Essex Way Stage 7 - Mistley Heath to Harwich

Type: Walk
Grade: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 1d

Facilities

Routes

  • Length of route (miles) - 13
Product Image
  • Product Image
  • Mistley
  • Harwich High and Low Lighthouse
  • Aerial view of Stour

About

The seventh and final (or first if walking west) stretch of the Saffron Trail is 13 miles long. The path starts from Mistely Heath, and ends in Harwich, at the Harwich Tower.  This section is a chance to feel beach and sand under feet for the first time since Epping Forest tube station and the outskirts of outer London.

The shore walk into Harwich is exhausting and wonderful after seven days on the trail. The views of cranes and ferries at Felixstowe rise like a beacon on the skyline. The last leg is well worth savouring over a slow amble.  

The highlights are sand under feet at Copperas Bay, at the start of the walk and then again towards the end on the ramble into Harwich. The occasional trees along the ramps into Copperas Wood are perfect shelter from both sun and rain. The best way to enjoy this section is to swim in summer rain on a calm day. Look out for mullet and bass feeding around the still waters.

See below for other points of interest between Mistely Heath and Harwich

Content provided by Stephen Neale

Facilities

Catering

  • On-site catering - There is some catering in Mistley and Harwich, and limited catering along others part of the trail.
  • On-site light refreshments - There is some catering in Mistley and Harwich, and limited catering along others part of the trail.
  • Picnic site - All along the trail.

Parking

  • Free Parking - Limited off street parking around Mistley and Harwich.
  • Parking with charge - Public car parks and paid street parking at Harwich.

Routes

  • Accessibility of route - Urban parts of trail around the towns and villages of Mistley and Harwich are suitable for wheelchairs/pushchairs. Other parts of the trail are not suitable. The terrain is generally flat but can get very muddy in winter. There are some steps and stiles.
  • Coastal
  • Countryside - Yes, but some urban
  • Length of route (miles) - 13
  • Linear Route
  • Long Distance Path
  • Typical duration of route - 1 day (8 hrs)
  • Woodland - Some tree cover at intervals along the trail

Suitability

  • Dog Owners - Suitable for dogs, but must be kept on leads most of the time.
  • Families

Map & Directions

  1. END/START:– Mistley Heath, Heath Road, Mistley, CO11 2QH
  2. Wrabness – if Lawford is the first scent of sea, then Wrabness is the first touch of sand. Kick of shoes, even in winter and feel sand beneath feet. Best at low tide.
    Wrabness
  3. All Saint’s Church, Wrabness – touch a wooden bell cage. Although we used to lock people in outdoor jails, this 12th century church is home to a bell store or safe… installed when the church's bell tower collapsed in the seventeenth century.
    All Saint’s Church, Wrabness
  4. Copperas Bay – feel warm water around the Stour shallows at high tide. Best swim is on an afternoon tide in July and August.
    Copperas Bay
  5. Ramsey – step into the shadow of a rare and iconic windmill. The Ramsey post mill is one of the few in England to have its last working sails. The mill operated until the start of the Second World War, after it was moved to Ramsey in 1842 from its original location on Mill Hills, Woodbridge, in Suffolk – 12 miles north as the crow flies.
    Ramsey
  6. South Hall Creek – smell wild flowers along the marsh edge.
    South Hall Creek
  7. Dovercourt – look for lighthouses of Dovercourt Bay at sunset, as river traffic enters Harwich harbour
    Dovercourt
  8. END/START:– Harwich Tower – touch the end of the trail and the badge at High Lighthouse, then enjoy a well-earned ice cream on Harwich Pier.
    Essex Way Plaque

Along This Route

  1. Set in the heart of the historic old seaport, Harwich’s Guildhall is a Grade I listed…

  2. Housed in a disused lighthouse, the museum has specialised displays on the Royal Navy and…

  3. Christopher Jones was the Captain of the Mayflower and once lived in King’s Head Street…

  1. Information on everything in Harwich and historic exhibition on Harwich and the Mayflower…

  2. The High Lighthouse was leading lights for the channel into Harwich Harbour, until 1863.…

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Along This Route

  1. Set in the heart of the historic old seaport, Harwich’s Guildhall is a Grade I listed…

  1. Housed in a disused lighthouse, the museum has specialised displays on the Royal Navy and…

  2. Christopher Jones was the Captain of the Mayflower and once lived in King’s Head Street…

  3. Information on everything in Harwich and historic exhibition on Harwich and the Mayflower…

  4. The High Lighthouse was leading lights for the channel into Harwich Harbour, until 1863.…

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