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Crouch Walks – South of the River



Two suggested walks around the South Bank are:  Hullbridge and Canewdon. Wallasea Island is available to download as a separate trail guide on their website

1.       “HULLBRIDGE PROMENADE WALK”  -  Alongside the River Crouch and creeks :

  • Start at Hullbridge village or at the Recreation Ground in Pooles Lane, walk east along Footpath 9, the riverside path past slipways towards Brandy Hole.
  • Go past the Hullbridge Yacht Club and then past mobile homes and many large riverside houses.
  • At the Brandy Hole, the path veers right and runs inland beside a new heavy steel sea wall, then the path curves left beside the salt marshes, soon, it crosses over the long slipway from the river into the Brandy Hole boatyard, also called Battlesbridge Boatyard.
  • On the other side of the slipway, the footpath turns right, then left towards and underneath a long line of trees heading east, the path winds through the trees with marshes on the left.
  • You then come out into the open and the route continues winding left and right roughly northeast along the top of a ridge, firstly with marshes on the left then marshes are on both the left and right.
  • At this point, there used to be a quayside for Hockley village with a lane to it from Lower Road opposite Church Road. From there, another footpath FP 8 headed south to The Dome. If you continue along the ridge path to the end, there used to be a bridge across the creek to take FP 8 around Brandy Hole over to Footpath 12 in Ashingdon Parish to continue to South Fambridge.
  • You will see many types of sea birds, waders, farmland birds, birds of prey and sometimes seals resting in the creeks. The Brandyhole is a curiously patterned area of marsh caused by its ancient use for salt beds and oyster farming. These and the other nearby creeks are spawning grounds and a life-giving haven for many types of fish including bass, cod, whiting and other valued marine species and birds.
  • Now turn around and retrace your steps past the boatyard to the restaurant and if you wish to see the countryside, follow Kingsmans Farm Road in front of the beautiful houses, the road turns left then right, look left at the ancient timber framed Kingsmans Farm.
  • Continue west, pass the caravan park on the right and where the lane turns sharp right, turn left into Long Lane, Byway 6 and walk north.
  • 320m after Cracknell’s Farm, go right into Footpath 5 to Burnham Road.
  • Turn right, go to the end and turn left into Keswick Avenue and walk to Ferry Road.
  • Turn right, walk north along the main village road and turn left into the third road on the left called The Drive.
  • Walk west and turn into the fourth road on the right, Alfreda Avenue. Walk north to the River Crouch.
  • You can turn left and go west along The Esplanade to see the river, slipways, boat moorings and Fenn Creek opposite, and if you wish, continue along FP9 which becomes FP1 in Rawreth.
  • Continue alongside the river another 1.80 km (1.10 miles) to Beeches Road, or 3.00 km (1.80 miles) to Battlesbridge with its antique centres, pubs, cafés and hotel.
  • At the Esplanade, you can turn around and go east where Footpath 9 enters Kendal Park woods beside the River Crouch. It soon passes the Smugglers Den Club, then it reaches Ferry Road with its slipway and low tide crossing.
  • Just opposite is the Anchor restaurant and bar. Walk east along the riverside Footpath 9 until the Recreation Ground, cross the park to reach the car park.

This is a tidal river route with marshes, marine birds, boats and views of farmland.

Total distance :   6.50 km (4.00 miles). Time :  1.25 hours - in Hullbridge and Brandy Hole.

Total distance : 12.00 km (7.20 miles). Time :  2.50 hours - with a trip to Battlesbridge.

2.       “CANEWDON TO RAYPITS WALK”  - Canewdon Village to the River Crouch:

  • Start in Canewdon village near the Anchor Inn pub and shops, go east 50m and opposite the school, turn left into Footpath 4.
  • After 900m, the path bears left, then it turns right towards the River Crouch and Upper Raypits.
  • Footpath 25 gives access to the Crouch sea wall on the western side of Raypits beside the pond. Along the sea wall, Footpath 22 runs both west and east.
  • From the sea wall, view the wide curving river, the marshes on the left and the Bridgemarsh Island nature reserve on the other side. The old name for the River Crouch was “The Huolne flete (or flumen)”.
  • The return journey can be along a different path, go through Raypits, turn right, take Footpath 4 heading southwest in the direction of Ashingdon Minster high on its hill 3.80 kms (2.35 miles) away.
  • After 1.15 kms, nearly to Pudsey Hall, the path turns west and it turns left into Footpath 1. It turns left again, then right, then left heading east to Bolt Hall.
  • At Bolt Hall, turn right heading southeast, the footpath crosses the lane to Bolt Hall and Upper Raypits, then it crosses a large field diagonally over Beacon Hill to St Nicholas Church in Canewdon.
  • Cross Church Hill and go through the churchyard, you will see an ancient lock-up in a cage on the left.
  • Continue down the High Street to the Anchor Inn pub, shops and the bus stop.

This is a rural, riverside route with farmland, birds, adders, marshes and hilltop churches.

Total distance:  5.20 kms (3.25 miles). Time:  1 hour 10 minutes.

©  Glen Dryhurst,  Updated 2021