Oyster Beds and Salt Marshes; Magical Mersea

Type: Walk
Duration: 8h - 1d

Facilities

Routes

  • Length of route (miles) - 13.4
Maydays Farm - Pyefleet Channel
  • Maydays Farm - Pyefleet Channel
  • Cudmore Grove Country Park
  • Mersea Island, River Colne
  • West Mersea
  • West Mersea
  • West Mersea
  • West Mersea
  • Mersea Oyster Beds
  • East Mersea
  • Mersea cliffs

About

Essex has more islands than any other English county, and they are special too. These are England’s most important salt marshes. Canvey, Osea, Foulness and many more. 

Mersea Island is arguably the most beautiful; a combination of wild and urban magic. Somewhere to see porpoises and migrating ospreys in spring, or red squirrels all year round. Good food, drink and hospitality – everything from local caught oysters and vineyard wine, to pubs and dining. 

The island is connected to land by a mythical causeway known as the 'Strood' – believed to be one of the only Anglo-Saxon land bridges in England. Mersea can be navigated by sail or kayak, but is probably best seen from the land. The terra visitor gets isolated sea and land views, as well as easy access to lazy deckchairs, historic buildings and refreshments.

The first stretch, along the wilds of Mersea beach, was a stunning vista of yachts, dilapidated houseboats, and the 'monkey steps' where, in the 18th and 19th centuries, officials would guard against smugglers.

Forget the traffic and forget the noise. The gently rolling landscape of Essex, sprinkled with rivers and lit by constantly changing East Anglian skies, miles of country lanes, hidden byways, bridleways and public footpaths is best explored by walking or cycling.

Facilities

Accessibility

  • Disabled toilets - CO5, Victoria Esplanade, West Mersea, Colchester CO5 8XB

Catering

  • On-site catering - There is limited catering along the 3 mile stretch between Cudmore Grove Country Park and Seaview Public Car Park, Colchester, CO5 8DE
  • On-site light refreshments - There are limited refreshments along the 3 mile stretch between Cudmore Grove Country Park and Seaview Public Car Park, Colchester, CO5 8DE
  • Picnic site - Cudmore Grove Country Park, Broman's Ln, East Mersea, Colchester CO5 8UE

Parking

  • Free Parking - Some off street parking around West Mersea.
  • Parking with charge - Cudmore Grove Country Park, Coast Rd, Victoria Esplanade Parking, Seaview Public Car Park.

Property Facilities

  • Public toilets - Cudmore Grove Country Park, Coast Rd, Victoria Esplanade

Routes

  • Accessibility of route - Urban parts of coastal route around West Mersea Coast Road are suitable for wheelchairs/pushchairs. Other parts of the seawall are not suitable. The terrain is generally flat but can get muddy in winter. There are very few steps or stiles.
  • Circular Route
  • Coastal - Mostly seawall
  • Countryside - Yes, but some urban
  • Description of route - Length of route (km) - 21.6
  • Length of route (miles) - 13.4

Suitability

  • Dog Owners - Dogs must be kept on lead at times. Some restrictions around beaches in summer.
  • Families

Map & Directions

  1. Cudmore Grove Country Park. Get on your hands and knees and look for prehistoric sharks teeth around the water's edge. Listen for sand martins that nest in the ochre red cliffs in spring, and swoop along the beach for flies. Stay late to feel the cool air and shadows from one of the best June sunsets in England.
  2. If desired, veer off path to visit Mersea stone beach. Launch a kayak or look for wild roses on the beach. Seals and porpoises here in spring. Wonderful dawn views across to Brightlingsea in late winter.
    Mersea Stone Beach
  3. Reeveshall Marsh
  4. Maydays Marsh
  5. Bower Hall
  6. Disused oyster pits
  7. St Peter’s Well
  8. Why not stop for refreshments at Waldegraves Holiday Park restaurant. Or try your hand at fishing or foot golf.
  9. Cudmore Grove sea wall

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Along This Route

  1. 10 bay covered Driving Range for all weather practice - open to everyone. This undercover…

  1. For fishing holidays in Essex that will leave you hooked, choose Waldegraves Holiday…

  2. Get ready for fun with our 9-hole course FootGolf course in Essex. The latest sporting…

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