Day 55: English Coastal Path

D55: BRADFIELD to HARWICH

Sunday 19th September 2021

Today miles: 8.5 Total miles: 854.9

Don’t know how much sleep I actually had but it wasn’t very much. I was definitely concerned about the possibility of a confrontation with the irate farmer. In addition the tent, with me inside almost got washed away when the high tide returned in the early hours. It was still dark when I set off walking, with only the moonlight for company.

As with previous days the route was easy to follow and despite the lack of light I made excellent progress. After an hour or so I stopped to have my breakfast close to Stour Wood. The battery power on my phone was severely reduced but I managed to use whatever power I had left to book my trip on the Harwich to Felixstowe Ferry. I left myself plenty of time to travel the remaining six miles and booked my ferry for 11.10am. Not too long after setting off I encountered a lady walking towards me with her three dogs. As one of the dogs ran towards me I immediately noticed that it was wearing a muzzle. It then ran behind me and I could feel it snapping at the back of my legs. Thankfully the muzzle did it’s job and prevented any injury. The lady embarrassingly apologised as she walked by.

I was now walking close to the Harwich International Vehicle Ferry Port and passing through some fairly heavy industry to my left and a well manicured golf course on my right. After passing the ferry port I was surprised to come across a McDonalds restaurant on the junction of the A136 and the A120. I took advantage of the facilities and managed to recharge the battery of my phone. I like a McDonalds breakfast and felt hungry but for some reason didn’t fancy eating and settled for a hot drink instead. The final mile towards Harwich Harbour was along the A120 and thankfully this early on Sunday morning traffic was light. The Ha’penny pier in Harwich was in comparison busy with pedestrians.
The Victorian Ha’penny Pier was constructed of wood in 1853 and is one of Harwich’s most iconic landmarks. I walked around the surrounding area for thirty minutes before sitting down and enjoying a full English breakfast at the Pier Cafe. The cafe was busy, so as soon as I finishing eating I vacated my table and moved to one of the pretty wooden benches on the pier looking over towards Felixstowe.

An hour later I’m one of only four foot passengers boarding the small (motorised) Harwich to Felixstowe Ferry. I’m so pleased I decided to use the ferry. I thoroughly enjoyed the short trip across Harwich Harbour and it’s well worth the £5 I paid for the ticket. On arrival at Felixstowe I didn’t linger too long but strode quickly towards my waiting car.

I’ve covered another 95 miles along the ECP in the last six days and except for a few minor issues the path along the edges of the rivers Deben, Orwell and Stour have exceeded my expectations. I’m hoping for one more trip in 2021 sometime in November when I expect the Autumnal weather might be less friendly then the past week.

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