It’s possible to keep your distance from London by using this, plus Spinoff 1 from Broxbourne and Spinoff 3 to the M25 Dartford Crossing, where you can summon (free!) an escort van to take you over to Kent: Hertford to Dartford without passing Woolwich! The first 11 miles is on deep rural lanes outside the M25; from Noak Hill it is NCN136 mainly off-road down the Ingrebourne Valley. The family friendly section is the largely off-road NCN136 Ingrebourne Valley route from Noak Hill to Rainham 11.3.
L Stony Lane 1.1 R Lower Bobbingworth 1.3; across A414 and the Epping-Ongar Railway 2.7 and up to Toot Hill 4. R Berwick Lane 4.4, R on A113 6.6 then L Shanks Mill Rd, then at River Roding R Mill Lane 7.3 to Navestock with its broad green. At Horseman Side 9.3 Spin-off 2 joins briefly. L and R Dytchleys Lane 9.6, to Coxtie Green Rd junction 9.8. Here Spin-off 2 parts company L for Weald Country Park, Brentford and Shenfield.
Turning R here, and again R on Chequers Rd 10.4 you merge with Romford-Brentwood Link 11 at Old Macdonald's Farm for the traverse over the M25 to Noak Hill 11.3. Straight on here for Romford-Brentwood Link to Havering-atte-Bower. This link with Spin-off 3 turns L off-road on NCN136 Ingrebourne Way. This is well signed throughout with delightful sections through Dagnam Park 11.7 and above all Hornchurch Country Park and Essex Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre 20.1.
The cycleway section through Forestry Commission Pages Wood 14.9 - 16.1 has been improved (2018); it was previously unstable and dangerous. Short sections off-road along the A12 trunk Road 13.4-13.9 and to Upminster 16.1-17.8 do not detract too much. The ride ends at Rainham (NT Rainham Hall, with new restaurant attached), to link to Spinoff 3 with its riverside section to Purfleet – a Cycle Orbital highlight.