Rochford is home to the largest ‘shell beach’ in Britain

Paddle the tidal foreshore, navigate a kayak around seal colonies and creeks, or walk along the most important stream in Britain: Prittle Brook.

River valleys and mud baths – Rochford

miles of river

miles of coast

places to launch a canoe

Kayak with seals off Rochford’s Wallasea Island, swim the creeks around Little Wakering or paddle in the ford at Sutton Bridge.

Wallasea Island

Swim or kayak at 1pm on a windless, August when the water is warmest.
Launch on the ebb from this little park spot by Lion Creek (51.618350, 0.77757776) just after high tide. Light supper on the mud flats. Return on the flood at dusk.

51.624764, 0.78415990

Little Wakering Creek

Swimmers can come and go as they please. Good timing needed to navigate a canoe out around high tide, unless night camping the creeks around Potten Island.

Parking in the streets (51.565446, 0.78565657) around the creek.
51.566774, 0.78597844

Sutton Bridge

Where Prittle Brook (urban) meets the River Roach (wild) Worthy of a swim after a wet week in July.
As part of a 2hr walk along Prittle Brook from Priory Park car park (51.553594, 0.70497036) to Temple Farm and out into the Roach.
51.574246, 0.71649313

Wildlife wonders – Rochford

estuaries to fish and forage

breeding golden plover

metres of clay and chalk

Explore 180 miles of Rochford footpath. Listen to the rare sound of crickets in summer or watch thousands of dark bellied geese arrive for winter.

Stannetts Creek

A part of the Roach and Crouch estuary which supports more than 6,000 dark-bellied brent geese.

Brandy Hole

One of the few places in England where the constant ‘reeling’ song of the Roesel’s bush-cricket can be heard from mid to late summer.
Salt marsh on the south bank of the Crouch.

Hockley Spa

Built over the top of the fresh water lake that spans all of Essex, 220 metres below the surface of earth, squeezed between two layers of chalk and rock.

Mucking Hall

Grazing marshes where large numbers of skylark and corn bunting fill the the air with song.

Paglesham pool.

One of the few places left in England where salt marsh merges into grassland without the interruption of a seawall; great place for kayakers to overnight.


The largest shell beach in Britain. Empty cockle shells wash up here to create what’s known as a ‘chenier ridge’.

Beacons and sacred places – Rochford

Look over Rochford’s Crouch Valley from Plumberow Mount or survey the scene of a former Viking king from Beacon Hill.

Plumberow Mount

One of the most important strategic and holy points in south Essex. A former sighting hill that was used to monitor the Crouch valley below, it has at various times throughout history been a burial mound.

Beacon Hill

St Nicholas Church now marks the spot of this known Saxon settlement at Canewdon; although its holy providence stretches back much further. King Cnut camped here with his Danish army before conquering the Saxons in 1016.

The Broomway

“The most perilous byway in England” is legally open to traffic, although only a hovercraft driver would attempt. A relic of dinosaur track that has been preserved in the Thames’ salty waters for intrepid hikers.

Ancient and ruined – Rochford

Look for prehistoric flint tools around Rochford’s salt marshes or hike over green fields once owned by the Knights Templars.


Mesolithic flints found at low tide reveal that 8,000 years ago this entire area was inland from the sea; a prehistoric sub terrain over peat.

Temple Farm

An ancient, holy site where geometrically aligned crop circles regularly appear in the field, even in 2016. Lands were owned in recent history by the Knights Templar order.

Hockey Woods

Oak and hornbeam grow out of London Clay over sand and gravel left by the River Medway that flowed through here 700,000 years ago.

Food and fare – Rochford

Best of wild food and fare in Rochford.

Batches Farm Caravan Club CL

It’s a members only site, so you will need to join the Caravan Club before booking into one of the best locations in Essex: High on the Roach Valley. One of the best views in Essex. Five minute walk from the River Roach and Hockley Woods; 30 minute cycle off road to River Crouch.

The Anchor Riverside Pub and Restaurant

284 Ferry Road, Hullbridge, Essex.

The Royal Oak

Stambridge Road, Rochford, Essex.

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 –