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A view over the Blackwater Estuary at Northey Island, Essex
Looking out over the Blackwater Estuary at Northey Island | © National Trust Images/Justin Minns
Essex, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire

Northey Island circular walk

Northey Island is a remote island in the Blackwater Estuary that's cut off by the tides. It's the closest you'll get to true wilderness in Essex. This trail is suitable for those of an active nature. Don't forget your wellies.

Safety issues

Due to the nature of the tides in the Blackwater, extra attention is needed when planning your visit. Please check local tide times for Maldon. The causeway is covered approximately 3 hours either side of high tide and there is no safe access during this time. Extra caution is required during spring tides or stormy conditions when the tides can come in more quickly. Under no circumstances attempt to cross the causeway if it is covered and allow plenty of time to get across. PLEASE NOTE: As part of ongoing conservation work we’re carrying out essential maintenance to the causeway and main track in the island and access may be restricted throughout July and August. Please see the Plan Your Visit page for more details.

Total steps: 10

Total steps: 10

Start point

Maldon, Promenade Park car park. Satnav: CM9 5UR

Step 1

Park in Promenade Park car park. Leave the car park, walking toward the main entrance and the road (Park Drive). Turn left on Park Drive.

Step 2

Walk along Park Drive, passing a sign to the recycling centre on the left. Continue on Park Drive and pass the football club entrance on the left. The road bends round to the right. Just past the bend take a marked footpath on the left.

Step 3

The path runs along the left-hand side of the housing estate, with the football pitches to the left. At the end of the houses, follow the path that veers round to the right.

Step 4

After around 50 metres from the turn in the path, go through a gap in the hedge on the left. Follow the path along the left-hand side of the field, with hedges and trees on the left.

Step 5

At the end of the field you'll reach a road (South House Chase). Turn left and walk towards South House Farm. Go through the white gates and proceed on the road between farm buildings. This is a working farm, so please keep dogs on leads.

Step 6

Proceed along the road, which bends as you go, and continue until you meet the sea wall. Enjoy a beautiful view of the marshes and mudflats, and look out for Thames barges in the estuary. Continue down onto the causeway before crossing it onto the island. Remember the tide covers the causeway for approximately three hours either side of high tide.

Step 7

Cross the causeway. Walk up the lane between the hedges. There is a good view across the estuary to Maldon from a bench on the left, where you can take a breather and watch the wading birds feeding on the mudflats. Keep walking along the lane until it bends sharply to the right, where you will find another bench on the left looking towards Heybridge.

Step 8

Continue along the lane towards the houses. There is a gap in the hedge on the left just before the garden (which is private), should you wish to look out over the saltmarsh. Now retrace your steps to the causeway.

Step 9

Cross the causeway to the sea wall and turn right onto the footpath, passing through two gates on your way back to Promenade Park.

Step 10

Return to Promenade Park car park where there are toilets and refreshments available. You could extend your walk along the sea wall to the end of the promenade, where there is a statue of Earl Brihtnoth commemorating the Battle of Maldon. Take a look back across the saltmarsh and mudflats to Northey Island.

End point

Maldon, Promenade Park car park. Satnav: CM9 5UR

Trail map

A map of the Northey Island circular walk
A map of the Northey Island circular walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

Maldon, Essex, CM9 6PP (no parking)

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