Bedfords Park circuit
Circuit through the park and along Green Lanes
Superb wildflower meadows in Bedfords Park, plus plenty of birdlife and flying insects in warm weather; wild flowers along parts of the green lanes.
Litter along the Green Lanes (the urban fringe!); muddy paths in winter and wet weather; busy and noisy road crossings.
Start from Romford station (walking to point B) or park at the visitor centre in Bedfords Park (D)
Circuit only (DEBCD) 1½ hours; from Romford station (ABCDEBA) 2½–3 hours.
Largely flat except for a steady climb up to the Bedfords Park centre; circuit on well-defined unsurfaced paths; access from Romford station by road and footpath, mostly surfaced.
Click on a marker on the map for route details
Stage AB: Romford station to Rise Park
Turn left outside the station and first right into Eastern Road. Go straight on across the Ring Road (Mercury Gardens) and continue along Eastern Road up to the entrance to Lodge Farm Park on the left. Follow the surfaced path straight through up to Main Road, where cross to the entrance to Raphael Park opposite. Follow the surfaced path beside the lake, and where the lake ends continue more or less straight on on the footpath through high woodland. Emerging on to open grassland, bear right to follow the stream on your left, crossing it via a footbridge and out into Park Approach. Walk straight on up to Eastern Avenue. Cross with great care here, or if you prefer walk 200m or so up to the left to cross by overbridge, returning on the opposite side of the road. Walk in along Rise Park Boulevard, opposite about 50m left, crossing Beauly Way and on into Rise Park. Here you join the main circuit at point B, turning right on the surfaced path.
Stage BC: Rise Park to Lower Bedfords Road
Follow the surfaced path straight on past the old pavilion and out of Rise Park, continuing straight on across Beauly Way into Tay Way. Cross the stile at the end and turn right on the golfers' track for c.50m, then left at the waymarker into the Green Lane known as Bobs Lane. Continue straight on ignoring paths turning off left and then right, until eventually you emerge into the open golf course next to a pond, with tower blocks ahead. Follow the waymarkers to the left then to the right of scrubby hedges, then left into another Green Lane, Ash Lane, via a footbridge then past two ponds. Follow Ash Lane first through the golf course then through a patch of woodland, crossing two stiles shortly before reaching Lower Bedfords Road. Turn right along the road for 100m or so, crossing to a waymarker across on the left at the start of a bridleway leading into Bedfords Park.
Stage CD: Lower Bedfords Road to Bedfords Park visitor centre
Follow the tree-lined bridleway into Bedfords Park, past a shallow pond on your right. 50m after a track enters from the left, turn right on to a footpath crossing a marshy stretch of grassland and scrub. Beyond a sleeper bridge bear left on a footpath that leads up the slope across the meadow, curving up past occasional trees and scrub patches until it joins a footpath running below the woodland at the top of the slope. Follow this on to and across the bridleway you were on earlier, and bear right up the slope to the visitor centre.
Stage DE: Bedfords Park visitor centre to Lower Bedfords Road
Walk down the grassy slope in front of the visitor centre, heading for the bottom corner of the deer pen on your right. Cross the footbridge and follow the footpath alongside the deer fence until you emerge into a meadow. Turn left and head for the lake down the slope ahead, turning right on to the footpath running across above it. Beyond the lake bear left to head for the far lefthand corner of the meadow, walking through the gap in the hedge, then right through a strip of woodland into the next meadow. Head across it diagonally down to the left to an exit on to Lower Bedfords Road, crossing to the entrance to Rise Park opposite.
Stage EB: Rise Park
Follow the surfaced pathway beside the stream, bearing left to follow it around the cricket pitch and past the play area to meet the path from the main entrance from Eastern Avenue, entering from the right.