Island Hopping In The Blackwater Estuary, Essex, UK

The idea of island hopping in Essex may never have crossed your mind but there are some great places to go in the Blackwater estuary.
Northey Island, a National Trust property in Essex sits in the Blackwater Estuary near Maldon. It has a tidal causeway so you need to book in advance to access the site. It’s perfect for spotting wildlife or just getting away from it all.

Mersea Island is found south east of Colchester, and situated between the Blackwater and Colne estuaries. With a land area of around ten square miles, it is home to the town of West Mersea and the village of East Mersea. It can be accessed by rail, ferry from nearby Brightlingsea, or road (though this is subject to tide times!).


Mersea Island is famous for its seafood. Don’t miss the delicious platters at The Company Shed . Leeward House, a B&B by the beach, has doubles from £70, or splash out – almost literally – on The Raft, a floating cabin sleeping four near Maldon from £195 a night. Cudmore Grove Country Park at East Mersea has the added attraction of a quiet beach and long views over the Blackwater Estuary. Essex has one of the longest coastlines of any English county and a number of excellent blue flag beaches at Dovercourt, Brightlingsea and 3 in Southend-on-Sea. For more traditional fun head to Clacton-on-Sea for some fun-packed rides on the pier.

Great Days Out In The UK – Essex


Throughout Essex there are many great attractions to visit and, whatever your interests, you can be sure of many enjoyable days out.

  • Animals are always popular with children and at Colchester Zoo you will certainly find a wonderful collection.
  • Don’t miss ‘Spirit of Africa’, the elephant enclosure.
  • At Tropical Wings Zoo can you see woolly sheep pigs from Hungary.
  • For more domesticated animals, try Marsh Farm Country Park at South Woodham Ferrers or Barleylands Farm or Old MacDonald’s Farm where children of all ages can meet and feed farm animals, ride the mini tractors around the farm and let off steam in the adventure play area.
  • There are 14 country parks throughout the county and they are perfect for a stroll or a family picnic. The Essex Ranger Service has developed a great programme of events and activities for children of all ages and interests.
  • Visit Epping Forest and the historic Royal Gunpowder Mills.
  • Or try the stunning park lands, waterways and sporting venues in Lee Valley Park in Waltham Abbey
  • Or you could try the Epping Ongar Railway.