Total Pageviews

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Walk 20 North Fambridge to Burnham on Crouch

Walk 20 North Fambridge to Burnham on Crouch (Essex)

(First leg of English coastal walk – Broadstairs in Kent to Berwick at the border with Scotland).

Map: L/R 168
Distance: about 8 miles including walk inland to car/train
Difficulty: easy, mainly flat
Terrain: mostly paths some of which can be muddy
Access: Parking at both ends
Public transport – Trains at North Fambridge and Burnham on Crouch – they leave every 40 minutes except for Sundays when once an hour.

Follow the road down from Fambridge station then the footpath that takes you to the walk along the River Crouch on the Dengie Peninsula. At low tide there are large areas of grassed marshland, rather attractive in their own way. The area was once land but in 1897 floods smashed through the river wall.

The walk continues around Bridgemarsh Creek opposite the marshy Bridgemarsh Island. Following a flood in 1736 a sea wall was built around the island and a causeway gave access at low tide. Farming took place and a brickworks was built (the chimney of which still survives on the island). A tramway linked the works with a quay visited by Thames barges. The major floods of 1953 resulted in the end of regular occupation of the island and it is now a haven for wildlife and salt marsh flowers. A trust looks after the area.

The path winds its way past Althorne Creek and on to Creeksea which is about a mile west of Burnham. This place (along with Bosham in Sussex) is said to be the site where King Canute tried to defy the tide. RAF fast rescue boats and motor torpedo boats operated from here during World War 2.

Burnham on Crouch is a very pleasant spot. Part of the town has elegant Georgian buildings. It has been called the Cowes of the east coast and is an important sailing centre. Every August the town hosts a festival of sailing. In earlier times it was a fishing port known for its oyster beds. A bi-annual pub crawl is held in fancy dress raising money for the Samaritans. Ian Drury and the Blockheads allude to the upmarket nature of the town in the song “Billericay Dickie”.

Return to the car or station which is about a mile inland.

Picture shows two scenes near North Fambridge.

No comments:

Post a Comment