Colne Estuary Explorer - 1 Day Bike Ride





17 April 2019



From sandy beaches to river crossings, mudflats to quintessentially English harbour towns. Smells of the sea, sights or the coast and barely another soul insight.


Perfect for couples seeking secret beaches, friends seeking seafood platters or traditional fish & chips or families chasing that all important ‘all-together-time’ all wrapped up in a one-day return journey.





Cycling the Colne Estuary (Mersea to Wivenhoe) offers picturesque landscapes, wildlife, inspiring heritage storys and unique.


This return ride is about 15-miles / 90 mins each way and offers a wonderful mix of scenic rural and coastal riding on a combination of bridleways, lanes and local roads - one or two footpaths link the route and riders are requested to dismount and walk their bikes in these areas.


From sandy beaches to river crossings, mudflats to quintessentially English harbour towns. Smells of the sea, sights or the coast and barely another soul insight. Perfect for couples seeking secret beaches, friends seeking seafood platters or traditional fish & chips or families chasing that all important ‘all-together-time’ all wrapped up in a one-day return journey.


Ride Summary:

- Approximately 15 miles each way / 30-mile round trip.

- Expect to pedal for 90-120 mins each way at a leisurely pace (c. 8mph).

- Suitable for adults and teens. Not suitable for young riders or cycle trailers.


Cycle Hire and route-maps from Mersea Adventure Centre.


Hardcopy Routemaps available to Hire Customers.

Hire & non-hire customers can download the gpx file to their phone from Strava here.





An Island Coastline: The initial stage of the journey takes you from our base at Waldegraves in Mersea to the Foot Ferry at Mersea Stone. Ride through rural fields toward the Vineyard - a lovely spot to stop and have a wonder around and see the beauty of the area.


Pushing on along the coast there you’ll come across interesting landmarks such as that of the East Mersea Church (fact?)and WW2 Pillboxes (fact) dotted along the coastline. As you pass along Mersea’s beautiful sandy beaches keep you eyes open for local wildlife and sails passing on the horizon. Keep heading east and you find Mersea Stone, where Foot Ferry Crossing Eyes peeled for the steps down to Mersea Stone.


At the tip of the beach is where I was able to catch the Brightlingsea foot ferry which will take you (and your bike) across to Brightlingsea. This is a brilliant part of the journey but prepare to get a little wet from splashes! NB local charges apply, £3.50 per adult plus £1.50 per cycle at the time of writing.


Brightlingsea & the Estuary Once at Brightlingsea, one the Cinque Ports of the East, it’s a short ride through the town and then promptly onto the riverside path for some more spectacular views.


Cycling away from Brightlingsea you’ll experience both the open estuary air and the picturesque woodlands landscapes through to Moverons Farm.





Into and around Wivenhoe The scenery was only improving the closer I came to my destination of Wivenhoe. Coming along from Arlesford Creek you’re met with amazing views which were not to disappoint think secret beaches and salt-marshes.


Nearing the town of Wivenhoe, you begin to see why this journey was worth it. Finish off at The Rose and Crown with refreshments and a bite to eat.





Returning to Mersea: If cycling, reverse the route and make sure you reach the last Foot Ferry at Brightlingsea - check times with the skipper on your outbound journey!


Groups might like to charter the Ferry privately and cruise Colne from Wivenhoe back to Mersea - expect to pay around £150 per charter which will provide space for circa 10 riders and their bikes.