and an hour later you arrive at Benfleet to begin a 5½ mile walk to Chalkwell, where you catch the train back (or walk a further 2 miles to Southend Central). With just one change at Barking each way.
This walk along the Thames Estuary takes you across wild salt marsh, up to a ruined hilltop castle and through the best of Essex Seaside.
It's a walk we keep coming back to as it's so easy to get to from Harringay and there's always something new - last week we saw a huge murmuration made up of a few thousand knot and a beautiful sunset (the bonus of short winter days).
Walk directions are attached
This is just one of the walks in Walks for Each Season: 26 great days out in the countryside near London, just published and now available in Harringay from All Good Bookshop, Harringay Store and But First Coffee.
The book encourages us to escape the city and fully experience the beauty of each season, from bluebells to autumn beechwoods.
Stunning photographs and comprehensive descriptions introduce each walk and highlight what to look for. Routes are plotted on Ordnance Survey maps alongside, clear easy-to-follow directions and each walks starts and ends at a station.
'Beautifully written with a larker's eye for detail, Julia's carefully curated collection of walks proves that the seasons are just a train ride away from London'
Lara Maiklem author of Mudlarking
One of my favourite walks - and Julia is one of my favourite people!
Take your wellies. It gets incredibly muddy in the section under Hadleigh Castle. You can also get your fill of winkles and cockles at Osbornes in Old Leigh.
Thanks Ozbawn for pointing that out. You are of course right, after rain it is terribly muddy, particularly on the descent from Hadleigh Castle. Therefore if there has been rain or we are more into winter than now, it's wise to cut out Hadleigh Castle and continue on into Leigh. I attach slightly revised directions which includes this alternative route. In my book, this walk is in the autumn section for this very reason. I think the lack of rain so far this autumn/winter, lulled me into a false sense of security!
Trudy and I had the privilege of a preview of this chapter in Julia's excellent book. We really enjoyed the walk which included stopping for coffee on Barge Gladys shortly after leaving Benfleet station.
A perfect choice for this year's Christmas gift.
I have just been to the All Good Bookshop and bought the next to last copy of the book. The man behind the till is keen to order more copies but does not have Julia Smith's contact details. Perhaps you could contact All Good and let them know how to contact her.
Thanks Dick, just taking more copies up to All Good Bookshop now.