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Pilgrim Ferry: closing the London Loop

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Pilgrim Ferry: closing the London Loop

Pilgrim Ferry: closing the London Loop

What if: projects Ltd By What if: projects Ltd

The Pilgrim Ferry closes the missing link of the London Loop walking circuit creating a connection between Rainham and Erith in the Thames Estuary.

Havering Idea stage

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The London Loop lies within easy reach of the dense urban city centre and occupies the space between the city fringes and London’s surrounding countryside winding through diverse and unexpected landscapes.

Two gleaming white landmarks on the north and south side of the Thames Estuary will render the new ferry landings visible from the distance at the start and the end of the London Loop providing stunning views over this coastal landscape and to the city in the distance.

Travelling along the route of the historic Pilgrim Ferry that connected the north and south side of the river at Erith Reach until 1854 the proposed foot and cycle passenger ferry will link the first and the last section of the London Loop with proposed landings in Rainham Marshes and at Erith Riverside Gardens.

The new river link could form a possible extension to the existing river transport network in Central London facilitating an exciting day out to the Thames Estuary.

What we'll deliver:

  • Create two landing platforms with viewing towers: 1) town centre of Erith 2) Rainham Marshes

Why it's a great idea:

In the Thames Estuary a plaque on both sides of the river reminds travelers of the ancient Rainham to Erith “Pilgrim Ferry” that between 1199 and approximately 1854 used to connect the now first and last section of the Loop. Travellers on their journey around London as well as local residents would find this ferry link useful today.

Currently the river separates Rainham from Erith presenting a barrier that forces travellers to return to central London by train in order to continue their journey on the opposite side of the river. This detour takes approximately 1.5 hours. The Piligrim Ferry would provide a direct connection between the historic town of Erith and Crayford Marshes to Rainham Marshes.

River transport from the city centre could extend to the the marshes in the Thames Estuary facilitating an exciting day out for city dwellers. Currently river transport extends to Woolwich in the East of London.

Steps to get it done:

  • Construction of two viewing towers by specialist contractor.
  • Design and development by What if: projects Ltd together with a Structural Engineering team
  • Collaboration between stakeholders, river transport operators, the London Borough of Havering and Bexley
  • Specialist contractor to create two ferry landings (reuse existing piers).


Location Havering

About the space

Existing piers in Rainham Marshes and Erith town centre


How will the money be spent?Total £

Other - £0 (100%)

Costs Breakdown

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Total £

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