Benfleet to Leigh on Sea Walk
A nice coastal walk from Benfleet to Leigh on Sea in Essex. The circular route runs for about 7 miles along a series of fairly flat footpaths. The first section takes you along the sea wall through Hadleigh Marshes before returning inland via Hadleigh Country Park and the ruins of Hadleigh Castle.
The walk starts in South Benfleet next to the train station. You then head south east to the Benfleet Creek where you can pick up a footpath leading to Hadleigh Marsh. There's nice views over to Two Tree Island which you can easily visit from the path. The expansive nature reserve includes lagoons, pretty streams and great views across Hadleigh Ray to Canvey Island.
The route then reaches Leigh on Sea where you have the option of catching the train back to Benfleet. This route continues west up to Hadleigh Castle. The 13th century castle ruins are located in an elevated position with fabulous views of the surrounding Essex countryside, the Essex coast and the River Thames. It's located within the Hadleigh Country Park where you can enjoy 400 acres of woodland, pasture, hay meadow and marsh.
The route descends through the park to Benfleet Downs before returning to the finish point back at Benfleet.
To extend your walking in the area just continue east along the coast on the Southend to Leigh on Sea Walk. This will take you to the popular seaside resort with its famous long pier.
You could also pick up the Southend Millennium Walk. The long distance circular trail takes you to Hadleigh Country Park and the ruins of Hadleigh Castle before heading inland through the attractive Essex Countryside.