Maldon is home to a 5,000-year-old submerged forest

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.

Rivers and beaches – Maldon

miles of shell beach

miles of coast


Look out for whales off the Maldon coast, hike to England’s oldest church or visit a submerged forest at low tide.

Mayland Creek

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.

51.692458, 0.77526569

The Stone

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.

51.718149, 0.80904007

st peter’s chapel

Swimming in the wake of England’s oldest church is invigorating. Watch out for adders in the dunes.
The drive feels like a pilgrimage ( 51.732537, 0.92896700). Walking is better, but takes a week. Swim 10 minutes from the car park.

51.735374, 0.94021082

Clementsgreen Creek

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.

Chelmer Navigation

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…

Canoe and camp – Maldon

miles of river to navigate

places to launch a canoe

dark bellied geese

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.

Woodrolfe Creek

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.

Mud baths, wild swimming and sunken isles – Maldon

Walk England’s most historically important island from the Maldon foreshore or watch thousands of dark-bellied geese arrive in winter.

Bridgemarsh Island

More than 8,000 Dark-bellied Brent Geese (5 per cent of the world population) feed here each winter.

Northey Island

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.

Osea Island

Like Northey Island, the Osea causeway floods twice each day. Getting stranded after dusk necessitates wild camping on the foreshore, so go prepared.

Ancient and ruined – Maldon

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. 

Mundon Hall

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.

Food and sleep – Maldon

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 Bell

The Street, Maldon, Essex.

The Compasses

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 –