Essex Days ; Tollesbury Trail, Essex

by Veronica

226 miles from home and I was out and about in Essex. It's not as green as Cheshire but it was very beautiful and I set out on a 10 mile / 16 km hike.

My son lives in Essex and we are visiting for a few days. He found this walking trail for us. Tollesbury is a village in England on the Essex coast at the mouth of the River Blackwater. It is nine miles from Maldon and twelve miles from Colchester.

Of course this is nothing like my usual walking places of hills, mountains, lakes and wooded green countryside of Northern England . This is in the SE. It was flat, wild and very beautiful. Different but stunning in its own way.

The sign as we entered the village was 2 sided and showed a plough on one side and a sail on the other. This is because Tollesbury was known as the village of the plough and sail and relied on food from the land and sea. The main trade of Tollesbury was crabs and oysters.

marina
marina

Tollesbury Essex

It is nine miles from Maldon and twelve miles from Colchester.

We started the walk part way round at Tollesbury Marina. It is stunning there, so beautiful. Many boats bob up and down on the water. There is an open air pool, a lovely restaurant and many walks.

The stretch of water in the picture is called Tollesbury Fleet and it leads out into the estuary.

A lovely Essex sky

blue blue blue
blue blue blue
huge open areas along Tollesbury fleet
huge open areas along Tollesbury fleet

The Light Ship

A lightship is a ship which is a lighthouse. They are used in waters that are too deep or unsafe to build a lighthouse. I had never seen a light ship before. This one is on the salt marshes at Woodrolfe Creek at the Marina near the River Blackwater channel . This one was only retired in 1988 and was mainly working off the South Wales coast.

Tollesbury light ship
Tollesbury light ship

World War 2 defences

WW2 defences
WW2 defences

The pier was destroyed as a defence measure and the coast was used for defensive guns along the  Blackwater estuary. Remains are still evident.

Looking out into the Blackwater channel
Looking out into the Blackwater channel
bend in the drainage system
bend in the drainage system

The bend in the draining system intrigued me as I have never seen one so mathematically done before. Look at that corner.

Wildlife along the way

2 butterflies close
2 butterflies close
horned sheep
horned sheep
bees pollinating
bees pollinating
wildflowers
wildflowers

Rolls Cottage

Rolls cottage
Rolls cottage

This pink farm house is one of the loveliest I have ever seen and the cottage garden was beautiful .

Tollesbury church
Tollesbury church


Saint Mary's church
Tollesbury church  is dedicated to Saint Mary the Virgin. It was believed to have been built  around 1099  so it is Norman.

In Medieval times the  church was the property of Saint Mary's convent at Barking.

Updated: 08/11/2016, Veronica
 
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Veronica on 09/26/2016

The rushes are indeed sold for matting.

Veronica on 09/26/2016

The light ship is quite fascinating isn't it ! I too would like to know more about it. I'll bet it has seen some tales. I will investigate at some point.

The land is farmland and I would think it is very important that the farmer keeps the drainage in good condition.

This area is one of England's driest and it does not get many storms, only occasionally. The annual rainfall is small compared to the NW as we discovered today ! It's been soaking all day. The average rainfall for July ( when we visited ) would be only 7mm compared to 54mm average in July for this part of England.

frankbeswick on 09/26/2016

While I am unsure of the detail of the clearing of the drainage bend, I know that the reed and rushes are cut and sold for matting.

DerdriuMarriner on 09/26/2016

Veronica, Thank you for the afternoon stroll! Sometimes flat is very nice, for bicycling, running and walking.
Do you know if the lightship has any famous tales to tell, such as that of the Daunt in Ireland? Do you know what the skies look like during super-stormy weather? Do you know what they do to keep that drainage system bend pruned?

Veronica on 08/10/2016

Yes you are so right. I think that sort of change and variety keeps the brain more alert. That in turn helps us to avoid Alzheimer's I think.

That and the 10 mile hike .... :)

blackspanielgallery on 08/10/2016

Variety is important, and finding a walking trail that is so different, indeed arts different from itself even, makes it a valuable experience. Variety keeps us from being bored.

Veronica on 08/08/2016

Thank you .

It is certainly very beautiful despite not being as lush green as the North West.

frankbeswick on 08/08/2016

This article on walking in Essex is a valuable addition to the walking articles on Wizzley, as it is an area about which there have been no previous articles. I have only visited Essex twice, so I cannot write about my experiences of walking there. The last time I walked there was 1969.

One interesting fact about Essex, whose name means the land of the East Saxons, is that it is England's driest county, the one whose rainfall is the lowest in Britain. It is the county where the writer Beth Chatto planted her Dry Garden, plants suited to dry soils. The dry conditions explain why it is not as green as Cheshire, in the damp North West. Yet the coastal mudflats of Essex can be extensive and are at places dangerous. It is the county which has England's most dangerous coastal path, the Broomway, which crosses dangerous mudflats.

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