Now that we are permitted to travel for our exercise I’m back to checking walks for the forthcoming reprint of 50 Walks on the Essex Coast. Sales have picked up again and Amazon keep running out of stock but Swan Books have copies for quick despatch, without postage charge and in buying from here you will be supporting a local independent business.

Today I checked Walk 21 from Heybridge (near Maldon) to Goldhanger across fields and along lanes, then back beside the River Blackwater. There is some information on the places of interest in the book and much more in my earlier publication Essex Coast Walk but here are some photos from today.

One of six fishing shacks on stilts above the beach

The Mill Beach pub. Sadly now closed so that will need to be changed in the next edition.

One of several attractive cottages on the quiet Wash Lane.

Plenty of wild flowers around the edges of fields. Some of the paths are narrow but there were adequate opportunities to step off them for social distancing without damaging crops, although I only met one group of other walkers on the outward part of the walk.

Goldhanger is a pretty village which used to support a number of fishing boats.

St Peter’s church dates from the 11th century and includes some Roman bricks in its stonework.

A pleasant spot for lunch. Bradwell Power Station can just be seen in the distance.

The path by the Blackwater has a hard surface and easy walking. It was busier than usual today but still a peaceful walk. It’s probably at it’s best when the tide is high but the expanse of mud, sand and shingle has its own beauty and provides food for a host of bird life.

Causeway to Osea Island, one of the six major tidal islands in Essex. I visited it when writing No Boat Required but was thrown off. It’s private. Full story in the islands book. It seems that uninvited visitors are still not welcome.

I walked just a short way along the causeway to get a photo showing its remoteness as it winds across the mud. Of course the sea completely covers it at high tide. The island has an interesting history. It was occupied by the Romans and a ‘Home for Inebriates’ was set up here in 1903. That failed, not least because boatmen from Maldon used to row over bringing beer for the ‘inmates’. The full story is covered in a chapter of No Boat Required and is also included in  Essex Coast Walk. 

30th May 2020