tell you it's Euro Disney in Thurrock but it is host to the best most scenic stretch of river in Thurrock. BBC2's "Newsnight" was in Purfleet a few months ago talking about how the flats development had destroyed the town, about how the flats were like "a wall" blocking off the river from the town, to a certain extent maybe it is but this is being rather negative of them because the river is still accessible and as beguiling as it ever was regardless of who is living in front of it.

There is a cycle path running the length of the river and it offers the best view of the river and canary wharf that there is. You even have the Royal Hotel nicely positioned to take a beverage on their decked outside bar overlooking the river to admire the view from, OK, so maybe not something you'll need between now and April but good to know it's there. What else may have slipped your notice is the way this environment has developed into the nicest stretch of river side walk in Thurrock, they even have a museum open and paying homage to the armory history of the area (ambitiously priced at £3 for adults) and an RSPB hub/club for the bird watching enthusiasts out there. But all along the pathway as you walk or cycle you come up against little tributes to the area and its history, for example a sculpted metal ringed (why a ring is not explained) but it maps out the history of the area since the dawn of time pretty much.

Newsnight may be right when casting a critical eye over the area of Purfleet but its perhaps a bit of a shame they didn't make the effort to haul their cameras and sound equipment down to the actual river side for a few minutes as that's where the full story lies.

Postcode: RM19 1QA

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