Things to see & do

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Arranging your visit

Do come and explore Northey Island, but let us know you're coming - call 01621 53142 for a permit. The causeway is covered at high tide so do check. You might even be tempted to stay on the island.

Nearby facilities

Please note that unfortunately we don't have any facilities on Northey Island.

The nearest can be found in Maldon or at the supermarket off Limebrook Way roundabout.

For dogs

We cannot unfortunately allow dogs onto Northey Island, because our breeding bird population is very sensitive. If you'd like to walk your dog along the Blackwater Estuary sea wall please park in Maldon's Promenade Park.

Did you know?

  • Visit us by arrangement or Castaway event (and camp on the island!)
  • Cross the causeway and you’ll experience true wilderness
  • Hearing the bird calls during mid - summer sunsets are magical
  • A bracing walk on a frosty morning shouldn't be missed
  • In winter we're home to 5000 Brent geese along with redshank & plover
  • Bleak, remote, quiet - Northey is the Wuthering Heights of Essex!
  • For such a small visible land area, the island features a wealth of history and wildlife

Huge stories for a small island

Poetical past

Will you hear the words on the wind too? © Jemma Finch

Northey's immortalised in one of the earliest known English poems 'The Battle of Maldon'  telling the story of Brythnoth, Earl of Essex and his army of Saxon natives. Defending the east coast against Vikings demanding tribute, Brythnoth was killed and the Saxons defeated with the Vikings suffering major losses too.

Britain's oldest battlefield

The Vikings successfully invaded and occupied Northey Island in 991 AD © Fisheye Images

The Battle of Maldon's location here in 991 makes Northey the oldest recorded battlefield in Britain. Although the battle's exact site on the island's shores has not yet been discovered, standing on the causeway it's easy to imagine hearing the clash of swords and whilstle of arrows in flight.

3 Villains, 60 sheep...

You won't find many sheep on Northey today © National Trust

The population of Northey, or Carseia as it was known, was largely dominated by animals at the time of its recording in the Domesday book of 1086. Clues of these old fields, later used for wheat farming, can be traced as ridge and furrows amongst the saltings created when old seawalls were breached by high tides in 1897.

In action

A storm carried the Mistley over the sea wall © Martin Atkinson

In 1923, Sir Norman Angell, Nobel Peace Prize winner, bought the island. He added the turreted garden walls and towered Northey House to an exisiting farm house later destroyed during a Second World War air-raid. Sir Norman was on a Nazi death list but perhaps it was the military appearance of the site that attracted attention.

What's the weather up to?

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