Climbing the Essex Coast from Tollesbury to Purfleet

Essex is known for a great deal of things, however its coast isn’t one of them. That is a pity as it’s home to a shifted birdlife and one segment is the most detached spot in the country.

Obviously, there are the required train stops yet they’re principally bunched around the towns and what lies between is wild and pristine. It’s likewise the setting for another Apple TV+ series, The Essex Serpent.

This significant distance climb begins the Saltmarsh Coast Trail in Tollesbury, principally following the ocean divider, and goes south the entire way to the Thames. It crosses three streams, the Blackwater, the Crouch and the Roach, prior to showing up in Southend and afterward carries on past Canvey Island to Tilbury on the Thames.

Day 1 Tollesbury to Maldon 6.5 hours, 16 miles


It’s cloudy yet dry as I take a taxi from Witham, which drops me at Tollesbury Marina. The tide’s out, the boats are laying on the mud and there’s no one around. I stroll on the seawall around Tollesbury Wick, a region assigned as a nature hold, with Mersea Island inverse. Somewhere far off is Bradwell Nuclear Power Station, some place I’ll pass tomorrow.

The birdlife is bountiful, with loads of waders, and the main individuals I see are a couple gathering shellfish in the shallows. There’s nothing else for an additional three hours before I arrive at the parade parks, right external Maldon. Out of nowhere there are canine walkers, bars with consumers outside, however it’s still quite far around various gulfs before I arrive at Maldon.

My convenience is at the highest point of the main slope for a significant distance, and I’m feeling much better to dispose of my boots and absorb my feet a hot shower.

Day 2 St Lawrence to Othona 8 Miles 3 Hours
After the previous wearisome bays, as opposed to confront business as usual, I choose to cheat and take the transport. It drops me off at St Lawrence, one more convoy sanctuary, and I set off along the seawall. It’s radiant with a delicate breeze, and there are numerous ocean birds taking care of in the water. I before long show up at Bradwell Marina, stuffed with boats and there’s even a bar, yet I don’t wait.

The thermal energy plant looms ahead, long decommissioned. despite the fact that there are plans to restart. I can see the town of West Mersea, close across the channel, and closer, at water’s edge, are depressed flatboats, and ad libbed ocean safeguards.

Demolished pillboxes are spotted along the shore, when an insurance against German intrusion. I pass long shell sea shores with a periodic situated anglers. Before long I’ved turned the corner and show up at the Othona people group where I’ll go through the evening.

Day 3 Othona to Burnham on Crouch 16 Miles 6 Hours
Before I set out, I investigate the house of prayer of St Peter on the Wall, one of the most established unblemished chapels in England, dating from the seventh 100 years. It’s a delightful morning, the dew weighty on the ocean divider, drenching my boots. There are more stranded barges and, in spite of the fact that I’m strolling through probably the most distressing spot in the UK, everything the land is developed with little ranches somewhere far off. What’s sure, however is that there are no individuals and no abodes.

In the wake of confronting the untamed ocean for a small bunch of miles, I arrive at the Crouch estuary and turn upriver. During WW2 this was thought a potential intrusion course and the seawall is fixed with pillboxes including a huge stronghold just somewhat inland. In the estuary is Foulness, the fourth-biggest island in the UK.

It’s actually utilized as a terminating range by the military and boisterous bangs upset the quiet. As I close to Burnham on Crouch, the yachts are marching through main street in the channel. It’s a superb spot, so I stop for a frozen yogurt on the seafront.

Day 4 Burnham on Crouch to North Fambridge 10 miles 4 hours
Following three days of strolling, I choose to relax and simply walk upriver to the bar in North Fambridge. I leave Burnham’s Yacht Marina, actually following the ocean divider, past the minuscule village of Creeksea.

There’s not a lot else until the ocean divider unexpectedly vanishes and I’m guided inland and begin to climb. Local people know this as ‘The Cliff’ and out of nowhere the scene opens up before me.

It’s just a minor undulation and I’m before long back on the level on the ocean divider. I pass the marina at Althorne prior to arriving at the amazing Ferry Boat Inn at North Fambridge. The ship is a distant memory yet they’re actually giving incredible lager and food. It’s great to the point that I wait excessively lengthy and wind up returning the train to Burnham.

Day 5 Burnham on Crouch to Rochford 8 miles 4 hours
Today, I’m headed for Southend and I start by calling the ship, simply an exclusive little inflatable, to take me across the Crouch to Wallasea Island. More than 3,000,000 tons of earth from the Crossrail unearthings were unloaded here to make a natural life living space under the insurance of the RSPB. Arable farmland has been changed over completely to saltmarsh, mudflats, tidal ponds and brushing swamp yet I’ve no opportunity to wait.

Yet again I head inland through the Paglesham villas of Churchend and Eastend, across colossal fields of grain, to wind up on the seawall by my third waterway. This is the Roach and I follow its banks to the intersection place at Rochford. I’m presently on the edges of Southend and, as opposed to slog through metropolitan roads, I take the transport to the middle. It’s then a wonderful stroll along the prom, past the well known wharf, to my B&B in Thorpe Bay.

Day 6 Leigh on Sea to Stanford Le Hope 17.5 miles 7 hours
As opposed to walk into the middle, I take the transport to Leigh on Sea. This is the beginning of the Thames Estuary way which will take me the entire way to Tilbury. It generally runs lined up with the rail route line, with stations spotted all through, so it’s not difficult to do day strolls, simply handling short areas.

I follow Hadleigh Ray riverbank, with Hadleigh Castle above me and Two Tree Island to one side, to South Benfleet and afterward inland to Pitsea.

From here it’s all crosscountry, past Vange Marsh, then through Fobbing Marsh Nature Reserve. I get my most memorable perspective on the Thames at Stanford Warren nature hold, overwhelmed rock pits with reed beds brimming with birds. From here it’s a short stroll to Stanford Le Hope.

Day 7 Stanford Le Hope to Purfleet 14 miles 6 hours
From Stanford, I follow the railroad line prior to entering Thurrock Thameside Nature Park. When a landfill site, it’s been recovered essentially and contains an immense lake, great for bird watching.

At East Tilbury, I at long last arrive at the Thames, with the great nineteenth century Coalhouse Fort, monitoring the waterway. Initially worked to safeguard London from the French, it was reused in WW2.

The seawall follows the bend of the waterway to the seventeenth century Tilbury Fort presently completely reestablished. Henry VIII constructed the main protections here and Queen Elizabeth broadly revitalized her military close by to confront the danger of the Armada. Nowadays the Armada has been supplanted by enormous journey ships which moor close by, close to the Gravesend ship.

I press onwards to Grays, not the most motivating spot, yet I’m before long once again at the Thames, halting for fried fish and French fries at a riverside bar.

Tremendous oil big haulers and compartment ships employ this stretch of the stream and the ocean divider has been changed into an exhibition of spray painting. Passing under the Dartford Crossing Bridge, I show up at Purfleet, my last objective, and get the train home.