Plan for Essex swim trek mid June (60th swims)

My next monthly swim and dip safari in East Anglia (in six months of swims to mark my 60th) – now completed – in Essex, taking in Brightlingsea, Mersea, Walton on the Naze, Dedham, Ulting, Boreham, Sawbridgeworth and many more places. Reports soon.

I arranged to meet local swimmers and groups. All swims at our own risk and taking responsibility for our own safety. More on this and on tidal swimming below, after the photos

Itinerary – revised

Fri 14
7.30 Brightlingsea lido
8.30 Brightlingsea sea
Breakfast at lido café
10.30 Alresford – meet at church, into sea 11.00
12.30 St Osyth Wake Park, Mill Dam Lake
15.00 Frinton on Sea (in swim walks book)
16.00 Walton on the Naze (in swim walks book)
18.30 Dedham mill

Locations for Fri 14

Sat 15
8.00 Dedham mill
(10.00 Ferry across from Brightlingsea)
10.30 meet car park, 10.45 swim Mersea Island, Cudmore Grove Country Park (with Island Swimmers Go Wild group)
(12.15/13.15 Ferry back to Brightlingsea)
14.00 Tollesbury, Woodup pool
16.00 Ulting Church
18.00 Boreham Church Road

Locations for Sat 15

Sun 16
8.00 Gosfield Lake  website; on Facebook
9.45 Bures, by footbridge S. of Community Centre
12.30 Leigh on Sea/ Southwold, Chalkwell beach, meet at Lifeguards Club house at Shelter
16.30 St Peter’s Flat, Bradwell on Sea

(then via Maldon prom lake – view/paddle?)

Locations for Sun 16

Mon 17
08.00 Boreham

10.00 Galleywood nr Ingatestone (as on A12 trip)
12.00 Sawbridgeworth, Pishiobury Park, river Stort

14.00 Audley End near Saffron Walden

Locations for Mon 17

For maps and info on locations see links above and at bottom of Places page

In these swim safaris I am meeting local swimmers or swim groups in several places over a few days in different part of East Anglia each month (see Swims, including reports from  Norfolk trip in late April ).

Contact me or find me on Facebook

I am inviting people to sponsor me if they would like to.

More info on swims and tides below these photos of three locations

blue pool with swimmer
Brightlingsea lido
calm sea with swimmer
river and reflected trees
River Chelmer, Ulting

About the swim/dips

I’m inviting people to join me in the swims and dips, on the understanding that this is at their own risk, and that they have read the Outdoor Swimming Society responsibility statement – we will all be taking responsibility for our own safety.
Anyone who is new to outdoor swimming is recommended to have a look at the Outdoor Swimming Society’s wide range of information on safe swimming, Survive, and to ask if not sure about anything. We can all swim at our own pace, for as long or short a time as we wish, and we don’t need to stay together. I don’t swim far or fast, and am likely to only do between 10 and 20 minutes, so faster/ stronger/ more experienced swimmers are welcome to go off and do their own thing though it would be nice to meet and go into the water together.

Tidal river and estuary swimming

Planning has been quite complicated for this swim safari, because many of the swims are in the sea, estuaries or tidal sections of rivers, and it’s important to know the best and safest time to enter and exit the water. I’ve looked at tide times ( I use Tides4Fishing as it has dates in advance), but this is not enough – I’ve asked people who know the waters the best times to go. I’ve done a guide on swimming in tidal rivers and estuaries.
In some places high tide is best and safest, in others high tide would be dangerous, and at others a low tide would mean a long walk out to the water. Further complicating things is the fact that this weekend sees a spring tide, which is when tides are higher than usual. This means that in a number of locations roads will be flooded, however at some locations this gives along a window of opportunity to swim.

Tides and related issues


Best at high tide, and as it is a spring tide swim window is longer, perhaps 2/2.5 hours before high tide:
14 – 10:30 AM
15 – 11:30 AM
16 – 12:15 PM
17 – 1 PM


Park at the ruined church. Don’t drive down the road to the ford – as it is a spring tide the road will get flooded! We will take the footpath down to White House beach. High tide as for Brightlingsea

Walton on the Naze, preferred between high and low tide:
14 – 1:30 PM (High 10:30, Low 4:30 pm)
15 – 2:15 PM
16 – 3:15 PM
17 – 9:40 AM and 3:50 PM

Mersea – preferred high tide
But need to avoid travelling to and from at high tide – times similar to Brightlingsea above – as it is a spring tide road to it (the Strood) will be flooded!
So can get foot ferry across from and back to Brightlingsea,
On hour from B’sea, 15 mins past hour return, 10am-4pm

Tollesbury tide pool.  As it is a spring tide roads around will be flooded! The water is changed at a spring tide, which is due to take place 15/16. Tides as for Brightlingsea above

Southend – Chalkwell beach and Leigh on Sea (in swim walks book)
Recommended to swim 1 hour before high tide. High tide is
14 – 11:00 AM
15 – 12:00 PM
16 – 1:00 PM
17 – 1:30 PM

Bradwell on Sea
It’s possible the tide will be too far out, in which case we will just admire the shell beach and atmospheric location, or perhaps manage a paddle.

High tides:

14 – 11:00 AM
15 – 11:55 PM
16 – 12:40 PM
17 – 13:25 PM


county of Essex