Leigh-on-Sea was looking particularly striking on a winter’s afternoon. Our party arrived at Westcliff-on-Sea station, surprised to discover the sea is only an hour from London. We walked along the seafront to Leigh, much to the delight of dogs Vulcan and Livvy. Even Kent Girl Paula was a convert.
The tide was out and at times the sun glistened on the estuary mudflats, despite the wind and rain. While the layered clouds were various hues of gunmetal grey and Kent power stations brooded across the water. Chalkwell station has fantastic views out to sea and some fine Essex artwork in the ‘portals’ on the beach wall too.
We passed the Crow Stone, a mysterious obelisk that marks the end of the City of London's authority over the River Thames. Our walk ended in Leigh, via the seafood shop and heritage museum. As the weather turned we headed for the pub. There’s little better than sitting in the warm window seat of the Crooked Billet looking out at the hail coming down, enjoying fine fish and chips and a pint of porter. We shall make more visits to estuary Essex in the winter.