Brightlingsea - Colne Estuary - Crab and Winkle Path

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As well as visiting the ancient, working Cinque port of Brightlingsea, now a yachting centre and providing opportunities for children to catch crabs by the hundred, this walk provides an incredible variety of interests. You visit a 'Natura 2000 site', so designated under the European Union Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive and a 'Ramsar' under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.

You pass through the Colne Estuary National Nature Reserve, where you can see oystercatchers and other seabirds, barn owls, kestrels, hen harriers, brent geese, black-tailed godwits and ducks such as mallard and widgeon. The natural flora includes meadow barley, strawberry clover and hairy buttercup, as well as thrift and sea lavender which provide a beautiful display in the summer.

The Crab and Winkle Line, which takes up a large part of the walk, is a disused railway track which used to join Brightlingsea to Colchester. There is evidence along the route of the old bridge pilings which carried the track across Alresford Creek.

The old port itself is picturesque and fascinating at the height of summer, when The Hard is teeming with small craft and the life that goes with yachting.

This is a walk not to be missed!

England - East England - Essex - Coast


Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Lake/Loch, Nature Trail, Play Area, Pub, River, Sea, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife