Shoeburyness credit Mark Massey

Shoeburyness Boom to Benfleet Station

Walk 27: Sat 24th July 2021

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Distance: 17 miles

Straight along the coast, on the prom at Southend and past the seafood stalls at Leigh. Thames-side marshes take us to Benfleet where we then loop around Hadleigh Park.

First mile of this walk is mile number 389
Last mile of this walk is mile number 405

Get involved

Are you from this area? Join in!

Select a mile near you and submit some photos and words about it. If you send your images in by 9th April, they will be used as inspiration for the silk pennant to represent that mile. Find out more in the activity pack – see the button below.

Eventually the aim is to create a giant story map that unfolds along the route, showing all the images and words people have sent in.

There are no more miles available on this route, but try another, there are plenty available.

Activity Page All Walks Beach of Dreams main page FAQs

Route: Walk 27

Beach of Dreams walk 27 map

Mile Marker Map

Start points of walks are shown with bouncing markers. Click a marker to reveal what mile number it is and what day of the walk it occurs on.


 Please note: The routes and mile markers were mapped in February. It is possible that some changes will be needed before the walk itself takes place, for example because of temporary path closures, weather events, and tidal conditions. If there are changes, we will walk an alternative route that is as close as possible to the planned route, and keep the mile markers as close to the originals too. ‘Miles’ at the start and end of days may be slightly more or less than one mile.

Finding the Gems

All the one-mile sections for this stretch of the route have been allocated and exciting images and words are beginning to arrive.

If you are looking for a one-mile stretch of your own to book, have a look at one of the other walks, there are plenty still available. Click on the markers on the map above and the walk buttons will take you to those pages.

Below are some of the treasures sent in so far!

Shoeburyness to Benfleet Miles

  • Mile 404

    A Seaside Mile


    It's been the first warm sunny day of February in this strange year of 2021 it felt fantastic although still slightly chilly, to feel the warmth of the spring sun on our faces. My mile stretches from Benfleet Station to Hadleigh Castle, we began by passing Benfleet Station and the bridge over to Canvey Island, a route I often take for work.

    Our walk truly begins at the Benfleet boatyard where the route takes a turn off road and the boatyard lays alongside the Hadleigh Ray. There is I noticed a stark contrast between the industrial boat sheds, boating paraphernalia and the pretty houseboats which pepper the pontoons along the waterside.

    I was drawn to a piece of aging wood that sat nestling in among the waterside foliage and estuary mud, it was weathered and aged yet the life lines of the once tree were visible and complete. The sight of the wood took my mind to thinking of drift wood and the journey it makes as it travels and is washed up from one side of the estuary to another, while being shaped and moulded by the sea.

    To maybe be stumbled upon by children who for a while will turn it into a sword or a ships mast, or to be used to prop up a sand castle or water filled sandy hole, until the next time to be discarded to continue to take its estuary journey.


    by Fleur Elliott

    Mile 404 by Fleur Elliot

    Mile 404 by Fleur Elliot

    Mile 404 by Fleur Elliot

    Mile 404 on map


  • Mile 391

    Rising Tides

    Beach huts along mile 391 Wooden structures underneath beach huts
    Mile 391 Thorpe Bay Beach drawing by Sally Chinea
    Mile 391 Thorpe Bay Beach drawing by Sally Chinea

    I am visiting Thorpe Bay Esplanade, slightly over a mile from Southend Pier. This area is a destination for traditional beach activities and water sports, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing, all away from the attractions, noise and lights of the golden mile.

    Lining the beach are an eclectic mix of coloured wooden beach huts, each individually named and decorated.  The huts here stand proud of the sand, shingle and shells, on stilts, so even at high tide, they are still accessible. I look for one that was in our family and became our summer holiday destination.

    The smell of salty sea air reminds of childhood times here, sunshine filled days, simple fun combing the beach, collecting shells and sea glass, whilst waiting in anticipation for the incoming tide. Sometimes a walk out on the squelchy mud in jelly shoes, to meet the incoming water, shallow and warm.

    Timber groynes control the movement of beach material, but with each rising tide, the sea reaches further up the beach, many beach huts are suffering with erosion not only from the salty air, leaving layers of peeling paint, corroding and rusting bolts but the effects of the continual motion of the waves on their structures, gradually being eaten away by the relentless abrasion of the waves, many have ingenious reinforcements!  In recent storms, high winds and unheard of sea levels, several huts have been completely destroyed.

    As humans continue to pour greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we are causing a change in our in the earth temperature, ice melts, and every year, the sea rises 3.2 mm. This will have a dramatic effect on this area and possible loss of these unique structures, even housing beyond.  In years to come will there be a beach, let alone beach huts.


    By Sally Chinea

    Mile 391 on map



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