Welcome to The Dengie Food & Leisure Trail
Imagine a remote countryside edged on three sides by water - two rivers and the sea - and a great expanse of sky, sea and marshland; that is The Dengie Peninsula. The Dengie Food & Leisure Trail takes you on a journey from farm to farm exploring the historic Dengie Peninsula along the way.
Mundon is the trail's first stop where you can visit Springsteps Dairy, East Anglia's largest working goat dairy & cheesery. Here you can see the goats themselves and sample delicious foods. The farm itself has a wealth of history, a 14th century church, and the 1000 year old petrified oak forest. Hales Farm, also located in Mundon has Bronze and white farm reared turkeys available for Christmas.
On to Mayland where Heather House farm shop sells seasonal home grown strawberries, vegetables and plants. At Steeple, Steeple Gate Lamb & Beef offers everything from the smallest chop to largest joint. Watch the animals graze on the Blackwater mashes and enjoy wonderful walks with views over the Blackwater.
All around the Dengie are nature reserves and footpaths on or adjacent to trail member's farms. These allow unrivalled access to the countryside and wildlife habitats. The main road takes you then on to St Lawrence, which is a good location for water sports. Here, along the sea wall, you can also discover the Pillboxes left over from World War II.
Follow the road to Bradwell and you may feel you have reached the end of the earth as the road disappears into the sea. You may have arrived via St Peters Way, the historical footpath through many Dengie farms, finally ending up at St Peters-on-the-Wall next to the Roman fort of Othona. Follow the sea wall back and you will find some Dengie secrets, Shell Beach and Orplands managed retreat where you can see many rare birds and coastal plants.
Follow the road to Bradwell and you may feel you have reached the end of the earth as the road disappears into the sea. You may have arrived via St Peters Way, the historical footpath through many Dengie farms, ending up at St Peters-on-the-Wall next to the Roman fort of Othona. Follow the sea wall back and you will find some Dengie secrets, shell beaches and Blue House Farm where you can see many rare birds and coastal plants.
Continue your journey to Tillingham with its weatherboard cottages and traditional village square. Sarah Green's Organics is located here. You can buy a wide range of seasonal organic vegetables and fruits grown on the farm. Children will find it especially interesting as they can follow a nature trail and see the vegetables grow.
In the Dengie you will experience the extensive open spaces dominated by the wide open skies and be amazed by the sunrise and sunset. You can enjoy these beautiful sights by staying on our unique marshes. Recently converted barns at East Ware Farm Holiday Cottages provide a lovely place to stay.
The trail then goes to Southminster the last stop on the Crouch Valley train Line from London and home to a 15th century church that holds several items from HMS Victory. Here you can buy asparagus fresh from S Thorogood & Sons Farm, and for 4 Star B&B accommodation you can stay in a Georgian farmhouse on a working farm. For the more adventurous Boro' Waters offers carp fishing, equestrian, camping and caravanning all in fabulous countryside.
The trail heads into nearby Burnham-on-Crouch, a busy riverside town. Here you can experience activities such as hot air ballooning with Countryside Balloons, horse riding at Elm Farm Equestrian Centre, nature walks encompassing ancient crop marks at Burnham Wick Farm. Mangapps Railway Museum, a working museum on a farm, features steam and diesel locomotives and a passenger carrying line. A unique experience can be had by staying in a converted railway carriage, self catering accommodation with a private garden. Alternatively Mangapps Manor offers B&B accommodation in a 16th century manor house set in beautiful grounds.
For the food lovers the very busy and well stocked Burnham Farmer's Market is a must. It takes place at the Carnival Hall on the 3rd Sun in the month. The Limes Farm shop also sells seasonal fruit and vegetables with seasonal PYO. Pick Your Own is the best way to get the freshest and most delicious foods from field to fork. The only food miles are the ones which you take home with you!
The Secret Butchers Shop sells local beef, lamb, pork & the speciality Burnham banger. The trail then moves to Althorne with its lovely views over farmland and the River Crouch. Wrekins is a traditional farm shop selling local produce including meat, vegetables, pies and preserves. There is a good railway link with Wickford and London. Beef from award winning shorthorn cattle is produced in the village and sold at Farmer's Markets.
If you want to stay a while the beautiful 4 Star accommodation in a converted barn at Althorne Hall Cottages offer great views over the estuary. From this family run farm you can take scenic walks down to the river. Specialising in eco flower design Crouch Valley Meadow Florist has seasonal floristry demonstrations in the barn on the farm.
From Althorne to Latchingdon. A new attraction to the Dengie area is Clay Hill Vineyard. We are all looking forward to sampling future crops. At North Fambridge White House Farm Venison provides venison naturally reared on the farm. Close by is the Essex Wildlife Trust Blue House Farm Nature Reserve renowned for its wetland bird species.
And there is no better way to round up your journey through the Dengie than with a glass of Baccus from New Hall Vineyards at Purleigh vineyard, one of the largest vineyards in the county. You can also enjoy guided tours and wine tasting. The popular English Wine Festival is held here annually in September.
Please download the leaflet via the link below: