Six hardy souls ventured out despite warnings of Storm Freya, starting at Benfleet station. The walk covered completely different territory: the higher ground north of the estuary and Canvey Island, through mounds of mud along narrow, grassy paths through the dense, hilly woodland of Benfleet Downs and Hadleigh Country Park. We passed an “Iron Age” Roundhouse heading for the Salvation army tea rooms above the ruined Hadleigh Castle. Unfortunately these were closed but we managed our lunch stop with superb views across Canvey Island to the Hoo Peninsula and the North Downs in Kent. We then descended through less mud to Leigh on Sea where we did find a fine tea room and ended our walk.
Dramatic Hadleigh Castle with threatening skies