Thirty miles from central London, the River Thames widens into a great estuary on its way to the North Sea. Mud, marsh and water blend into one. You can watch container ships navigating the deep channel as they come and go from the docks at Tilbury. On either side, the flat horizon is punctuated by the chimneys of the oil refineries and industrial sites.
This seems like a barren and bleak landscape. It can appear grey and lifeless, even on a sunny day. But it is actually a dramatic and constantly changing environment. On this walk between Benfleet and Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, you can explore the tidal creeks, salt marshes, mudflats on the edge of the estuary. Discover how dynamic they are and meet a range of wildlife that are specially-adapted to existing here.
You can also find out how humans have learned to live in this marginal environment between the land and sea – battling the tides, earning a living and defending their shores.
Mostly flat with a steep climb near the end
- Suitable for:
Children’s activity available for this walk
A popular place for dog walking
- East of England
- Shaping the landscape Preserving the landscape Exploiting the landscape
- Benfleet railway station
- Marine Drive, Leigh on Sea
- Getting there:
Direct trains from London Fenchurch Street (45 minutes)
Accessible from M25 Junction 29 (15 miles)
Served by local buses running between Basildon and Southend-on-Sea