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It's the getting there that counts!

Join us on our first microadventure:


Thames Estuary: Castles, cockleboats, beach, mud and wading birds

on Saturday 31st January!

Sign up here

On Saturday 31st January, Prof. Mark Mulligan will lead the first microadventure on the Thames Estuary, jointly organised by Intrepid Explorers and KCL Geography Society.


Starting at Benfleet Station we will go across Benfleet and down to a viewpoint with excellent views over the Thames Estuary. We will then carry on through Hadleigh Castle Country Park to the impressive ruin of Hadleigh Castle, built more than 700 years ago. There we will have lunch - you can either choose to bring your own packed lunch or get something at the local cafè. We will pre order food so it will be ready for us when we arrive (more info in the sign up form). There is also a small rare breeds farm close by, for anyone who like to feed goats, sheep, chickens, pigs etc. After lunch, we will either go straight into Leigh-on-Sea or walk along the sea wall in the Leigh National Nature Reserve and then into town. Leigh-on-Sea is a small town with a significant fishing heritage, where you can eat traditional favourites such as cockles, jellied eels and rollmops. The mudflats at Leigh at this time of the year are also home to some large flocks of migrant birds.


The walk to Leigh-on-Sea is about 10 km. We can stop at one of the pubs in the old town of Leigh for an afternoon beer, travel back home from Leigh-on-Sea station or carry on along the beaches to one of the next railway stations to go home. Alternatively you can visit Southend-on-Sea (typical British seaside resort) and walk to the end of the longest pleasure pier in the world.


The event is free and open to everyone but please register here.


Please do get in touch if there are any questions or queries: [email protected]. For meeting times and other information see end of page.

Microadventure flyer

Additional information:


We will meet at Benfleet at 11:30am, so you will have to organise your own journey to get there. Trains leave from London Fenchurch St (1 minute walk from Tower Hill tube station, Circle and District line); we recommend getting the 10.39am one that arrives at Benfleet Station for 11.27am. We will be at the entrance to the station (down the steps from the platform).


We also recommend buying the return ticket from Leigh-on-Sea since that is the microadventure's final destination. The cheap day return ticket price is around £10-15 depending on railcards.


If you are late at Benfleet you should be able to catch us up en route - directions: from the train, down the stairs, left out of the station, right and up the hill, through the gates to Benfleet Downs (Hadleigh Castle Country Park) then walk eastwards towards the castle. Do not attempt to cross the railway level crossing as that path takes you in the wrong direction.


There are some slopes but nothing too arduous. However, the area is very exposed, so good shoes/boots and appropriate clothing for the weather will be necessary. We want you to be able to participate fully. If, having read the description of the day’s activities you feel you may need some additional support please contact [email protected] to see what adjustments could reasonably be made.

Pictures by Neil Pulling © All rights reserved