Saturday 2 July: Thames Valley Estuary Path part 3 – Stanford le Hope to Pitsea (Essex)

As we made our way to Mucking and though the Stanford Warren Nature Reserve to the sluice gate on Mucking Creek, some of the 12 walkers who were on the walk on this sunny day had an impression of deja-vu which caused some confusion. I explained that we did this bit in reverse last April and we had to do it again to join the walk where we left it. Reassured they were not going mad, the group continued along the sea wall above Mucking Flats and Stanford le Hope marshes with views of the London Gateway container port in the distance. After crossing the railway line leading to the port, we joined Rainbow Lane and then crossed a new blue bridge over the access road to the port. We followed a path along the access road and then a lane, arriving in Corringham. We made our way to the Bull pub and Corringham Church, our lunch stops.

We resumed our walk, following an alley past the pub along fishing lakes to Fobbing. We had to climb a hill (a rarity in Essex) up to the White Lion pub where there is a plaque about the Peasants Revolt in 1381. Fobbing was one of the main villages involved in this revolt. We met a couple who were following the Estuary Path but were unsure which way to go as the signposts had been turned around. I invited them to join us or follow us and they opted for the latter. We walked down a country lane and reached Fobbing and Vange Marshes, a large area of low-lying wetland which are grazing marshes. Cows and calves were standing by the fence we had to climb but they paid us no attention. We followed Vange Creek inside the sea wall until we reached a barn where we could hear loud music and sheep bleating. I deduced that sheep were being sheared but were not impressed with the music. We continued through fields, some with cattle, crossed a train line after eating a few cherry plums and arrived at Pitsea station. We opted to go home and give a miss to Wat Tyler Country Park and learning about explosives and nitroglycerin. It will be for another time.

Dominique.. Photos by Stuart