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The beach at Walton Stone at the entrance to Walton Backwaters

Both these pictures were taken during our club cruise in 2002.

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This is a lovely (and sometimes very popular) place to stop from a boat to take a picnic or a swim. It is easy to get ashore from a boat, the sand and shingle beach extends down to low water without mud. Behind the beach is a small area of sandunes and behind these are marshlands which are a nature reserve. Access to the marshlands may be prohibited during nesting season for the terns. Overnight camping among the small sand dunes is not forbidden (I hope) but you must leave no mess and not disturb the marram grass. The tent pegs do tend to come unstuck in the night! There is a footpath from Walton Stone following the shore clockwise around the marsh then up onto the high ground of the Naze headland, through more nature reserve, past the Naze tower (a prominent landmark constructed long ago specifically for that function) and then down into the seaside resort of Walton-on-the-Naze. It makes a nice walk.

The picture above shows the view looking from the sand dunes west accross Walton Creek. On the left of the photograh is a small creek which takes a tortuous path through extensive saltmarshes to the 'Wade' the stretch of water South of Horsey Island. At high tide this is an interesting route to explore in a shallow draft boat, I think it is described as the 'Dardanelles' in Arthur Ransom's childrens story 'Secret Water'.

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This sunset scene was taken from Walton Stone looking northwest from the beach across Walton Creek to Hamford Water, the strip of water on the far side of a long mud spit. Our two club owned Wayfarer dinghies are at anchor on the beach. Just to below and to the left of the setting sun is a dark shape, this is a row of sunken lighters placed there to protect the corner of Horsey Island from erosion.