D56: HARWICH to BEAUMONT
Wednesday 3rd November 2021
Today miles: 10.5 Total miles: 865.4
It’s the first week of November and later in the calendar year then I would normally undertake a multi day walk. I do take time off from work this time of year. It’s my birthday, Gemmas birthday and our wedding anniversary all celebrated in the first weeks of November. Despite these upcoming events I’ve managed to escape home life for the next six days to continue my walk along the English Coastal Path.
My plan for the next six days is to make my way back onto the coastal path at Harwich before making progress towards Tollesbury via Clacton-on-Sea, Colchester and then Mersea Island. If I can avoid any pointless diversions or silly mistakes it should be around 95 miles.
I left home early today, really early, in an attempt too avoid the worst of the morning commuters. Six hours later I arrived in the single street hamlet of Beaumont (cum-moze) in the county of Essex.The small collection of mostly pretty houses is located about 7 miles Northeast of Clacton and a scenic twenty minute bus journey to Harwich. Having arrived in Beaumont 50 minutes before the bus was due I studied the map and decided to drive to the nearby Beaumont Quay and then walk the 1km back to the bus stop, this would later save me time at the end of today and also help shorten tomorrows walk.
After arriving in Harwich I decided not to linger. I’m aware of the limited daylight hours available this time of year and I wanted to get some decent miles in before the sun disappears. It didn’t take long too get away from the town and once again I had the docks of Felixstowe for company in the background. In the first few miles I walked by several tall manmade structures, including lighthouses and three more Martello towers. I even passed an allegedly (fake) Banksy drawing. After passing Pewit Island I diverted slightly inland and walked along a minor road towards Great Oakley. I was amazed at how busy this minor road was and several times I was forced to jump up onto the grass verge.
Close to Moze Cross I went hunting for the triangulation point known as Cabbage Row, it’s still listed on the map at a height of 27mts but I couldn’t find any physical pillar amongst the dense hedgerows. There’s another short section of road walking before I turned South onto a public footpath and head towards Beaumont Quay. I decided to sit under a solitary tree and relax for a while as there was still plenty of daylight and the scene out across the fields and the marshes beyond was worth an extended viewing. Up to this point I’d had absolutely no problem following the route but the next mile proved a huge challenge. The footpath took me diagonally through a crop-less field and I then found myself stood in front of a 8ft high bramble hedgerow. There’s no apparent gap in the hedge so I scouted around trying to find a safe place to scramble through. I eventually fight my way to the other side but end up with several scratches on my hands and face. There’s two more hedgerows in my path to negotiate but fortunately these both have rudimentary bridges/stiles.
Checking the map later, I realised that a minor road running only a few hundred metres from the footpath would have been a better and less bloody option. I’ve booked myself into the Premier Inn at Clacton-on-Sea for the next two nights.
It’s been an amazingly warm November day and I’m excited about the next week. After booking into my hotel I went for a walk around Clacton and picked up a takeaway meal. The town is fairly quite and I notice there’s a strong whiff of cannabis around every second corner. That will probably help me sleep tonight.