The Maldon foreshore becomes an occasional home to dolphins and their calves in July and August; walk a shell beach around the oldest chapel in England, or visit England’s best vineries on the Dengie Peninsula.
Look out for whales off the Maldon coast, hike to England’s oldest church or visit a submerged forest at low tide.
Wallow in the warm water and mud from July until late September. After that come in a wetsuit.
Park at Steeple Church (51.692565, 0.80114365) and walk west for 16 minutes along The Street to the sea wall.
Forty pilot whales beached on these sands in 2014 with a sick member in their pod. It’s a damn special (healing) place for a swim. Take my word for it.
There’s a car park (51.718907, 0.82496703) right next to the beach.
A submerged forest 5,000 years old. Tree trunks and stumps along several hundred yards of foreshore at Stow Maries. When the Crouch was a freshwater river and the coastline much further east. Most of the trunks have been covered by sea wall repairs. Part of Crouch and Roach Estuaries SSSI.
No camping allowed along the Chelmer, but it’s worthy of a long day out dawn to dusk.
Launch from either Chelmsford town centre car park or the jetties at Heybridge Basin. A day ticket can be bought from the warden at Heybridge.
Mill Point north Blackwater
Details to follow…
Maldon councillors have wiped out bridleways over the last 30 years, leaving just 15 miles of the ancient network. So look to the wild coast. Walk over Maldon’s salt marsh, see the world’s last sail-driven trade ships or visit England’s most famous yacht race.
Unique access to Essex salt marsh and creeks. Paths cross across the mud flats for boat owners provide public access.
Maldon’s Hythe Quay
Home to the last cargo vessels in the world still operating under sail: Thames Sailing Barges.
Launch from the quay for access to the south side of the largest tidal estuary north of the Thames: the Blackwater.
The most famous sailing event in England. ‘Burnham Week’ hosted by the towns four yacht clubs. The yacht regatta was created in 1893.
Kayak out from here on any weekday to see how little the north shore of the Blackwater has changed in the last 120 years.
Walk England’s most historically important island from the Maldon foreshore or watch thousands of dark-bellied geese arrive in winter.
More than 8,000 Dark-bellied Brent Geese (5 per cent of the world population) feed here each winter.
A island of unique historical interest – with access via a prehistoric causeway – over the largest area of saltmarsh in Essex (1102.85 ha) – the fifth largest area in Great Britain.
Like Northey Island, the Osea causeway floods twice each day. Getting stranded after dusk necessitates wild camping on the foreshore, so go prepared.
Visit a church made from Maldon fossils, two villages named after druid rituals, or a hall built on a prehistoric mound.
St. Lawrence and All Saints Church
A church built in art from fossils collected from the foreshore hundreds of years ago. Cement stone known as septoria was also collected locally.
The timber-framed Church of St. Mary is within the remains of Mundon Hall moat on prehistoric foundations.
All the Totems (church door)
Much like the ‘Dodds’, on the other side of the county, the Tothams (little and great) contain in their name a hint of a past linked to mathmatical and geometrical (science), which before Newton was called mysticism.
The best wild food and rest in Maldon.
English wine is rated highly. Essex grapes get more than their share of sun, shine and rain. Visit the vineries throughout Dengie as part for a long day’s hike.
The Queens Head
The Hythe, Maldon, Essex.
The Jolly Sailor
Perhaps a tad overpriced, but the food is always hot and the service welcome. Summer lunch at the Heybridge Basin on the tow path / estuary; winter inside warms the cockles. The after lunch walk is always free.
The Street, Maldon, Essex.
12 Colchester Road, Great Totham, Essex.
Copsey Fish Bar
They say this is the best chippie in Maldon. It must be true because one year I wrote a story for the local newspaper about the length of the queues on a Friday.
Hall Road, Heybridge Basin, 01621 851 001.
Talks, workshops and Essex tours
Workshops for schools, scouts, guides, community groups or businesses. Learn how to wild camp and forage, or where to hike, canoe and cycle in Essex. Also, talks on the unique history of land ownership in Essex, and how to enjoy the outdoors by understanding all the laws of access.
Phone – 07947 160007
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org