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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Sunday, 9 December 2018

Sunday Walk - Mudflats and Birdlife on a tidal river, and some Big Skies: North Fambridge to Burnham-on-Crouch

Length:  20.9 km (13.0 mi) [shorter walk possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent:  127/120m
Net Walking Time: ca. 4 ½ hours
Toughness:  3 out of 10 
Take the 10.14 Southend Victoria train from Liverpool Street (10.21 Stratford, 10.34 Romford etc.), change at Wickford  onto the Southminster service (arr. 11.03, dep. 11.06), arrives North Fambridge 11.20. Nervous about the 3-minute connection in Wickford (the connecting train typically does NOT wait)? Take the 09.44 train from L’pool Street…
Return trains from Burnham are hourly on xx.21 (68 mins journey time). Buy a Burnham-on-Crouch return.

Serenity, tranquillity, solitude: you’ll find lots of it on this walk on the Dengie Peninsula in Essex, which largely follows the tidal River Crouch  eastwards towards the North Sea, on a wide grassy path atop the sea wall, and with the prevailing wind in the back. Far away from any conurbations, you’ll experience wide open and scenic countryside, constantly changing river views, salt marshes, reed ponds, mudflats, creeks, rich bird life, sailing boats and marinas, to then end along the promenade in charming Burnham-on-Crouch, with its plethora of tea options. Flat throughout (apart from the diversion inland for lunch at the good value pub The Three Horseshoes in Althorne), and with exceptionally easy route finding.

·        It is possible to shorten the walk by taking the train back from Althorne, just before/after lunch.
·        You can also cut short the approach to the river from Fambridge station in the morning by using a more direct route (cuts 1.4 km/0.9 mi) or cut the Burnham ending short by using a more direct route to the station (cuts 2.1 km/1.3 mi).
·        Taking both shortcuts therefore reduces the length of the walk to 17.4 km (10.9 mi).
·        Finally, if you bring your own lunch (no shops along the route) for a picnic by the river, you can cut out the walk inland to the lunch pub, reducing the walk by 2.9 km/1.8 mi.

Note: earlier in the year, the section of riverside footpath between Althorne and Creeksea was closed for works on the sea wall. Should – against expectations – the works still be blocking the path, an alternative route has been added to map and gpx file.

Lunch is at the family-run The Three Horseshoes  in Althorne(11.5 km/7.2 mi). For tea, you are spoilt for choice for cafes, restaurants and pubs in Burnham (we might even manage to gate crash the bar at The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club  again in its stunning location overhanging the river estuary…). For details on all these options consult the Walk Directions pdf.
For walk directions, map, height profile, some photos, a video and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.162

1 comment:

Stargazer said...

n=4 set off from North Fambridge in w=surprisingly-sunny-conditions-with-a-steady-tailwind for this winter's walk through a Turner painting...The group split almost immediately with 2 doing the more direct short start and 2 the main walk. We regrouped just before the lunch diversion (and an ominous footpath closure sign). Three had good value lunches at the pub with the picnicker joining for a hot drink. After lunch, 2 headed off on the alternate route and 2 felt it their civic SWC duty to inspect the footpath closure more closely...While there is indeed a barrier, it is passable. Inspection of the various mud-prints along the closed seawall would imply that we were not the only transgressors, unless Essex is enlisting the use of pooches in their seawall revamping project. Overall, the route is passable with work in a few spots on both sides of the wall -- though would likely be more challenging during the week when workers would more likely be present. In the afternoon, the early sunset along the river with some passing clouds was really beautiful. In Burnham, the 2 river walkers made a pass through town and planned to stop at a pub nearer the station -- but decided to catch the 17:10 (with provisions) and met the 2 alternate route walkers on the platform for a pleasant journey home.