18 of us met in the car park of the Star pub at Steeple peering up at the sky wondering what the day’s weather would bring; most wore or carried waterproofs fearing the worst. However, the day was very kind to us and as the walk progressed the sun came out and the waterproofs were put away.
This walk was one from www.essexwalks.com which is a very useful website – it was one of their short walks, 4.5 miles. The walk took us a little way along the main road to a well-hidden footpath sign next to the Rising Sun pub (now defunct?). From there we walked through a delightful wooded path which then opened out into pasture land. When Lesley and I first walked it the path was easily visible but within the month it had become overgrown. Nevertheless, it was adequately signposted and we made our away along field edges accompanied by quite a variety of birdsong. A slight turn to the right brought us to the riverbank. We had to cross a bridge which had a sort of a stile at the end of it which was a bit of a challenge for those of shorter stature!
Unfortunately the tide was well down but as the day was clear we had excellent views across the river to Osea Island and beyond. We continued east along the coastal path enjoying the pleasure of the Essex countryside on such a lovely spring day. As we turned inland along Mayland Creek we passed the edge of Steeple Caravan Park – how thoughtful of them to provide us with benches to sit on!
This was usefully at the mid-point of the walk and we paused for a short break and watched the world go by! We then continued along the creek as it wound its way back towards Steeple village. We were treated to some magnificent displays of May blossom ranging in colour from white through to pink.
Overall the signposting of the path was very good but where it was supposed to leave the river bank and cut across the fields back to Steeple along the St.Peter’s Way the fingerpost was no longer there to be seen. The walk instructions say to go over a dilapidated wooden stile but there is not one of those either. Fortunately when we initially walked along the path we had worked out where we needed to go and found an indistinct path that leads at an angle from the river and across several fields. This eventually led through the farmyard at Hall Farm and out onto Canney Road that joined up with the main road back to the pub.
Before reaching the pub we passed the pretty church of St Lawrence and All Saints. We were back by 12.10 and pleased to sit down to a pleasant lunch at the Star.