The Broomway warning notice

The Broomway warning notice

The Broomway is a tidal byway out to Foulness Island over Maplin Sands at the mouth of the Thames estuary. The route is so called because it used to be marked by branches of Broom placed at regular intervals on the route. However these have long since gone and the path is now unmarked. The path is dangerous because the tide comes in as fast as you can run and there are quick sands and mud in places if you stray off the route. Foulness Island itself is part of a firing range and most of it is "out of bounds" to the public with the exception of the south east corner of the island, which has a couple of villages and farms. The only road to the island can only be used by MOD permit holders, so the only way for the public to reach the island is by boat or by walking the Broomway.

18-May-14 • JonCombe on Flickr

island coast essex foulness swcwalks freewalks walk166

The Broomway at Wakering Stairs

The Broomway at Wakering Stairs

The start of the Broomway as it heads out onto Maplin Sands.

18-May-14 • JonCombe on Flickr

island coast essex foulness swcwalks freewalks walk166

The Broomway at Wakering Stairs

The Broomway at Wakering Stairs

Heading out onto the Broomway at Wakering Stairs over the mud flats of Mapin Sands.

18-May-14 • JonCombe on Flickr

island coast essex foulness swcwalks freewalks walk166

The Broomway on Maplin Sands

The Broomway on Maplin Sands

View out over the vast expanse of mud and sand of the Thames estuary at low tide from the Broomway. The object on the horizon is a wrecked boat.

18-May-14 • JonCombe on Flickr

island coast essex foulness swcwalks freewalks walk166

The Broomway on Maplin Sands

The Broomway on Maplin Sands

18-May-14 • JonCombe on Flickr

island coast essex foulness swcwalks freewalks walk166

Asplins Head

Asplins Head

The jetty onto Foulness Island at Asplins Head.

18-May-14 • JonCombe on Flickr

island coast essex foulness swcwalks freewalks walk166

Broomway warning sign on Foulness Island

Broomway warning sign on Foulness Island

18-May-14 • JonCombe on Flickr

island coast essex foulness swcwalks freewalks walk166

The Broomway and Foulness Island Walk

Fabled tidal road off the coast off Essex across Maplin Sands to Foulness Island.

Download GPS Route

These GPS files are free for non-commercial use only.

Do not make them publicly available on other websites. If you do, we will require you to pay for the substantial cost of creating the file. If you wish to use them commercially, please Contact Us

The route for this walk is available in 2 formats, GPX and KML

How to use GPS data

You can load these GPS data files into:

  • an Android or iPhone GPS smartphone or tablet (with the right app),
  • a walker's dedicated GPS device, e.g. Satmap or Garmin
  • a PC / Mac application (e.g. Google Earth)

The Android and iPhone apps, and Satmap 12, work while you are out walking as the maps are stored on your device, i.e. you don't need a signal (in practise, even with 4G, you will rarely have a signal while out walking.)

Orux Maps free android

Orux Maps is an free map app. Use it with OpenStreetMap mapping (also free). How to do this

maps.me free android

An alternative Android app which uses free Openmaps mappping. May be easier to load with our KML files

Anquet OMN £100 or £300 android iPhone

Anquet OMN is a map app. Use it with OS 1:50K (£135) or OS 1:25K (£307.50) mapping for Great Britain. Use discount code SWC20 at checkout for 20% off

Satmap Active 12 £300 handheld

The Satmap Active 12 is a dedicated rugged, waterproof walker's GPS device. £370 for GPS device and OS 1:50K mapping for Great Britain.

OS Maps Online £30 website

OS Maps Online. About £20/year for printing OS Explorer 1:25K mapping, and plotting your own routes. Requires web access, so cannot be used while out walking

This Website (and many others) free website

Using a website, e.g. this one, for viewing OS or OpenStreetMap maps (free). Requires web access, so cannot be used out walking.

Other Options

  • Android and iPhone: The OS's own MapFinder App. The app is free, but map tiles are pricey : 1:25K ~ £13 per OS Explorer map, 1:50K ~ £10 per (4x larger) OS Landranger Map
  • iPhone: Hikesmith - new iPhone App by a London based developer
  • Any (online only) : Bing Maps Aerial Imagery - view the route with low altitude photos.
  • Any (online only) : Google Earth. 'Fly' over the route. Fun but Bing Map's "Birds Eye" aerial imagery is more useful.
  • PC : Anquet OMN (PC version of above). Too expensive compared to cheaper websites like OS Maps Online, but comes free with the smartphone/tablet version.

Prices Updated: Mar 14