Vikings on the Essex coastline

March 26th 2019
By: Melanie Hollidge

Living in Chigwell, Loughton or Woodford not only gives you much more instant access to the great outdoors alongside working in the city. It also gives you access to the second longest coastline in the country.

If you were asked you would probably know that Cornwall has the longest coastline (even without including the Isles of Scilly) in England 1086 km. But would you have known that Essex comes in second with 905 km of coastline, just ahead of Devon which has 819 km.

If you already live in the East of England you will already appreciate the delights of the coast. But if you are thinking of moving just out of London to the Chigwell, Loughton or Woodford areas make sure you appreciate that this gives you a little faster access to the expanse of Essex coastline.

One place that is pretty much due East of Chigwell, Loughton and Woodford and of course part of the National Trust is Northey Island. 

Getting to the island is quite an adventure as the causeway to it is covered at high tide so you'll need to plan your visit beforehand. If you plan to visit Northey Island, they like you to let them know you're coming you can call 01621 853142 for a permit. 

It is quite a wild place “bleak, remote, quiet - Northey is the Wuthering Heights of Essex!” and there are no facilities on Northey Island but that is part of its castaway attraction. It is also a sanctuary for breeding bird and the population is very sensitive so unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on to Northey Island. But you can walk your dog along the Blackwater Estuary sea wall in Maldon's Promenade Park. Find out more about Promenade Park.

The causeway played its part in the Battle of Maldon in 991. Picture the Battle of Maldon the Vikings have landed on Northey. Earl Brithnoth of Essex and his army stand calling across the causeway to the 'sea pirates'. Earl Brithnoth fought bravely but lost and the course of British history changed forever. Northey is the oldest recorded battlefield in Britain well worth a day trip from the safety of Chigwell, Loughton or Woodford.