One of my favourite things to do in my spare time is going on walks that take me away from the busy towns and into the beautiful countryside. In Britain, we are blessed with miles of public footpaths and today, I took on the first half of my local walk that stretches along the Thames Estuary to the popular seaside resort of Southend.
I started my walk in the newly built Thurrock Thameside Nature Park, a place where families and bird enthusiasts can look out onto the Thames in the hope of spotting rare wildlife. Whilst the site itself is perfectly alright, if slightly dull, it is dwarfed by the nearby DP World London Gateway super port, another recent addition to my side of the river. It was the latter that made this walk more winding than it should have been, forcing me to trek through the villages of Corringham and Fobbing. Mind you, I wasn’t complaining much, as these felt pleasant to walk through, with the exception of a dog who wouldn’t stop barking as I passed its house. Occasionally I did get lost, as my over reliance on following signage depended on those signs actually being correct.
After leaving Fobbing, I came to the most tiring and worst part of the walk, which were the Fobbing Marshes. I say marshes, but these ultimately became endless fields that the nearby cows had made their mark on in more ways than one. I was briefly excited to walk into the Wat Tyler Country Park but the nearby creeks made it impossible to traverse; the path instead directed me through yet more cow fields and into one field where the sheep surrounding me stood on guard as though prepared for an attack. Some other forms of wildlife made an appearance, including what appeared to be a young fox and a fly who must have been buzzing in my ear for a good minute. In the end I made it to the other side of the reserve and into Pitsea train station. Originally I was going to see how my legs would feel if I wanted to continue the footpath but I decided to leave it for another day. Part two of this walk, from Pitsea to Southend, will now take place later in the year; keep posted for that.
Overall I spent a reasonably good afternoon walking along this footpath, however some diversity in the scenery towards the end would have been nice. I’d recommend this if you have good fitness and you want to spend some time away from the nearby towns. I have a feeling that the part of the footpath from Pitsea to Southend will be even better though.