Walk 38 from 50 Walks on the Essex Coast today – Paglesham Circular (South).

Starting at the Plough & Sail, the walk soon reaches the River Roach, once busy with fishermen, smugglers and revenue men. HMS Beagle, the ship which took Charles Darwin on his scientific expedition to the Pacific, spent her final years here as a coastguard ship.

It was very quiet on the river today. Lots of birds and two splashes of yellow on a dull day but just me as the sole human.

Mysterious channels are revealed by the falling tide – and a ladder to nowhere.

At Bartonhall Creek the route heads back across fields, passing Stannets Creek Lagoon, once a navigable creek but now dammed and a valuable site for birds.

Yet another balloon thoughtlessly released and now litter and a hazard to wildlife. I tried to retrieve it but had to think again when the most likely outcome appeared to be balloon remaining on bush and walker in ditch.

Back at Paglesham the Georgian red-brick Cupola House is passed. What a wonderful place to live. The turret was constructed not just to look good or provide a pleasant room for a cup of tea, but as a look out allowing residents to keep an eye on the Government excise men on the river and creeks.

All was in order. No changes needed for the forthcoming reprint. And there was an unexpected bonus. I sat down by Stannets Creek Lagoon to eat my apple turnover and on opening the bag found that the bakers had given me one that was covered in a thick layer sticky icing. It’s the little things we have to be grateful for!