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Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Essex Coast - Maldon to St Lawrence Walk Summary

Salt marsh

A walk along the southern side of the Blackwater estuary from Maldon to St Lawrence

This 16 miles walk provides great views of the Blackwater estuary with vast open panoramas of the tidal river. Mudflats and gulleys provide havens for wildlife and there are numerous old dilapidate river craft that sit decaying into the mud, forgotten and forlorn.

The path navigates around the numerous creaks and inlets that abound this southern side of the estuary. The path uses the compacted river defence banks which makes it hard on ones feet and offers no shelter from the elements. Given a brisk breeze and light showers, it can take its toll on ones enthusiasm as the path winds in and out of the creaks through to Maylandsea, at times seemingly navigating in the wroing direction.

This specific route does offer a shortcut out of Maylandsea by following the St Peters Way path. This links Lawling Creek and Mayland Creek and provides a short but welcome change of scenery.

The route ends at the Waterside Park in St Lawrence. This provided touring accommodation for those wanting to explore this coastline. Having said this, the park was taken over in December 2017 and it is uncertain whether touring sites are still available. Recent Trip Advisor reports are not encouraging.

Note that public transport in this area is very limited and most major roads can be choked with traffic especially at rush hour. There is a limited bus service between St Lawrence and Maldon.

Few of the pubs and bars offer any real ale and it was a unexpected discovery to find that the modern Blackwater Bar provided a very good example of St Austells Proper Job ale. Admittedly this is far from its Cornish homeland but in the ale desert of this part of Essex it was a just reward for days walking.

NOTE

This is a walk summary intended to provide the user with just the essential information in order to navigate the walk route. Fully detailed information notes, refreshment stops and walk features are not included in this. A full write up will be included in the near future.

Maldon to St Lawrence Walk - Essential Information

Walk Statistics:

Start point
Maldon View in OS Map | View in Google Map
End Point
St Lawrence View in OS Map | View in Google Map
Total Walk distance
16 miles
Walk difficulty
easy
Terrain
River defence bank footpaths
Obstacles
The path is principally along defence banks which can be very arduous on ones feet. At St Lawrence the public footpath along the coast from Stone is inaccessible, blocked up by the sea front home owners. Use the road to the first holiday park where access can be regained

Maps:

The following maps and services can assist in navigating this route. The links include published hard copy as well as online plots and downloadable GPX route data for importing into navigational software and apps.

Ordnance Survey Explorer Map
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Online Ordnance Survey Route
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Online OpenStreetMap Route
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Online Google Route
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ViewRanger App Route
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GPX data for route (download)

Details of Accommodation used when performing this walk

Accommodation:

Waterside Park Camp site View in OS Map | View in Google Map
Website
Description
Parkdean resorts Waterside Park on the banks of the Blackwater estuary. This was taken over by Countrywide Park Homes in December 2017 amid accusations of intimidation towards holiday park plot owners. It is uncertain whether touring sites are still available here. Certainly during Autumn 2017 the site was amenable and the staff accommodating. More recent Trip Advisor reports since the take over are not encouraging.

Transport:

Details of public transport that is required for the walk

Hedingham - Bus Service
Service Number
D1 - The D1 service links Bradwell, St Lawrence, Maylandsea and Maldon. This is a limited service which appears to get cut back each year. As of 2018 it was run by Hedingham Coaches but may well change in the future
Timetable

Walk Data

Date of Walk
2017-09-13
Walk Time
08:30 to 16:00
Walkers
Griffmonster, Kat
Weather Conditions
Clear day with blustery showers

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