Things to see and do at Northey Island

The causeway to the island is covered at high tide so you'll need to plan your visit beforehand...

Arranging your visit

Do come and explore Northey Island, but let us know you're coming - please email in advance for a permit. The causeway is covered at high tide so do check. 
Check the tide times

Nearby facilities

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 can't, unfortunately, allow dogs on to 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.
Find out more about 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 midsummer sunsets is magical
  • A bracing walk on a frosty morning from Maldon to South House Farm along the sea wall shouldn't be missed
  • In winter we're home to 5,000 Brent geese along with redshank and 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

Our Northey Island don’t-miss list…

The causeway

The causeway, which played its part in the Battle of Maldon in 991, is your only way onto the island unless you arrive by boat on the high tide. As you walk across it you'll hear the cries of the Blackwater birds but you may also hear other faint calls on the breeze.

Watch Northey get cut off

Battle of Maldon

Picture the scene: the Vikings have landed on Northey. Earl Brithnoth of Essex and his army stand calling across the causeway to the 'sea pirates'. Earl Brithnoth fought bravely but lost and the course of British history changed for ever.
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 whistle of arrows in flight.

There has been some debate among historians about the precise location of the battle. This article explores the debate about whether it did in fact take place in nearby Heybridge. The debate about the location of the Battle of Maldon (PDF / 0.8MB) download

Here's an alternative recreation of the battle - in Lego.

Birds galore

Many different forms of wildlife call this place home.
Thousands of birds including Brent geese stay here for the winter and graze Northey’s pastureland.
Shelduck, godwit, avocet, greenshank, golden and grey plover also visit in significant numbers.

Watch our 360-degree Northey footage


Salt-marsh and sea wrecks

The salt-marsh is regularly inundated with salt water from the estuary. The salt-marsh has made Maldon internationally famous, with Maldon salt being used in cooking the world over.
Read the story of Maldon salt
The Mistley is an old Thames barge was stranded on the saltings not after a storm but because it was going to be used as a holiday home. It would once have been working in the Blackwater Estuary carrying cargo. Now you can be the cargo and pay for a trip around the estuary.

Mud, mud, glorious mud...

The mud-flats provide a valuable habitat for many invertebrates, which attract thousands of birds every year.
While the mud at Northey Island may not be something you'd want to walk across, there are those who do. There is a famous Maldon mud race, which you may want to watch or even take part in!
FInd out more about the Maldon mud race