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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, 14 July 2019

A Summer Sunday by the Seaside with Oysters (Wivenhoe to Mersea Island)

SWC 247: Wivenhoe to Mersea Island T=SWC.247

Distance:  12 Miles or 19 km for those more metrically minded (shorter and longer options available -- see walk intro page)

Difficulty:  2 out of 10

Train:  Take the 9:38 AM Greater Anglia Clacton-on-Sea train from London Liverpool Street (9:46 Stratford), arriving at Wivenhoe at 10:46. Return from West Mersea is via bus to Colchester – bus 67B leaves West Mersea High Street at 16:40; 18:40 and 20:40 with trains from Colchester at 03; 07 and 30 minutes past the hour. If you step lively from the bus at the “Albert” stop in Colchester you may catch the 30 minutes past the hour train. Buy a day return to Wivenhoe. 

I do not think that this walk has ever been posted – but with a tidal river, ferry crossing, seaside stroll and oysters what else could you ask for on a [sunny] Sunday in Summer. The first part of the walk will be famliar to anyone who has done the Book 1 Wivenhoe circular and follows the picturesque River Colne to Arlesford Creek. Unfortunately, here it looks necessary to divert inland to a bridge – but rather than going through suburbs to Brightlingsea, I suggest we pass by the church and pick up the coastal route – this will add a few km (factored into the distance referenced above) but looks more interesting….Instructions for the walk are sparse – so best to also print the map or download the GPX file. In Brightlingsea, we will catch the hourly ferry across to Mersea Island (we should aim for the 2:00 PM or 3:00 PM ferry), where the tide will be low and we can walk along the beach front path, possibly stopping for a swim along the way…

In West Mersea, late afternoon oysters should be enjoyed before catching the bus to Colchester for the return train. You can find more information about the walk here.

The recommended lunch stop is the Yachtsman’s Arms harbourside in Brightlingsea (6 miles/10 km into the walk).  Tea and other late afternoon refreshments can be had various places in West Mersea while waiting for the bus….note, oysters are a specialty….

Enjoy the walk!

3 comments:

Unknown said...

Can you wear trainers for this walk?

Anonymous said...

Although I have not done this walk, I would suspect trainers would be ok. I am planning to wear my tevas.....

Stargazer said...

Perhaps it was the gloomy weather in London in the morning or the plethora of sporting events televised during the day or the various obstacles described in the walk notes...whatever the reason, only n=3 materialized from the appointed train for this exploration of Essex....As we all knew each other, we dispensed with the usual formalities and set off...one with a paper map and one a gizmo...

Wivenhoe was very quite on a Sunday morning and the stretch along the river peaceful and serene with great views...At Arlesford Creek we followed the creek up to a rather interesting tide mill (only occasionally open for tours) where there is a road bridge. Across the creek we opted for the longer version to recapture the river....En route, one spotted a shorter option shown on view ranger (but not marked as public on OS maps), he investigated...and the route is pleasant and marked as permissive -- cutting out about a mile or so -- but still taking in much of the riverside views missed on the direct route...I will arrange for the GPX file to be updated to reflect this option. The pub in Brighlingsea made a nice refreshment stop before the catching the ferry...

On the other side, the route mainly follows the coast. If interested in swimming, best to aim for highish tide, as there are miles of mudflats at low tide....though, you will want to be about an hour after full high tide in order to use the beach route around the caravan park.....The beach wall is damaged at places -- but there is a path below on the inside of the wall (to the right if walking E 2 W) which is fine...and leads nicely around the scout camp....Going East to West there are no path closure signs -- but interestingly, there was one if walking W 2 E...

On arrival in West Mersea, unless rushing for a bus -- definitely continue around the coast to the Coast Inn (and other hostelries) as there is not much on the High Street (especially on Sunday). Leave about 15-20 minutes to walk back from the Coast Inn to the bus stop on the High Street....

When canvassed on the bus to Colchester....all agreed that they would do this walk again on a Saturday....using the shorter morning option on the newly discovered permissive path and continuing along the coast to the pub before heading to the high street...

A very interesting and enjoyable day out w=starting-under-dramatic-dark-clouds-and-ending-in-bright-sunshine.