The circular version of this walk is 11.9 miles 19.2 km Difficulty 4/10
The full walk to North Fambridge is either 14.1 or 15.9 miles (22.7 or 25.5 km) depending on how full you want it. Difficulty 5/10.
You could even extend it to 17.8 miles 28.6km if you really wanted (just saying).
This varied and (for Essex) fairly hilly walk offers splendid views of the Crouch Valley.
The circular's length seems more amenable for a Sunday. However, if you push on to North Fambridge you pass the CAMRA award winning Prince of Wales and end with a serene finish along the River Crouch and through a salt-marsh Nature Reserve.
Trains Get the 10:14 Southend train from Liverpool St (Stratford 10:21) changing at Wickford (arr 11:03, dep 11:06 from platform 1), arriving South Woodham Ferrers at 11:14. (As the connection at Wickford is tight, and the onward train is hourly, you might prefer to play safe and get the earlier 9:44 as far as Wickford).
Trains return from North Fambridge at xx:21 and South Woodham Ferrers at xx:26, changing at Wickford. Again, you have 3 min to change to the xx:40 (Platform 3) but at least it's onto a half hourly service.
Get a return to South Woodham Ferrers for the circular. A return to North Fambridge (the further station) is only slightly more and would cover both endings.
Lunch: The Folly Bistro, in East Hanningfield 01245 400 315. More of a pub than it sounds.
Tea places in South Woodham Ferrers:
Shaw Farm Old Wickford Road, South Woodham Ferrers, 01245 320916, Ex farm building with front rose gardens, huge back garden and lake.
The Whalebone Inn/Scrimshaw’s Restaurant Old Wickford Road, 01245 320231,
The Railway, Hullbridge Road, South Woodham Ferrers, 01245 320262
Tea places for N Fambridge
The Prince of Wales, Stow Maries, 01621 828 971 An early stop, renowned for its beer.
The Ferry Boat Inn, Ferry Road, North Fambridge, 01621 740208, A 500 year old riverside pub.