Setting off from Tower Bridge the route passes through East London close to the Thames. It then heads north from Tilbury to Chelmsford in Essex. After a stretch on National Route 1 (also part of EuroVelo 2) National Route 13 resumes at Colchester and continues north. The route is described here from Tower Bridge to Dereham.
The route can be thought of in 4 sections:
1. Tower Bridge to Grays /Tilbury
Sticking relatively close to the north bank of the Thames heading eastwards, Route 13 passes through Albert Dock and Rainham Marshes on its way to Grays and Tilbury. The short open sections are almost entirely traffic-free.
2. Tilbury to Colchester
The route now heads north from Coalhouse Fort on the Thames to Colchester, with open sections consisting of a mainly traffic-free stretch through Basildon and an on-road route from the northern edge of Billericay into Chelmsford.
3. Colchester to Thetford
This section is almost entirely on-road, except for the traffic-free Valley Walk alongside Sudbury and the route through Bury St Edmunds. The route is incomplete between Bures and Sudbury but the local Bures Loop A2 links the two settlements.
4. Thetford to Dereham
The route is fully open and almost entirely on-road through Watton and Dereham.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness.
However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes.
Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces.
Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.