A walking guide describing 50 walks along the Essex coast,
the longest coastline of any English county.
Peter Caton discovered the wonderful Essex coastline as he narrated his journey along its whole length, writing Essex Coast Walk (Matador, 2009). He now describes walks covering the entire publicly accessible coast, helping others to follow in his footsteps. Detailed route instructions are provided, along with high-quality maps, while background information and colour photos add context and interest.
Following rivers, creeks and open sea, on paths, tracks and promenades, often with circuits completed across countryside, the walking and views are varied. There is much history and wildlife to be seen as the walker discovers picturesque villages, smugglers’ haunts, nature reserves and little-known gems along the coast. Walks range from 2 to 15 miles, with most having different length options, plus the possibility of linking adjoining routes. Produced in full colour, 50 Walks on the Essex Coast is an invitation for serious ramblers, or those looking for just an afternoon stroll, to discover the hidden magic of the Essex coast.
Praise for Essex Coast Walk:
“Unearths many lesser-known and quirky nuggets” – Southend Echo
Featured on BBC Radio Essex
A lifelong Essex resident, PETERCATON has a keen interest in walking, the countryside and conservation. His previous books include Essex Coast Walk, a narrative of his walk along the entire county’s coastline, No Boat Required: Exploring Tidal Islands, which includes chapters on six Essex islands, and Suffolk Coast Walk.
I will post any helpful comments from walkers, changes to routes and other updates here.
May 2017 – Walks 1 & 2
The Tea House at Mistley has been taken over and is now open every day. The scones are just as good and the views across the river excellent. The gallery still opens from Thursday to Sunday.
2018 – The book was reprinted with a few minor updates.
June 2019 – Walks 6, 35, 39, 46 & 47
- An error has been pointed out. It should read ‘Take a path on the right, not the left.’ Fortunately the way is obvious.
- Every time I’d walked this until June 2019 the field had been grazed and easy to cross. On my last walk I found that it was not grazed and the grass was long. There was a path around the edge of the field but through longish grass. It is best to walk around the edge of the field, not across the middle.
The short route back to Canewdon can be difficult. I have walked it several times when the path was clear but once in winter it was a ploughed field. I walked it in June 2019 and found that wheat has been planted across the whole field, covering the path. Walkers may therefore prefer the return along the road or the longer option described in the book.
The path described can be overgrown in summer so this slight change to the route is suggested –
As you approach boatyards on the far bank take a path on the right running between hedges. Pass through a gate, cross a paved driveway and follow a grassy path which runs between cricket pitches then into trees to the left of the pavilion.
- I’d walked this many times and never seen bikes on the Motocross track but on a Saturday this June the bikes were running. The route is part of the Thames Estuary Path and there is a narrow path close to the creek but it seems that people walk along the bike track so the path itself is overgrown and not easily passable – especially if wearing shorts as I was. I have contacted Essex County Council who are responsible for the Thames Estuary Path and will update when I hear back from them.
- The path on the first field here has been reported as being overgrown in summer, with rape seed plants making it hard to walk. If it does not look to be clear this section can be missed by continuing straight on at 2., passing under the railway bridge and rejoining the main route by Mucking Creek at 5.
Sarah – Internet Review
I live in north Essex and was running out of walks for me and the dogs, then along came this book… I love it: good maps, clear transport/parking instructions, point by point walking info and some alternative/shorter versions. Thank you Peter Caton!
James – Internet Review
I wanted to give this book 5 stars as soon as I learned of its existence. I only found about it by chance; receiving a reply from the author himself regarding my review for No Boat Required. As I love the Essex coastline a great deal (I have walked its entire length by the way) and occasionally re-visit/re-walk parts of it too, this book was something I could never refuse. In it, we have 50 walks covering virtually every part of the coastline accessible to the public; be it resorts; creeks; estuaries, and small villages/ports. It has been written like an ordinary guide book (turn left here. After half a mile, turn right there etc—). Thankfully, a little bit of info/history of many of the landmarks you may come across/see on every walk is included; all printed in a nice blue coloured ink to make it stand out. There is a small extract of a real Ordnance Survey map at the start of each walk, showing what route to take, and colour photos galore. Walks vary from 2 – 15 miles and at least a few of those will be suitable for everyone; be it families; solo walkers like myself; or day trippers; and there are longer walks for the more serious hiker, such as walk 28, the 15 mile Bradwell – Burnham-on- Crouch one for example. Many of the walks described are circular and there is a little bit of info on public transport / refreshments /toilets etc–(even tells you where to park too.)
This book has shown me walking routes that I wouldn’t have thought of, and cos of it, I now plan to re visit quite a few of those paths and places I last walked on when I was finishing off my trek along the county’s coastline back in 2010 – 11.
Keith– Internet Review
This is a super book. I love walking the Essex Coast and this book has given fresh ideas. Highly recommend. Well done to the author Peter Caton!