309. Battlesbridge to Canewdon

My first walk of the new decade! I wanted to make a positive start to 2020, which meant getting some days in on the Essex coast. I’ve decided I’m going to try and do 3 and 3, 3 walks in Scotland and 3 in England in each month. Because  today was a Sunday I needed to work around the public transport issues, this meant making use of my bike.

I drove to and parked in the small village of Canewdon. I took my bike from the back of the car and got all my lights working, both on the bike and on my head! It was 07:00 and still dark, but I only had a 7km to cycle to the nearby town of Rochford. After locking my bike up I took the 07:56 train to Wickford, I then had a  45 minute wait until I caught the 09:06 train to Battlesbridge. I was only on the train to Battlesbridge for 4 minutes, so it was that close!

Today’s walk involve some sea wall walking and a large inland diversion. I set off down the road to Hullbridge, but first crossing over the River Crouch, which was now but a small stream at low tide. For the next kilometre I would be walking along a busy road, even for 9’oclock on a Sunday morning. There’s just a lot people that live in this neck of the woods. Even more annoying the road did not have a verge in some places. I was glad to join the Sea wall and continue along the banks of the Crouch. I passed along the river front of Hullbridge and soon sat opposite to the slipway  at South Woodham Ferrers.

Crossing The River Crouch at Battlesbridge
The Crouch at Battlesbridge with sluice and mill visible
At Hullbridge looking across the Crouch to South Woodham Ferrers

I continued along the river, for a short distance before I began the long inland diversion. This was because about a kilometre downriver the sea wall had been breached, living the sea wall footpath high and dry with nowhere to go. So I needed to return towards the main road I had left about 40 minutes ago. However, the amount of road walking I needed to do was about 3.5km and with no verge in many places I needed to head further inland along quiet roads and footpaths. I managed this ok, but it did take me into the town of Hockley and was almost twice as long as if I had walked along the main road. After passing through the village of Ashingdon I had just a short 150 meter section of road to negotiate before I headed off across a footpath towards South Fambridge, but not before some “muppet” pipped his horn at me for god  knows what reason and as I was clinging to what verge there was! Not very pleasant at all walking along these road sections, dangerous with all the Sunday drivers out and about!!

I re-joined the River Crouch again at South Fambridge and it was nearly all sea wall walking for the rest of the walk. I passed a granite memorial to Fambridge Airfield, which no longer exists and was only up and running for less than months in 1909! It was similar memorial to the Tain  memorial I passed by last yaer. Although it was still only 14:00, it was incredibly dull and dingy, but the sea wall was predominantly dry and I made good progress. As I neared Lion Creek the sea wall turned inland a bit. Lion Creek marked roughly the boundary of Wallasea Island, which I was not setting foot on as the footpaths, I had read, are rather ‘sketchy’ and incomplete.

I was now heading back westwards towards Canewdon and to minimise the road walking I found a few footpaths which took me almost back into Canewdon. I was back at the car by 15:00 and all that remained to do was to change my footwear and head back towards Rochford to pick the bike up again.Then onto Southend and my bed for the night.

Not an enjoyable Sunday stroll.

A rare glimpse of sunshine falling on St Peter’s and St Paul’s churrch near Hockley
The Spa, now a pub, was originally built as an hotel to cater for visitors to the nearby Hockley Spa Pump Room, the Spa ceased in 1848
Fambridge Airfield memorial
Looking across the Crouch to North Fambridge
Looking across to the Marina on Wallasea island, Burnham-on-Crouch is just visible on the left
The remnants of Lion Wharf on Wallasea island

Distance today =18 miles
Total distance = 5,647 miles





8 thoughts on “309. Battlesbridge to Canewdon”

  1. Yes it’s not the best walk this is it? Too much road walking and as you say the road walking is unpleasant and dangerous (I did brave the main road nearer the coast, but it doesn’t sound as if the road you used was much better), though I split this into two walks. The roads are quite poor for the number of people living around there. Though the bits of the coast I did see were prettier than I expected.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your last picture is of the old boat house at Lion Creek. You can keep going and it takes you on to Wallasea Island. Most of the island you can now walk around now as the RSPB have finished much of their re-work of the island


    This is a bit out of date at you can now walk along the southern seawall of the island from the viewpoint SE to the “water vole area”

    Click to access wallasea-island-trail-guide.pdf


    1. My pleasure. Been enjoying your blog. We’ve been heading out to the Essex estauaries alot in recent years, but lockdown has seen this into a regular weekend/day off trip.

      Found your blog because we walked Bradwell St Peters > Bradwell Waterside yesterday and i wanted to know if anyone had done St Peters Chapel>Burnham round the Dengie Peninsula which you did too.

      My next mission is to walk to the dalek bunker!


  3. Not really, its more a case of we enjoy the coast and Clacton down to Tilbury is our closest stretch. Its also much needed exercise after some cardiac issues, and since we started we’ve gone from a few miles to easily doing 6-7 in a session and hope to extend that a bit further as my stamina improves. I’ll certainly return to your blog when we next head to up to Suffolk or cross the river to the Kent coast for some ideas.


    1. Hi Freddy, hope your rehab goes well, no better way than to get out into the great outdoorsnand discover new things. I’m off to Scotland on Wednesday morning to complete my walk around Scotlands coast, its taken 4 years and I’ll be sad to see the end of it. It’ll be a tough 2 days of walking though, 25 miles each day. The legs will definately feel it! Cheers alan


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