Saturday 3rd: Benfleet (Essex) circular via Leigh on Sea

Barking station was an unusual meeting place and not straight-forward to get to but 9 Polyramblers managed to get there.  Others were probably busy doing their washing after coming back from the holiday in Cogne and Turin two days before.  We had lovely weather all day with a breeze to cool the hot sunshine.  Our morning walk was in Hadleigh castle country park with fine, well-marked paths.  We made a detour via Hadleigh castle and stopped to admire the view of the Thames. We had lunch in picturesque Old Leigh with a choice of pubs and cafes selling seafood.  We did a quick visit of the museum and 19th century cottage which seemed quite cosy.  Being by the seaside, a few of us stopped for an ice cream.  In the afternoon, we made another detour, this time to Two Tree Island (a few more trees have grown since it got that name). We continued our journey along Benfleet Creek and stopped for a drink at Barge Gladys before catching the train back to London.