An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

51.787732, 0.953699
Distance: 21.5 km
Difficulty: Easy
Method: Walking
Wow Factor: 7 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Essex
  • Size: 1800 hectares
  • Terrain: Flat grass paths
  • Access: Road bridge (tidal)
  • Height gain: 50 metres
  • Map: OS Explorer 184
  • Starting point: Coast Road carpark, opposite West Mersea Yacht Club
  • Accommodation/food:

    Accommodation on Mersea Island is a bit limited, with a few B&B’s, a pub and the vineyard. Mersea Island food is a real treat with seafood shacks in West Mersea; and a café and vineyard in East Mersea; and a cafe at Cudmore Grove County Park

  • Island Summary:

    Walking the coast path around Mersea Island varies between the gentle wilderness of the Strood and Pyefleet channels of the north coast, and the holiday resorts of the North Sea-facing south coast. The coast path is flat and easy walking, with plenty of great pitstops along the south coast.

  • Look out for:
    • Enjoying local fizz and beer
    • Watching the incredible birdlife in the creeks
    • Swimming across to Packing Shed, Cobmarsh, and Sunken Islands
    • Shucking oysters at The Company Shed
  • Route description:

    The coast path around Mersea Island starts at West Mersea and quickly gets wilder as it follows the sea wall along the north coast alongside the Strood and Pyefleet Channels. Rounding the eastern tip of the island it passes the low small Jurassic cliffs and woodland of Cudmore Grove Park. Sand and shingle beaches, front gardens of holiday parks, large houses and colourful beach huts then dominate the south coast route back to West Mersea.

  • Getting there:

    From Colchester take the B1025 south; the Strood is closed for certain high tides. Avoid tides greater than 5.00 metres; for these tides allow up to an hour and a half either side of the tide to get on or off the island safely https://www.tidetimes.org.uk/west-mersea-tide-times

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