Tendring CAMRA - RambAle 8 - Brightlingsea to Clacton-on-Sea
This walk begins in Brightlingsea, takes the foot ferry (2017 fares £2 adult, £1 children, bikes or dogs) to Point Clear, then follows the sea wall for much of the remaining distance to Clacton.
For our walk on 13th May 2017 we plan to meet at the Railway Tavern at noon, and catch the 1pm foot ferry to Point Clear. It is thought that most walkers will stay at the Railway Tavern, but some taking part in the pub passport trail may call briefly at the Yachtsman's Arms, marked on the above map as a hollow circle representing an optional stop. It is important that everyone be waiting for the foot ferry at 12:55 though.
Please note: the path from the end of Dumont Avenue down the side of a field, across a footbridge and to the sea wall is well used, but is not sign-posted as a public footpath. Part of the route has been signposted as a permissive path during various test walks of this route, but this may not always be the case. In the event of any access issues, it would be necessary to walk along Point Clear Road and down Lee Wick Lane (which passes through a farmyard at one point) to get back to the route near Lee-over-Sands.
Assuming the permissive part of the route is open we re-join a public footpath here, where the plan is to turn left and join Beach Road as this cuts about quarter of a mile off the route. Faster walkers may like to make their own way along the sea wall as this gives some pleasant views and meet up with us at Lee-over-Sands.
From Lee-over-Sands we continue along the sea wall until we reach the Sailor Boy at St Osyth Beach, then the sea wall to the Never Say Die at Jaywick, then the seawall to Clacton (which offers optional stops first at the Toby, then near the pier at Tom Peppers/Moon & Starfish, though it is expected most walkers will head straight to the Old Lifeboat House.)
Rather than starting estimates from the first pub, this walk requires the 1pm ferry to be caught, so estimates assume we will reach the Mash & Barrel by 13:30 and stay for half an hour, leaving at about 2pm.
From there we have the longest section of the walk, about 6.8 km or 4.2 miles, which will hopefully take about 90 minutes getting us to the Sailor Boy at about 15:30. Staying for half an hour we'd plan to leave about 4pm.
The next section, to the Never Say Die, is then about 2.6 km or 1.6 miles which should see us arrive at the Never Say Die at about 16:45 and leave about 5:15pm.
The final section, assuming no optional stops, is then 3.4 km or 2.1 miles which should get us to the Old Lifeboat House somewhere before 18:15.
Approximate distances including optional stops(metric only):
- Railway Tavern to Yachtsman's Arms - 500m
- Yachtsman's Arms to Foot Ferry, Brightlingsea - 250m
- Foot Ferry, Point Clear to Mash & Barrel - 1.6km
- Mash & Barrel to Sailor Boy - 6.8km
- Sailor Boy to Never Say Die - 2.6km
- Never Say Die to Toby Carvery Clacton - 1.9km
- Toby Carvery to Moon & Starfish - 1.1km
- Moon & Starfish to Old Lifeboat House - 400m
Getting to Brightlingsea
On 13th May 2017 we hope to have sufficient interest to provide transport from Clacton and Harwich. If you're interested get in touch, but even if you're making your own way there please let us know so we know to look out for you and can warn the foot ferry of our expected numbers; if more than 12 they've said they'll do two crossings for us.
If you want to do this walk on another occasion, there are a number of different options. From Colchester, you can get a bus such as the 87 service the whole way. This also passes close to Alresford station (catch the bus by The Pointer).
From the Clacton direction you can catch the 74 bus service and change at Thorrington Cross to catch a bus to Brightlingsea, or you can take the 17 bus service to Point Clear and follow the sea wall to catch the foot ferry to Brightlingsea at about 11:15 on its return from Mersea Island. This was what we did when testing the walk in April 2017. It adds about a mile to the walk.
For a public transport planner which should show which option's are available for your individual journey, though doesn't consider the foot ferry option, try travelinesoutheast.org.uk.
Please remember to check the foot ferry timetable for your chosen date. Note also that the Sailor Boy may be closed during winter, though has been known to open at weekends.