DAY OUT

So a few weeks back the better half and i decided to chuck the  pooches into the van and have a day out further up the coast, although its lovely to walk locally sometimes a change of scenery is required. The weather was due to be a bit on the cold side with overcast skies and a stiff breeze, my kind of weather. So dogs loaded in the van, sandwiches made and tucked in rucksack, boots on and we were off.

Our first port of call was St Osyth just a few miles short of Clacton. Now i used to fish St Osyth many, many moons ago with my Dad and family in search of the elusive cod, and remember the place fondly. You used to be able to drive your car onto the beach, if the sea defence gates were open, then drive along the back of the beach for a mile or so before parking up and literally fishing from the back of your car. Since then i,d heard that the shore area had been eroded quite heavily so there was now no access along the beach via vehicle. So as we pulled up at the bottom of the sea wall after driving through the holiday camp i was looking forward to seeing the changes that had taken place over the years i hand,t visited. The wind was a lot stronger than previously forecast as we donned our big coats, and it was also starting to drizzle with rain but that didn,t deter us. Up the slope and over the wall we went and yes, it really had changed a lot. There now was some large manmade rock ‘groynes’ pointing seaward, roughly every 100 hundred yards, to help slow the shores erosion and where we used to drive along the sand was now large lumps of concrete again to stop erosion. We walked along the wall until we could climb over and down onto the shore so the dogs could have a swim and a paddle. I have to say that the first few hundred yards of our walk was disgusting, old toys, household waste, mattresses and bags of rubbish and clothing lay scattered everywhere, it was a dumping ground for any old crap the nearby camp residents didn,t want. I,ve recently been told that on the outskirts of the campsite is a residential area which is unfortunately home to many low lives, and these are the ones who use the shore as their personal dumping ground. We very nearly turned round and went back to the van but carried on walking along the tide line and i,m quite happy we did really as the rubbish got less and less and the marshland got larger and larger. This meant that there was some lovely ‘splashes’ which nearly all held some ducks in hiding from the now increasing wind and rain. We walked for a mile or so i guess before giving in to the grotty weather and heading back to the van.  Neither of us took any pictures as the rain was too heavy and too be honest after the initial shock of the amount of rubbish scattered around, we felt more than a little dejected. In summary, although the marsh areas were nice we won’t be going back there….

So after the awful St Osyth we had a browse on Google Earth to see where else might be worth a visit on the way home. Just down the road was Brightlingsea, somewhere i have heard about but never visited, it had to be worth a quick stop. Well what a contrast this place was, we loved it there. 

After pulling into a little car park we were greeted by dozens of brightly painted beach huts which even on this cold and damp day gave a nice warm feel to the place.

We walked past the huts and onto a small promenade which then carried on up a few steps and along a sea wall which i believe went to a nature reserve. We only walked for a short distance before heading back as we had spotted a little beach hut style kiosk which served hot drinks and we both fancied a little warm up.

    

On the way back we had a quick look at the leaning lighthouse at the end of another small promenade. Odd looking building it was too, but i guess it was built there to guide the boats up the river in earlier times. A couple of guys were enjoying some fishing below this structure and the whole area had a nice serene, calm feel to it. After a lovely tasty, and cheap i might add, hot chocolate at the kiosk we jumped back in the van and headed to our next destination.

Wivenhoe was our next, and last, port of call before it got dark. Again it was somewhere i had heard of but not visited. Well this small village/port made up for the dodgy start to our day out, as it was truly picturesque with small traditional fishing village style houses as well as attractive new builds along the waters edge.

We only spent a short while walking along the rivers edge and exploring a few of the little side roads as darkness was falling quickly, but we loved what we saw. Everywhere was so clean with no rubbish anywhere and it felt like the residents took pride in their village too as there was beautifully kept window boxes and hanging baskets and dressed windows wherever you looked. There was a couple of old pubs along the quayside with little roads running alongside which looked like they could of been used as backdrops in a pirate movie, and the smell off home cooked roast dinners wafting from inside them was intoxicating. Walking back up the hill away from the river back to where we had parked we found a couple of quaint little restaurants as well as a lovely looking deli, obviously we didn,t go in any as we had the dogs with us, as well as more old pubs. We loved this place and will definitely be visiting again but next time we,ll make sure we have more time to sample one of the roasts we smelt mmmmmmmm…

All in all it was a nice day out which has given us a couple more places to visit in the near future………

FIRST VLOG

Last week i took a little walk along the River Chelmer during my lunch break as i was working near by. I made a little vlog whist i was there so would love it if you,d take a look and give me some feedback as its my first.

As mentioned in the above vlog it was a cold foggy day and even at midday there was still frost on the ground in some areas. It was still nice to have a little walk along the river there during my lunch break, its a lovely walk along the river whether you go towards Chelmsford or head the way towards Danbury. i took a few pictures as well which I’ve added below.

I,d like to point out that i was wrong on a couple of facts about the river.

  1.  The River Chelmer runs through to Maldon and then exits into the tidal River Blackwater, not the Crouch as i mentioned.
  2. The River Chelmer runs through to Chelmsford and then out to Felstead, not through Chelmsford and then out to Roxwell as i said, thats the River Can i believe.

Sorry about getting those facts wrong.

 

 

MUSHROOMS

In the UK there is roughly 15,000 varieties of this interesting fungi, from the larger edible species such as the Puffball and the Horse Mushroom to the lethal Death Cap. Autumn is the best time to go on the hunt for most of the different mushroom species, damp misty mornings are the best time to search. Every year i mean to go looking for mushrooms to photograph, as they come in so many sizes, shapes and colours, but as usually happens life gets in the way. This year was no different from any other but i did actually manage to get a few pictures of  some whilst walking the dogs, only taken on my iPhone but i think they came out well.

 

 

These guys i found poking through the grass on the sea defence at Wallasea Island, the biggest being nearly 6 inches across. As you can see something has been having a wee nibble on one of them.

On another walk along the same river but upstream a little at Fambridge i stumbled across these beauties. The mushroom on the right doesn,t do justice to how delicate the frills were on this species as well as how yellow the centre was.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whilst having a couple hours of early morning pike fishing i was doing my usual and having a little nosey along the bank and found these guys so had to get their pictures as well.

 

Another stroll with my poochies on a local field and more ‘shrooms’ were found. these ones, although pretty in their own right, didn,t look like touching them would be the smartest thing to do. They were kind of slimy looking and definitely  looked unappetising, if i was on the hunt for snack that is.

 

I don’t know the names of any of these mushrooms but i will endeavour to learn more about them at some point. I even fancy having a go at foraging for some of the more appealing varieties so that i can cook and try them, although i am a little nervous about doing this, but i will get a guide to help me pick the right ones. I reckon thats something to mark on the ‘Things To Do’ list for next Autumn.