Day 320: Brightlingsea to Colchester

Distance: 12.17 miles

Ascent: 532 feet

Weather: Sunny

Accommodation: Mrs Khetarpal’s House (Kindly Offered)


Due to the extension yesterday and a slightly shortened end point today due to a kind offer of accommodation for my rest day, today was a short day of about 12 miles and thus there was no rush too leave. In fact I was going to be joined by 3 friends today (Joey, Jimbo & Ed) who were expecting to get to Brightlingsea about 11am. Therefore I had a relaxing morning and was looked after and fed so well by the Bloor’s.

At about 10:45 I set off down towards the river where I would be meeting my friends and the sun was shining brightly. Due to taxi issues my friends were slightly late but it was no big issue and we were on our way about 11:30. Brightlingsea was a lovely town and as we left it we passed a series of quaint beach huts, stopped briefly at the café/toilet before joining the embankment along the River Colne.

We would be following this embankment for a fair while and little Chip the dog was loving the long grass. We also spotted a lot of sloe berries and Ed wanted to pick some, so we collected a moderate batch for him to make some sloe gin. After about 3 miles on the embankment we reached Alresford Creek which has a ford shown on the OS map but I believed this wasn’t crossable and on getting there it had clearly not been crossable for a long time.

So we had to head up the creek about a mile and a half, the embankment here technically isn’t a public footpath but we went for it anyway. We made it almost all the way to the crossing point of the creek when the embankment was blocked by a garden. So we had to climb over one fence and cross one farmers field to join the road and then we took a footpath down to the old mill where there is a bridge over the creek.

We had a short break here, in amongst beautiful surroundings. Afterwards we passed a brand new vineyard, and headed down the other side of Alresford Creek, and back to the River Colne. From here it was only a couple of miles to Wivenhoe along the embankment. It was a lovely walk and Wivenhoe itself was lovely in the afternoon sun with some people sitting out on the quayside. This was our lunch spot and fortunately though it had already gone 3pm one of the pubs was still serving food. We had a lovely lunch which my friends very kindly paid for.

After lunch we still had 3 miles to go and it was a bit later than I had expected but we can blame little Chip for this as his puppy legs are quite short. It would be dark by the time we reached Colchester but it was a clear path so this would be no issue. This final embankment was simple and indeed it was very dark when we reached the end but the lights of Colchester were making it easy enough to see.

My friends cars were parked near Hythe station and we walked up to there, it had been a great day. Ed was driving back to London but Joey and Jimbo were kindly dropped me the short distance to Mrs Khetarpal’s house (Priya’s, my friends, mum), on their way back to Leigh on Sea. It had been lovely having them along for the day.

Mrs Khetarpal was very kindly putting me up for my rest day, even though she was a bit ill, in her lovely house.

A short sharp, sunny day with friends.

charles compton