If you’re looking for a great time outdoors, Southend has some of the best walks and hikes in the area.
With its stunning coastline, sprawling beaches, and picturesque countryside, it’s the perfect place for a leisurely stroll or an adventurous hike.
I’ve explored some of the best and most popular walks and hikes in Southend and I’m delighted to share with you my top 15.
From the beautiful Prittlewell Priory Walk to the classic Hadleigh Castle Hike, and from the relaxing Rayleigh Windmill Walk to the spectacular Shoeburyness to Thorpe Bay Walk, I’m sure you’ll find something to suit your needs.
So, let’s get started!
Prittlewell Priory Walk
You won’t want to miss the beautiful Prittlewell Priory Walk – it’s one of Southend’s best!
This picturesque walk takes you through a historic and tranquil landscape, with its 13th century ruins, ancient parkland, and river views.
It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon in Southend and is ideal for both walkers and cyclists alike.
Starting at the Priory ruins, you’ll wander past the old manor house, admire the grandiose oaks, and get lost in the peaceful riverside.
You’ll also get to explore the vibrant wildflower meadows and take in the sweeping views of the Thames Estuary.
With a variety of routes available, you can tailor your adventure to your own needs, taking in the sights while keeping active.
Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or an exhilarating hike, the Prittlewell Priory Walk is sure to be a memorable experience.
Chalkwell Park Walk
Experience the beautiful Chalkwell Park Walk and take in its stunning views. Set in the heart of Southend, this two mile route is perfect for those who love to explore the outdoors.
With plenty of nature trails to discover, it’s the ideal place to take a leisurely stroll or a longer hike.
The walk begins at the seafront and winds its way through the park past a number of beautiful lakes, ponds, and woodlands. Along the way, you can take in the views of the River Thames and the Estuary.
During summer, the park is alive with wildlife, from waterfowl to dragonflies, making it the perfect spot for birdwatchers.
With plenty of benches and picnic areas, it’s the perfect place to take a break and enjoy a bite to eat.
Chalkwell Park Walk has something to offer everyone, making it the ideal place for a peaceful outdoor escape.
Hadleigh Castle Hike
Explore the historic Hadleigh Castle Hike, a challenging yet rewarding trek that takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in the area.
The three-mile hike starts at the picturesque Hadleigh Castle, the ruins of which are a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade I listed building.
The hike takes you through charming villages, lush green fields and meadows, as well as a wooded area and a marsh.
This is a great opportunity to take in the breathtaking views of the Thames estuary and the London skyline.
The path is well marked, and as you reach the summit, you can spot the remains of the castle walls and towers that once defended the town.
As you make your way down the hillside, you can stop to admire the wildflowers and the wildlife in the area.
The hike is a great way to get out in the fresh air and take in the beauty of nature.
Rayleigh Windmill Walk
Take a captivating stroll through the countryside of Rayleigh Windmill Walk and get lost in its beauty.
An interesting and easy-to-follow route, this walk is great for those of all ages and abilities.
Located in the heart of Rayleigh, it takes you on a 3.5 mile journey, leading you past the stunning 18th-century windmill and along the banks of the River Roach.
The picturesque views of rural Essex will take your breath away as you make your way through charming villages and tranquil meadows.
As you make your way through the walk, you’ll pass several interesting landmarks, including the remains of Rayleigh Castle, the historic St. Mary’s Church, and the charming rural pubs along the route.
The route is also full of wildlife, with plenty of opportunities to spot a variety of birds and even a few deer.
And when you reach the windmill, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.
So if you’re looking for a peaceful walk to get away from it all, the Rayleigh Windmill Walk is the perfect choice.
Shoebury Common Walk
Discover the beauty of Shoebury Common on a peaceful stroll along the picturesque landscape of Southend. Covering a vast area of over 200 hectares, Shoebury Common is one of the most stunning walks in the area.
You’ll find a variety of paths to explore, including the four-mile long ‘Common Walk’ and a circular walk around the lake, where you can spot a range of wildlife. There’s also plenty of seating areas to stop and enjoy the view, with benches and shelters conveniently located.
The Common Walk takes you through areas of grassland, woodlands, and marshes, giving you a glimpse of the region’s natural beauty.
During the spring and summer, take the time to admire the colorful wildflowers and plants, and look out for the rare species of birds in the area.
As you head towards the lake, you’ll find the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic lunch, or take a break in one of the huts.
For a truly relaxing experience, watch the sun set from the lake’s edge and take in the tranquility of the area.
Thorpe Bay Walk
Set off on a journey of serene beauty along the Thorpe Bay Walk in Southend. This walk is perfect for those looking for a nice, leisurely stroll.
The first part of the walk, which takes you along the pier, is a great place to take in the stunning views of the coastline and the vibrant beach life. Stroll along the seafront and take in the smells and sounds of the sea. Along the way, you’ll find a number of cafes and restaurants to stop and grab a bite to eat.
The second part of the walk takes you through the area known as Thorpe Bay Gardens. Here you can admire the beautiful flower beds and trees, and the lush greenery of the grassy fields. You’ll also find a number of interesting sculptures and monuments to explore. This part of the walk is great for those looking for a bit of peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
At the end of the walk, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of the Thorpe Bay coastline.
Leigh on Sea to Chalkwell Walk
Explore the picturesque Leigh on Sea to Chalkwell Walk and take in the magnificent views of the sea and the countryside.
This walk is perfect for anyone looking for a leisurely stroll and a chance to observe the stunning beauty of Southend-on-Sea.
It starts from Leigh on Sea and takes you through a number of charming villages.
From there, the path leads you along a picturesque coastline and you can enjoy the sights of the sea.
Along the way, you’ll pass by a number of historical sites, including the ruins of the old Chalkwell Manor.
As you make your way to Chalkwell, you’ll pass through some of the most beautiful countryside in Essex.
The path is lined with wild flowers and offers many opportunities for bird watching.
For those looking for a bit of exercise, there are plenty of hills to climb.
At the end of the walk, you’ll have a chance to relax in Chalkwell Park before making your way back to Leigh on Sea.
With its stunning scenery and rich history, this walk is sure to be a highlight of your time in Southend-on-Sea.
Two Tree Island Hike
After leaving Leigh on Sea behind, I take the short drive to Two Tree Island in Southend. This hike around the perimeter of the island is a must-see for anyone who loves a good nature stroll.
It’s a great way to spend a relaxing morning or afternoon while taking in the sights and sounds of the island’s beautiful shoreline.
The hike is marked with posts on the island, and the path is easy to follow.
You’ll come across a variety of habitats, including salt marshes, mudflats, and grasslands.
I’m always in awe of the incredible bird life that can be seen here; from wading birds like curlews and plovers to sea birds such as cormorants and terns.
There’s a variety of wildflowers and butterflies in the summer months, and you may even spot a seal if you’re lucky!
The views across the estuary and out to the sea are stunning, and you can take your time to enjoy the peace and quiet of the island.
There’s also a small café if you fancy a spot of lunch or tea before heading back to the mainland.
All in all, this is a great way to get out and explore the natural beauty of Southend.
St Mary’s Park Walk
Meandering through the lush greenery of St Mary’s Park is a wonderful way to appreciate the beauty of Southend. As you make your way through the park, you’re sure to be mesmerized by the stunning views it has to offer.
From the towering trees to the endless rolling hills, the scenery is breathtaking. As you stroll through the park, you’ll also have the chance to spot some wildlife. You may be lucky enough to encounter a deer, a fox, or even a wild rabbit.
The park also offers a variety of different activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll, a vigorous hike, or a picnic in the sun, St Mary’s Park is the perfect place to do it.
There are plenty of benches and tables to relax and take a break, or you can soak up the sun and enjoy a game of frisbee. This park is a great place to spend time with friends or family and really experience the beauty of Southend.
Southend Cliffs Walk
Enjoy breathtaking views of the coastline and beyond as you take a leisurely stroll along the Southend Cliffs Walk.
Starting from the Adventure Island amusement park, you’ll be able to take in the full beauty of the sea and the sky, as well as the gorgeous gardens found all along the walk.
The path itself is perfect for a leisurely stroll, as it’s paved and fairly level, and you’ll find plenty of benches along the way if you’d like to take a break.
You’ll also find a number of historical sites to explore, including a number of old fortifications and the old Southend Pier.
The Cliffs Walk is a great way to get some fresh air, exercise, and take in the beautiful scenery, and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon.
Southend Seafront Promenade
Stroll along Southend’s seafront promenade and take in all the sights and sounds of the seaside. The promenade runs for two miles, taking you along the seafront from the pier to Chalkwell Park, offering a host of activities along the way.
From a leisurely stroll to a more energetic jog, the promenade is the perfect place to take in the sights and sounds of the seaside. Along the way, you’ll find plenty of attractions, from the Adventure Island amusement park to the Southend Pier, to the Sea Life Centre, and the world’s longest pleasure pier.
There are plenty of places to take a break and enjoy some refreshments, and even a few spots to take a dip in the sea. The promenade is a great way to get out and explore the town, as well as to soak up the atmosphere of the beach.
Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a more active adventure, the Southend Seafront Promenade is the perfect place to enjoy some time by the sea.
Shoeburyness to Thorpe Bay Walk
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of Southend’s seafront and explore the unspoiled beauty of Shoeburyness to Thorpe Bay walk.
This relaxing stroll along the beach is a great way to clear your mind and enjoy the fresh sea air.
As you make your way along the shore, you’ll be able to take in the spectacular views of the sea and the surrounding coastline.
You’ll also be able to spot plenty of wildlife, including seals, seabirds, and even dolphins.
Along the way, you’ll find plenty of interesting landmarks, including a fort, a lighthouse, and the remains of an old pier.
The walk ends at Thorpe Bay, with its wide sandy beach and picturesque pier, making it a great place to relax and take a few photos.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll or an exciting day out, the Shoeburyness to Thorpe Bay walk is sure to have something for everyone.
Belfairs Woods Walk
Discover the stunning beauty of Belfairs Woods with a peaceful walk amongst the ancient trees and tranquil ponds.
This magical forest is home to an abundance of wildlife, including herons, kingfishers, and woodpeckers.
The winding paths along the river Avon offer a wonderful opportunity to observe these animals in their natural habitat, while also providing beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.
With plenty of benches and picnic spots scattered throughout the woods, you can take your time to appreciate the beauty of this ancient woodland.
Enjoy a peaceful stroll along the winding paths, and take in the sights and sounds of the local wildlife.
Whether you’re looking for a short stroll or a longer hike, Belfairs Woods has something to offer for everyone.
Two Tree Island to Southend Beach Walk
Experience the stunning coastal views and charming seaside towns with a walk from Two Tree Island to Southend Beach.
The journey begins at Two Tree Island, a nature reserve set between the estuary of the River Thames and the North Sea. This walk offers a chance to take in the beauty of the area’s natural environment, as well as the unique wildlife that inhabits it.
From Two Tree Island, you’ll make your way along the shoreline, passing the historic fishing village of Leigh-on-Sea before arriving at the bustling seaside town of Southend-on-Sea.
Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the estuary, as well as the chance to experience the unique culture of the area.
The walk is perfect for those looking to take in the sights and sounds of the local area and provides a memorable experience for visitors to the area.
Old Leigh to Leigh on Sea Walk
Stroll along the charming Old Leigh to Leigh-on-Sea coastline and take in the history of this picturesque fishing village.
The walk begins at the entrance of the Old Leigh fishing port. It takes you past the old cobbled streets of the village and offers views of the Thames Estuary, as well as glimpses of the old fishing boats docked along the shore.
Along your journey, you can explore the Old Leigh Fisherman’s Museum, catch a glimpse of the local wildlife, and take in the natural beauty of Leigh-on-Sea’s stunning shoreline.
As you make your way along the path, you can soak up the unique atmosphere of this unique fishing village and take a moment to appreciate the sights and sounds of the past.
The walk concludes at the beautiful Leigh-on-Sea beach. Visitors can enjoy the stunning views of the estuary, take a dip in the sea, or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll along the shore.
The local pubs and restaurants are a great place to grab a bite to eat and relax after your walk, and there are plenty of shops to explore and boutiques to browse.
The perfect way to end a lovely day out, this walk is the ideal way to appreciate the history and beauty of one of Southend’s most charming villages.
My journey of the top 15 walks in Southend has come to an end.
From exploring the grounds of a 12th-century priory to hiking to the ruins of Hadleigh Castle, and from a leisurely stroll around Chalkwell Park to a trek along the coast from Shoeburyness to Thorpe Bay, these walks have been a wonderful way to experience the beauty of Southend.
I’ve been overwhelmed by the stunning views, and the variety of terrain, wildlife, and historical sites I’ve encountered.
I can honestly say that these walks have been one of the highlights of my time in Southend, and I’m excited to explore more of what this wonderful area has to offer.