Cudmore Grove Country Park
Broman's Lane, Colchester, United Kingdom
Cudmore Grove Country Park Colchester Reviews
Cudmore Grove Country Park Dec 26, 2011
Cudmore Grove Country Park is a small nature reserve on Mersea Island, Essex. It is mostly coastal salt marsh, with a thin strip of beach.
In summer, Cudmore Grove is full of picnicking families and happy children with kites ignoring their parents’ instructions not to go in the world war two bunker. As it’s a council run park, I’m reasonably sure the bunker is completely safe or they’d have shut it off – I haven’t crawled into it for nearly twenty years (gulp) because it is stinky and I’m an adult, but it hasn’t changed much there. For adults, the attraction is less likely to be the joys of invading the pillbox or getting a kite airborne, and more likely to be the nature. And for that reason, I would recommend coming in winter.
This isn’t a fine, sandy, beach for sunbathing, so much as a rough, north sea beach for looking at interesting shells. You can’t swim here unless you are planning to walk across a half mile of treacherous mud flat. So you need to come here for the nature, or kite flying, rather than to bake yourself. Like many beaches in North Europe, it’s at its finest after storms, when the sea tosses up driftwood and flotsam and the birds cry over the marshes. Mersea is technically in the estuaries of the Colne and Blackwater rivers, but the water is tidal here and it may as well be in the North Sea. The island is battered by any easterly winds coming in. There are numbers of sea birds, including lapwings and curlews and the kinds of sea ducks that peep instead of quack (not a bird expert!), and the dead flat land means the sky looks enormous.
Of course, huge, bleak seascapes are not everyone’s thing, and it’s entirely possible that people can be unmoved by standing at dusk as the sun sets, listening to lapwings and the sea, and the distant engine of a lifeboat or fishing vessel coming back to harbour. In that case you’ll hate it here. But this is a good place to come for some fresh air, about as far from the stereotypical view of Essex as it’s possible to get.
In summer there are icecreams. The terrain is easy, although clearly wheelchairs would struggle on the sand. Parking costs about £2.20 for a car all day, which really isn’t much when they have to maintain the wildlife reserves.
Part of the 2011 - UK Hometowns travel blog
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