Roach Valley Way
Rochford to Canewdon
Friday 12th January 2018
A cold day in early January might not be the best time to do the Roach Valley Way due to the weather and the prospect of it being muddy underfoot, but Glenn and I were keen to start 2018 with a decent walk. The entire circular walk, starting at and returning to Rochford is about 23.6 miles (38km), which we thought was too long for a day's walk for two reasons (1) that it was the first walk of the season and (2) because of the fading light early afternoon. We decided to split the walk into two, doing Rochford to Canewdon, and then on a second day, Canewdon to Rochford. We positioned Glenn's car at Canewdon near the church ready for completion of the day's walk.
||Elevation in meters
We started the walk from Rochford Railway Station at 10 a.m. It took us a few minutes to get our bearings, but we turned right along West Street, then taking Back Lane to South Street. Here we turned right along South Street, taking the path to the left just over the bridge and next to the pub, the Horse & Groom.
Rochford Railway Station
Past "the Marlborough Head" pub into Back Lane
Horse & Groom pub
Stambridge Mills. Broomhills Care Home can be seen just to the right.
As you approach Broomhills Care Home, the natural route seems to be along the banks of the River Roach.
However there was no access and we retreated and tried to go along the road
next to the Care Home.
This we realised was wrong, and at our third attempt we found the right path next to the cricket ground!
No access along the bank next to Broomhills Care Home
At last, getting out into the countryside away from the industrial area.
Passing Bartonhall Creek, the path eventually comes to the N-E tip of Stannets Creek. Here there is a "Roach Valley Way" marker showing a route almost directly north towards Jubilee Cottages; we tried this but it did not seem to be a well trodden path. We returned to the time of Stannets Creek and headed almost due East as indicated on the Ordnance Survey map. (Map courtesy of www.essexhighways.org)
Garmin trace of where we headed towards Jubilee Cottages at
Stannets Creek and retraced our footsteps.
Cupola House, Paglesham
The Plough & Sail, Paglesham, where we had lunch
Heading along the coast after Paglesham
After stopping by the Plough & Sail for lunch we headed towards Paglesham Creek and Lion Creek before coming onto the banks of the River Crouch. Burnham on Crouch, on the opposite bank, came into sight and the sun shone for a few minutes. This was the only time that we saw the sun in the whole day, that was otherwise dull and overcast. We realised that we had some serious walking to do if we wanted to get to Canewdon before the light started to fade, so concentrated on pounding the path rather than taking photographs. Whilst we could see Canewdon Church up on the hill, we did not seem to be getting any closer and desperately needed a left turn to approach Canewdon. This came at Upper Raypitts Farm, and in our haste we nearly missed the small sign on the fence. After passing through the farm yard the path goes off to the left along a small drainage ditch. You are actually doubling back on yourself at this point, and, despite the "Roach Valley Way" signs we felt uneasy! There was no way that you could get over the drainage ditch without a bridge! However we soon came to a small bridge, actually marked "FB" on the Ordnance Survey map, and were able to climb the hill into Canewdon. A right turn along High Street saw us headed back to the car; by this time the light was going and we were beginning to feel cold, but it had been an enjoyable day's walk!
St Nicholas Church, Canewdon