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Wild Wallasea, Maldon and the Dengie Peninsula

Bradwell


Day 1


Spend the morning on Wallasea Island, a wild, expansive landscape of marshland, lagoons and open sea where you can walk the seawalls to see the saltmarsh, mudflats and observe terns diving into the water in Summer and huge flocks of waders and wildfowl in Winter.  

Having been intensely farmed for many years, causing land levels to sink below sea level, Wallasea has been built up in recent times with millions of tonnes of earth, excavated from under London as part of the Crossrail project and it is now an RSPB wetland bird reserve. 

From up on the sea wall, there are lovely views across the River Crouch to Burnham where the Art-Deco Yacht Club dominates the waterfront and sailing boats bob up and down near the shore.  From Wallasea, you can see the final resting place of Darwin’s famous ship, HMS Beagle where it was moored in the centre of the River Roach overlooking the island and later moved to and broken up in a mud berth.  

Worked up an appetite…?  There are a couple of good options for a pub lunch nearby: The Plough & Sail at Paglesham or The Cherry Tree in Rochford.  

After lunch, head towards Maldon on the Blackwater Estuary, taking a detour along to the North side of the Dengie Peninsular to Sales Point and the Bradwell Cockle Spit, an Essex Wildlife Trust site where the sound of the breeze and the cry of the birds is all you will hear.  The ancient chapel of St Peter’s stands all alone, out on the headland, a place of worship for over one-thousand years and used as a remote hiding place for smugglers and their illegal treasures in years gone by.  

If you’re looking for something a bit different, consider staying overnight here at Bradwell where simple, basic accommodation is available within the open Christian community based here:. 

Alternatively, if you are a large family or group you can stay on the historic sailing barge 'Reminder'  which is moored up at Maldon Quay.


Day 2


Take a trip out on the River Blackwater with Topsail Charters and experience these grand old Maldon sailing barges in sail.  There are numerous themed tours to choose from, leaving at various times, including birding trips with a local expert.  

Up until the 19th century, hundreds of these terracotta-sailed beauties scurried up and down the East Coast, transporting goods such as bricks, coal, grain and cement back and forth to London.  

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Product Information

  1. Topsail Charters

    Maldon

    Historic sailing barges ‘Hydrogen’ and ‘Thistle’ are available for regular public cruises and also for private hire for groups up to 50 from a variety of East Coast locations including Maldon and Ipswich.

  2. Sailing Barge "Reminder"

    Maldon

    Historic sailing barge moored at top of River Blackwater on Maldon's Hythe Quay. Ideal base for sea wall walks, bird watching and exploring our Saltmarsh Coast..

  3. Bradwell Shell Bank

    Southminster

    Bradwell Cockle Spit on the Dengie Peninsular consists of some 30 acres of shell bank together with extensive saltmarsh. The spit has been built up by tidal currents and is mainly cockle and oyster shells.

  4. Burnham on Crouch circular walk

    Burnham on Crouch

    Easily accessible by rail this family friendly walk of approximately 5.5 miles guides you around the town's different landscapes.

Itinerary Distances

FromToDistance * (metric)
Topsail Charters (51.72949,0.68789)Sailing Barge "Reminder" (51.72931,0.68807)0.02
Sailing Barge "Reminder" (51.72931,0.68807)Bradwell Shell Bank (51.73503,0.94448)15.92
Bradwell Shell Bank (51.73503,0.94448)Burnham on Crouch circular walk (51.6336,0.81395)13
Burnham on Crouch circular walk (51.6336,0.81395)The Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall (51.73524,0.93961)12.83
Total Distance *41.77 miles
Estimated Journey Time1.34 hours

* Approximate distance by road

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