Tendring CAMRA - RambAle 21 - The Jeff Luesley memorial walk

The background

Many Tendring CAMRA members will remember Jeff Luesley, with him having been branch chairman and later public affairs officer, as well as being the Beer Festival Organiser for the Clacton-on-Sea Real Ale & Cider Festival for a number of years. Sadly Jeff died on the 16th January 2024 and it was suggested at a later meeting that we design a new RambAle between two of his favourite local pubs, the Ship at Kirby-le-Soken and the White Hart at Weeley Heath. Due to a lack of suitable direct footpaths we came up with the route shown here which is our first to include a section on public transport.

St Helena's Hospice supported Jeff and his family in Jeff's final weeks, so this route also marks their charity shops along the route (the circles that aren't filled in) as well as the pub stops (filled in circles), with there being enough time to visit the shops as we are passing.

Alternatively (or additionally) it is possible to donate via Jeff's MuchLoved page.

The route

Walking boots with ankle support are strongly recommended for the section of walk across the fields between Kirby-le-Soken to the Essex Skipper.

We have opted to use the train to get from Frinton to Weeley as it worked better from a timings point of view. We considered the 105 bus from Frinton to Weeley, but at the planning stage this left Frinton Gates at 13:27 or 15:27. Requiring about 15 minutes to get there from the Essex Skipper it would have meant leaving at 13:10 and skipping the Frinton stops altogether. The later one was considered too as it leaves at a similar time to the train and is likely cheaper (£2 capped bus fare, compared to £4.60 single, or around £3 single with group save discount), but that added the extra journey time and the additional walk time from the bus stop just before the bus turns into Crow Lane, which while a pleasant walk reduced the options for those needing to travel further to get home after the White Hart.

The start of the route is up-hill as we leave Kirby-le-Soken. After that the route is fairly level until we get off the train at Weeley when there is a gentler up-hill section for the start of the walk to the White Hart.

Estimated timings

As usual timings are based on 4km/hour walking with half an hour stop at each pub.

Based on bus times for 15th June 2024 the 98 service should leave stand B at 11:02. Get off at either Halstead Villas stop or Post Office stop in Kirby-le-Soken and be in the pub at around 11:30, aiming to start walking at noon.

Leave the Ship at 12:00, for a 2.4km walk to the Essex Skipper, which should take less than 45 minutes, so estimate arrival by 12:45

Leave the Essex Skipper at 13:15 for the next leg, or slightly earlier for a stop at the St Helena Hospice shop in the Triangle shopping centre, close to the Essex Skipper.

The walk to the Lock and Barrel should take less than 30 minutes, so we should be there by 13:45

Leaving the Lock and Barrel the walk to Frinton railway station should take less than 15 minutes, and the train is due about 3pm, which should allow about half an hour to visit one or more of the three St Helena Hospice shops on Connaught Avenue, though leave time to get the ticket for the train.

The train should reach Weeley railway station at 15:21 so we should reach the White Hart by 15:45

Approximate distances:

  • Ship (Kirby-le-Soken) to Essex Skipper: 2.6km / 1.6mi
  • Essex Skipper to Lock and Barrel: 1.7km / 1.1mi
  • Lock and Barrel to Frinton Railway Station: 0.8km / 0.5mi
  • Weeley Railway Station to White Hart, Weeley Heath: 1.3km / 0.8mi
  • Totals: 6.4km / 4.0mi

Getting to Kirby-le-Soken

Estimated times are based on using the number 98 bus from Clacton.

For those starting at Harwich the easiest option is the number 3 bus (09:42 from Harwich Town station) into Clacton and join the 98.

For those starting at Manningtree the easiest option is the number 2 bus (starts 09:40 from Mistley) into Clacton and join the 98.

Hedingham's timetable for the 98 is currently available here

Hedingham's timetable for the 3 is currently available here

Hedingham's timetable for the 2 is currently available here

Getting back from Weeley Heath

Looking for options after 16:15

For Manningtree

  • 16:24-18:11 76, 104 via Head Street Colchester 27 minute change
  • 17:58-18:32 2

For Harwich

  • 17:36-18:33 76 to Plough Corner 21 minute change for 3 to Harwich

For Clacton

  • 16:41-17:04 76
  • 16:57-17:23 2
  • 17:36-17:59 76

Route documents

Booklet printable (2 pages per side, double sided print)

Standard PDF (1 page per sheet)