Main circular walk 15.2km (9.8m) or with optional circuit of Two Tree Island 18.6km (11.6m)..
Difficulty: 4 out of 10
Sadly, no Leigh Folk Festival this month, thanks to some crumby virus. But that doesn’t stop us doing the Benfleet Circular. The morning takes us through the dense, hilly woodland of Benfleet Downs and Hadleigh Country Park. It's possible to finish early at Leigh on Sea (trains at xx:11 xx:41) but, to complete the circular walk, we head back alongside Benfleet Creek with fine views of the estuary and an optional circuit of Two Tree Island nature reserve.
Trains Get the 09:45 Shoeburyness train from Liverpool Street Station, getting to Benfleet at 10:33. A return to Benfleet will do you. Leigh-on-Sea, one stop further, is the same price ( the “on-sea” bit is important). Trains return from Benfleet at xx:17 and xx:47
Covid restrictions may impact - consider bringing a picnic and water. The walk visits Hadleigh Castle on the way to Leigh, a good spot for a picnic with superb views.
Leigh-on-Sea has at least three pubs (The Crooked Billet 01702 480289, The Peterboat 01702 475666 and Ye Olde Smack 01702 476765), a teashop, and seafood places, all along the waterfront.
Tea: Two possible tea stops.
Barge Gladys (don’t, she’s a big girl) (last year's joke but worth repeating). It is a pub on a boat - with an onshore seating area. Cash only. Nearer the station, you'll find The Hoy and Helmet tel: 01268792307.
Directions for Benfleet Circular are here
(Another option would be to continue east from Leigh-on-Sea to Southend, Shoeburyness or one of several nearer stations, following these additional directions. Trains back are half-hourly. Your return ticket will cost slightly more).
Covid-19 Compliance: please note the current guidance on this website and observe social distancing. Please sign up for this walk in advance if you can, using the London Walkers User Group site. (This saves time collecting contact details). Otherwise bring a piece of paper with your email address on it, which will be put in an envelope and accessed if needed for contact tracing. To report a Covid case after this walk, use email@example.com