Located on the Dengie Peninsula in Essex, Bradwell-on-Sea is a small village bordered by the English Channel to the east and the River Blackwater to the north.
A circular route around Bradwell-on-Sea is one of the most popular routes in this part of the country, taking you past the famous St Peter’s Chapel and along the coast.
We did this walk on a cold but bright February day, and with a strong wind coming in against the exposed coastline it was important to wrap up warm!
Finding walk along this quiet location is one of the best things to do in Essex for couples and anyone who enjoys getting into nature.
This Bradwell-on-Sea walk is roughly 6 miles long and is a great way to explore this area of Essex.
Heading off from Bradwell-on-Sea
The best place to start the hike is by following East End Road all the way east from Bradwell-on-Sea until you get to the car park at the end, where you can park for free.
From there, head along the path on foot that continues in the same direction towards the coast. As it used to be a Roman road, it’s completely straight and easy to follow.
After passing by a pillbox in the fields to your right, the sea will soon be in view and you’ll reach St Peters chapel.
St Peter’s Chapel
Located right by Bradwell Beach, St Peter’s Chapel has a history dating back to 653AD when a small church was built on the site of an old roman fort.
The chapel today is open to visitors, so it’s worth having a look inside if you’re following this walk near Bradwell-on-Sea.
Along Bradwell Beach
From St Peter’s Chapel, you can follow the coastline north along Bradwell Beach, and the path will gradually turn westwards and it borders the River Blackwater.
Across the water, you’ll be able to see the town of West Mersea and other parts of the Essex coastline like the Blackwater Estuary National Nature Reserve.
Towards Bradwell Power Station
As the coastal path turns to take you west, you’ll be able to see Bradwell Power Station in the distance.
Continue all the way towards the power station and turn off left just before it, heading away from the water and following along a path that takes you along the perimeter of the power station.
You’ll head through a car park before walking along a road that takes you west then south all the way to Bradwell-on-Sea.
However, at a turn in the route, you’ll see a sign for Bradwell Nature Trail which you can follow through a small woods until you reach the fields on the other side.
Through the former RAF base
A path cuts through the fields and past an electricity pylon before taking you out to RAF Bradwell Bay.
This airstrip was constructed and used during the Second World War and, while it’s now disused, you can walk west along the long expanse of concrete until you reach the road at the end.
Keep heading along the road south towards Bradwell-on-Sea, but before you get there it will take you past an RAF war memorial.
Around the village and back
From the memorial, continue down the road which soon becomes the High Street until it takes you into the village.
You’ll pass St Thomas Parish Church and The King’s Head pub, which is a good spot for a drink now that you’re nearly at the end of the walk.
The final stretch back to the starting point is to turn down East End Road, which you followed at the beginning, and simply keep heading along this mostly straight street all the way back to the car park at the end.