WELCOME TO THE SALTMARSH COAST OF THE MALDON DISTRICT

This dynamic and diverse coastline is made up of seventy five miles of stunning landscapes and beautiful wilderness. Experience panoramic views across the wild low lying Dengie marshes between the Blackwater and Crouch estuaries. The Saltmarsh Coast is an important wildlife habitat, with plenty of wide open spaces, dynamic tidal estuaries, traditional villages and historic towns. At any time of year, it is the perfect destination to stretch your legs and discover something new.

YOUR JOURNEY ON THE SALTMARSH COAST

Along the coastline of the Maldon District, five Saltmarsh Coast Hubs are being installed as part of Maldon District Council's Dengie Gateway Project. These include:

These inspirational visitor information points make the perfect starting point for your journey and provide you with engaging facts and details about this fascinating part of Essex's Discovery Coast.

Saltmarsh Coast Trail
Additionally, audio posts, signage and waymarking will continue to be installed. This work has been undertaken as part of the Maldon District Council’s Dengie Gateway Project funded by the Coastal Community’s Fund.

These inspirational visitor information points make the perfect starting point for your journey and provide you with engaging facts and details about this fascinating part of Essex's Discovery Coast.

Additionally, audio posts, signage and waymarking has also been installed. This work has been undertaken as part of the Maldon District Council’s Dengie Gateway Project funded by the Coastal Community’s Fund.

SALTMARSH TOWNS

The historic maritime town of Maldon is located at the mouth of the Blackwater Estuary and is known across the world for its connections to the Saltmarsh Coast, with the famous sea salt, iconic Thames Sailing Barges and the infamous mud race. It is the second oldest town in Essex and received a Royal Charter from Henry II in 1171.

Maldon's Hythe Quay is a historic working waterfront that is home to the largest collection of active Thames Sailing Barges. From the quay, you can take a trip on one of these barges with Topsail Charters and the Thames Sailing Barge Trust, or you can also take a cruise aboard the Viking Saga pleasure boat and take in views of the Blackwater Estuary.
Burnham-on-Crouch is located on the Dengie Peninsula and is a renowned yachting centre, known as the 'Cowes of the East Coast' within sailing circles. This historic maritime town is also known for its oyster beds, boat building, and also has a great reputation for its events such as the famous Burnham Week and the Burnham Carnival.

Burnham's Quay is home to numerous pubs, cafés, and houseboats, as well as the Burnham-on-Crouch & District Museum. Walking along the quay, you will pass Riverside Park, Burnham's four sailing clubs, and the RNLI lifeboat station. From the quay, you can take the Burnham Ferry over to Wallasea Island from Easter to the end of September.

SALTMARSH VILLAGES

St. Peter's Chapel, Bradwell-on-Sea
Bradwell-on-Sea is a small village located on the south bank of the River Blackwater where it meets the North Sea. The village has had several names in the past, including Bradwell Juxta Mare and Bradwell near the Sea. This area on the eastern tip of the Dengie Peninsula has been inhabited since the time of Roman occupation in the third century.
Bradwell-on-Sea is a small village located on the south bank of the River Blackwater where it meets the North Sea. The village has had several names in the past, including Bradwell Juxta Mare and Bradwell near the Sea. This area on the eastern tip of the Dengie Peninsula has been inhabited since the time of Roman occupation in the third century.
Tollesbury
Tollesbury is a historic maritime village located in the northern part of the Maldon District by the River Blackwater. Known as the village of 'Plough and Sail', it is an excellent place to explore for both walkers and wildlife enthusiasts. The village is also often used as a filming location due to its beautiful saltmarsh landscape.
Tollesbury is a historic maritime village located in the northern part of the Maldon District by the River Blackwater. Known as the village of 'Plough and Sail', it is an excellent place to explore for both walkers and wildlife enthusiasts. The village is also often used as a filming location due to its beautiful saltmarsh landscape.
Heybridge Basin
Heybridge Basin is located where the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation canal meets the River Blackwater. It is a great place to enjoy a leisurely day with family and friends. The original village centred around the construction of the canal, and the cottages next to the lock were built for the canal workers in the late 18th century.
Heybridge Basin is located where the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation canal meets the River Blackwater. It is a great place to enjoy a leisurely day with family and friends. The original village centred around the construction of the canal, and the cottages next to the lock were built for the canal workers in the late 18th century.
Saltmarsh Coast Trail
Explore more of the Saltmarsh Coast Trail by walking circular coastal routes in Goldhanger, Steeple and Mundon. Discover more than three miles of the trail on the Goldhanger & Blackwater Estuary Walk, where you can explore the historic village of Goldhanger, take in the Essex farmland and enjoy views of the Blackwater Estuary. Another circular walk in Steeple offers excellent views of Osea Island, the creek and its saltmarsh, and the Steeple Creek Walk follows the sea wall before returning to the village. The Mundon & Mundon Creek Walk takes you mainly through the countryside, with the chance to see the 'Petrified Oaks', and then heads along the sea wall where you can enjoy views along Mundon Creek.

NATURE RESERVES

Chigborough Lakes
Seals on the Blackwater
RSPB Wallasea Island

RSPB Wallasea Island Wild Coast project is a landmark conservation and engineering scheme for the 21st century, on a scale never before attempted in the UK and the largest of its type in Europe.

 
 
 
Northey Island

Small Island in the Blackwater Estuary with a large area of undisturbed salt marsh. Site of special scientific interest. Site of the Battle of the Maldon in AD991. Guided tours by prior arrangement.

 
 
 
Blue House Farm

Blue House Farm was bought by the Essex Wildlife Trust in 1998 with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and many other donors.

 
 
 
Tollesbury Wick Marshes

One of Essex Wildlife Trust's best reserves. A large (600 acres) tract of ancient grazing marsh that is managed as a traditional coastal farm using the Trust's own rare breed livestock to encourage a superb variety of wildlife.

 
 
 
Bradwell Shell Bank

Bradwell Cockle Spit on the Dengie Peninsular consists of some 30 acres of shell bank together with extensive saltmarsh. The spit has been built up by tidal currents and is mainly cockle and oyster shells.

 
 
From islands, woods and meadows, to shell banks, lakes and marshes, the Saltmarsh Coast is home to a wide range of diverse habitats. The Maldon District has more than ten nature reserves and most are located along its coastline. The district also has eight Sites of Special Scientific Interest and three Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance. Many of the nature reserves are managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust, the RSPB manage Old Hall Marshes in Tollesbury, as well as Wallasea Island, and Northey Island is owned by the National Trust. These nature reserves are ideal for walkers, wildlife enthusiasts, or anyone who wants to experience the diverse habitats of the Maldon District.

SALTMARSH75 ULTRA MARATHON

Saltmarsh75
The Saltmarsh75 is a two day ultra marathon, where competitors tackle seventy five miles of some of England’s most unique coastline, the Saltmarsh Coast of the Maldon District.

Take on the challenge as a walker, a runner, or a bit of both, the choice is yours. If you're not quite up for the full challenge, then we have a variety of packages to suit all, including our new duo option.

ON THE WATER

Topsail Charters Ltd

Topsail Charters

Historic sailing barges ‘Hydrogen’ and ‘Thistle’ are available for regular public cruises and also for private hire for groups up to 50 from a variety of East Coast locations including Maldon and Ipswich.

The Viking Saga Boat Trips

The Viking Saga Boat Trips

The Viking Saga, listed on the UK National Historic Ships Register, was built locally in 1947. After a complete restoration she is now used for public cruises from Maldon and neighbouring ports.

Basin Pleasure Boats

Basin Pleasure Boats

Enjoy one of leisurely our hour long daily cruises or take a romantic 2 hour sunset trip along the Chelmer Blackwater Navigation Canal. We have rowing boats also for hire.

Seal Trips

Seal trips at Burnham Quay

Discovery Charters offers fishing and seal watching wildlife trips which leave from Essex Marina on Wallasea Island and the Quay at Burnham-on-Crouch.

Sealwatching Cruises

Sealwatching Cruises

Join us aboard our lifeboat to learn about our local seals. Guided tours to and around Foulness Island. Full commentary throughout.

Marigold

Marigold Charters

Marigold Charters offers sailing adventures on and around the river Blackwater. Their vessel Marigold is a Gravesend Bawley built upon the lines of the Lilliam in 1869.

Frangipani SUP Limited

Frangipani SUP

Frangipani SUP is a friendly, family run Stand Up Paddle (SUP) board school based in Essex. We operate in various locations in the Maldon and Chelmsford area.

The Steam Tug Brent

Steam Tug Brent

Brent has been a much loved local landmark for over 40 years. It is the last surviving steam tug of the Port of London Authority’s fleet. Full restoration is planned for this unique vessel.

The Cirdan Sailing Trust

The Cirdan Sailing Trust

Residential sailing voyages abroad traditional vessels. Groups of 7 to 16 people, ages 12 years and upwards. No experience necessary.

Thames Barge Sailing Club

Thames Barge Sailing Trust

Weekend and week sailing charters on the east coast for parties or individuals on board fully rigged traditional east coast sailing barges. Participation actively encouraged. Trust membership available.

Traditional Charter

Traditional Charter

Traditional Charter offer bespoke birdwatching tours, seal trips and wildlife tours tailored to suit your requirements whether be it a day trips or longer.

The Maldon District has a rich maritime heritage which is recognised both nationally and across the world. With seventy-five miles of Saltmarsh Coast, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the water, whether you'd like to take a stroll along the sea wall, take a pleasant boat trip along the River Blackwater and the River Crouch, or enjoy a pint overlooking the water at a local pub.

There are also numerous events that take place on the water throughout the year, from regattas and barge matches, to gig races and river festivals.

CONNECT WITH US

Maldon District Tourist Information Centre

Specially trained staff at the Maldon District Tourist Information Centre and the Burnham-on-Crouch Tourist Information Centre are on hand to offer expert and friendly advice to help you make the most of your visit. Situated in the centres of Maldon and Burnham-on-Crouch, the two TICs offer a selection of free guides and brochures to help you understand and appreciate this unique area.

Coastal Community's Fund & Maldon District Council

This work has been undertaken as part of the Maldon District Council’s Dengie Gateway Project funded by the Coastal Community’s Fund.

With miles of coastal and countryside footpaths, there is plenty to explore on the Saltmarsh Coast. However, it is vital that we respect the fragility of our natural environment, the rights of private land owners, residents and businesses and the vital role of sea walls in our coastal defence. Please keep to the footpaths, keep dogs under effective control and do not litter. Many of these rural footpaths can be uneven, susceptible to the weather and may not be accessible for all.