Route details, maps, pubs, features, local history and folklore for a wide variety of walks focusing primarily on Norfolk and Suffolk

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Essex Coast - Manningtree to Maldon


The Essex Coastline is arguably the longest of any British county when you take into account all the estuaries that need to be navigated. The total distance can be in excess of 300 miles and encompasses seaside towns, wild and remote marshes and pleasant country paths. There is currently no official footpath around the Essex Coast although there is currently negotiation taking place for the instating of the England Coast Path through the county. This guide provides a coastal route that can presently be used. With the assistance of Peter Catons book 'Essex Coast Walk' and the appropriate OS maps, one can make up a route of ones choice and this is a fine way to explore this part of the British coastline. Our path started along the Essex Way and then used recognised public footpaths and sea defences where possible. When all else failed we had to resort to road, but thankfully there was not too much road walking.

Blog links:

These blogs are the daily sections covered, each day included public transport to and from the start/finish of the walk and the mileages are the total distances walked that day including excursions en route.
  • Stage 1 Manningtree to Great Oakley (13 miles) - a charming walk down the Stour estuary following the Essex Way.
  • Stage 2 Great Oakley to Walton-on-the-Naze (10 miles) - Starting out across country the walk heads down to Beaumont Quay and follows the wild marshes round to Kirby Quay before heading back inland and down to Walton.
  • Stage 3 Walton-on-the-Naze to St Osyth (14 miles) - A real seaside walk with strolls along Walton and Clacton promenades.
  • Stage 4 St Osyth to Wivenhoe (18 miles) - A splendid, but lengthy walk up the Colne estuary taking in Brightlingsea and Alresford Creek
  • Stage 5 Wivenhoe to Salcott (11 miles to Peldon additional 4 to Salcott) - A walk up the Colne estuary to the furthest reaches of Colchester at Hythe, then cross country via Peldon to Salcott.
  • Stage 6 Salcott to Tolesbury (14 miles)  - Two circular walks in a figure of eight that takes in the Old Hall Marshes and Tollesbury Wick Marshes
  • Stage 7 Tollesbury to Maldon (14 miles)  - Following the Blackwater estuary with sights of Bradwell over the on the southern side

Web links:
  • Peter Catons book 'Essex Coast Walk' - although not a guide book, this is a fascinating and sometimes humorous insight into the history and wildlife of the Essex Coast and follows Peters efforts to follow the coastline as faithfully as possible. This was a constant companion and information source throughout the walk.

Sunny morning at basecamp after a night of torrential rain and strong winds

Accommodation: A basecamp was set up at Grange Farm, Thorpe-le-Soken. This was an excellent but basic site within easy reach of both bus and train with footpaths from the site to the station and into Thorpe village.

Last Updated: 2014-01-02Z


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