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This Week's Walks - Archive

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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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Saturday, 11 January 2020

Saturday Walk A Near Full Wolf Moon over the River Crouch

SWC Walk 162:  North Fambridge to Burnham-on-Crouch (with optional moonlit extension) t=swc.162

Distance:  13.0 Miles or 20.9 km for those more metrically minded (short-cuts reducing the walk to 10.9 miles/17.4 km are described in the walk notes and the potential moonlit extension can be of various lengths)

Difficulty:  3 out of 10

Train:  Take the 9:35 AM Greater Anglia Southend train from London Liverpool Street (9:42 Stratford), changing at Wickford arriving 10:11, departing 10:16 (step lively across the platform), ultimately arriving North Fambridge at 10:20. Return trains from Burnham-on-Crouch are at XX:00 and 40 past odd hours and XX:20 past even hours. Buy a day return to Burnham-on-Crouch.

This walk makes a lovely outing on a winter’s day with the soft lighting providing quintessential Turneresque landscapes along the way. It mainly follows the banks of the River Crouch from North Fambridge to the North Sea with a small diversion to Althorne for lunch. As a special treat tonight – should the conditions cooperate – you can watch a nearly full wolf moon (named as such because wolves typically do quite a bit of howling in January/February – preparing for the mating season) rise from the North Sea.  You should arrive in Burnham about 16:00 and should have time for tea  or stiffer refreshies before those who wish reassemble about 17:00 (moonrise is 17:01) for a moonlit extension on the river bank out to where the sea meets the river…..This extension can either be out and back or circular and can be adapted based on desired length – you should bring a map print-out if doing a circular route!  You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.

The only lunch stop is the Three Horseshoes (01621 740 307) in Althorne (7.0 miles/11.5 km into the walk).  Tea and other late afternoon refreshments can be had at various watering-holes in Burnham-on-Crouch described in the walk notes.

Enjoy the walk!


Walker said...

On Friday, out of interest, there is going to be a "penumbral eclipse" of the moon from 5pm to 9pm: this means it turns a bit of a funny colour, apparently

Thomas G said...

There is also the earlier 09.13 train to Wickford, should you be nervous of the 5 minute connection there. The coffee kiosk at Wickford may (or may not) be open...

Sandy said...

Thanks for the tip Walker - I've just been out looking at it. I'd say the darker shading is just about discernable with binoculars.

Thomas G said...

13 walkers off the train in w=overcast-with-a-strong-wind-from-the-right-behind type conditions. Having walked this many a times in all seasons, I found it surprisingly muddy today, even on the seawall, which is usually grassy and firm. Slithery rather than deep mud, but still...
Plenty of birds were seen fighting the fierce wind: (not being an expert) waders, geese, ducks, egrets, what looked like a (small) starling murmuration and a larger flock of larger birds doing murmuration-type things. We started at low tide with mudflats exposed and had a joyful first half of the walk before turning up to the lunch pub, the Three Horseshoes. The Walk Poster had booked a table, and the 6 lunchers enjoyed tasty portions, later joined by 5 picnickers (2 others had marched on to Burnham, w/o diverting to the pub).
Upon rejoining the riverbank, we spotted another walker just an inlet behind, who never caught us, but we later saw him in Burnham munching on Fish & Chips (he had started from Althorne station, at halfway point, and stayed on for the extension). n=14
With The Georgian Tea Rooms shut (for winter?), we found a new place, the Ground Coffee House, which was nice. The rest had gone to the Star Inn, where we joined them after tea.
7 agreed to do the moonlight extension, the rest heading for the 17.00 train. The moon was conspiciously abesnt on account of being hidden behind clouds, but there was still plenty of eerie light refraction about, enabling us to avoid using headtorches apart from when studying the map or negotiating muddy stretches. The route chosen was circular, out along the river towards the North Sea, then turn inland through the salt marshes (and past plenty info panels) back towards Burnham. It was joyful, so much that I will lobby the walk author to include it as an optional extension.
3 on the 19.00 train, 4 chose one more drink in The New Welcome Sailor.

Walker said...

What struck me on the night walk was how dark it was out on the Essex marshes. Mostly in the south east there is a glow on the horizon from London or sone other town. But today to the east and north east was impressively black. It would be a good area for stargazing, I think.