Lotte Sherman follows a coastal route with lots of options

THIS ramble explores the potential of coastal access; it offers three choices for the return after walking along creeks and enjoying views of the open sea.

Where the footpath stops next to the main road, you can walk along here for a good mile back to the start, catch a bus or retrace your steps. First, behind the seawall and from St Osyth Stone Point, return to the top to survey the creeks and observe all that you missed previously. If the tide has changed, the marshes look quite different.

The journey starts by crossing the road-bridge, which separates the creek from the Mill Dam Lake. Locate the footpath leading off on the right; this, in effect, can be considered as part of a “coastal path” running around the Tendring Peninsula. In the main, the public right of way is along the top of a seawall. On this stretch, you will cross a plank bridge over a small water inlet, later pass through a couple of kissing gates, pass by the area of a golf club and lastly a large caravan site. A few bridges crossing a secondary watercourse between the seawall and the residential site afford holidaymakers access to the beaches (such as they are).

When arriving near the “Point”, you clearly see Brightlingsea Marina, the landing stages, new apartment blocks and lots of activities to do with sailing and water crafts to your right. On the left you get a view of the Martello Tower (now an aviation museum) as well as some places for sustenance. You may want to stop awhile and look around before circumventing St Osyth Stone Point along the concrete seawall.

The coastal path continues for another good mile with a wide view over to Mersea Island and the open sea, before coming to an abrupt end by the derelict Rose Cottage and a small caf�. Leave the waterside and follow the footpath up the low cliff, running between fences and emerging onto the main road. This is where you have to make a choice – I preferred to return by walking in the opposite direction.

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Turn left on the road and aim back for Stone Point along the sidewalk. You come to a roundabout and the stylish entrance to the huge caravan park; keep to the left along the badly-maintained road with a variety of homes sheltered behind the seawall. Further along you pass extensive green spaces, which may be used for public entertainment. The road then splits into two. Pedestrians can walk straight on to the museum and restaurants.

To avoid going around in circles, make sure to turn right when getting back onto the seawall. Follow the “coastal path”, walking in a westerly direction along the creeks for a good three km, to arrive back at the road-bridge. Go left on the footway and to your starting point.

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