Caution: The beach leg might be blocked during storm surge or unusually high tides.
Caution: The railway crossing is closed forcing nearly a mile of walking on the A137.
Head east from the Cattawade picnic site and cross the A137.
Head east along Factory Lane passing the Fontana restaurant and the Crown pub.
Continue to the end of Factory Lane and turn right, SE, pond left.
Continue round the pond. Then turn right, south, towards the railway.
Near the railway embankment, turn right, SW, off the tarmac path.
Follow this narrow path between the railway and the industrial zone.
Turn left, SE, over two stiles and across the busy railway lines.
Follow the estuary flood bank path roughly east until mile four. Keep close to the water's edge.
At one point the path goes through woodland, still near the river.
After the woods, drop down onto the beach.
This could be under water during exceptional high tides or storm surges,
At the headland there are good views towards the port of Harwich.
The path turns left, north for 300 metres, no longer on the beach.
Turn left, NW, and head away from the river.
This track soon turns right, north and merges into Crepping Hall Drive.
At a crossroads, turn left, west, along Manor Lane.
At the farm, keep left and later pass barns, right. At the crossroads, continue ahead, west.
At the T junction, you could turn left, south, along Queech Lane.
This rejoins the coastal path and avoids the overgrown path and the blocked crossing and some nasty road walking.
Alternatively brave the obstructions and turn right, north, towards the B1080.
At the B1080, turn left, west, for 400 metres.
Soon after a stream crossing, turn right, north, and right again through a gate.
Head north, hedge left, stream right. This path is falling into disuse due to the blocked railway crossing.
Continue hedge left through a gate into damp grazing where there were cattle.
The meadow perimeter bends left, SW, stream right.
Cross the stream and head almost north through a gate out of the meadow.
Head left, west, stream left, through woodland. The path had almost vanished because of the blocked railway crossing.
Near the road, the path is blocked by a wire fence that's easy to squeeze through.
Head up to the road and turn left, south, for 100 metres.
There is a right turn with a footpath sign towards the blocked railway crossing.
It was blocked for "safety" but more likely to save money. There was no obvious risk I could see.
The risk of an accident crossing the railway might be less.
So instead, walk nearly a mile south along the busy A137 - LETHAL - Extreme Anger towards Network Rail!
At Church Lane, the blocked route arrives at the A137. Head SW along Church Lane.
At houses, turn left, SE, houses right for 190 metres.
Turn right, through a gap, and head SW along Brooklands Road.
Brooklands road heads SW and later west and finally south into Cattawade Street.
Turn right towards the A137 roundabout the cross the main road.
Head left, south, back to the alleyway leading to the picnic site.
TM 10104 33131, Cattawade