Your guide to Mersea Island

About Mersea

Mersea is the UK's most Easterly inhabited island with a population of just under 7000.  The island's peaceful atomsphere, traditional fishing village community and beautiful views across the Blackwater Estuary make Mersea the ideal choice for holidays, family days out and a place where many decide to settle down to enjoy the quality of life that living on Mersea Island brings.

There is a rich history on Mersea Island which can be seen at the local, Mersea Museum.  Over many hundreds of years, Mersea has gained a vast array of sites and stories of historical and cultural interest.  There is evidence of a pre-Roman settlement on the Island and there has been frequent reports of sightings of a roman centurion crossing the Strood Channel at night. The Parish Church in West Mersea Village is of Anglo-Saxon Origin and was later rebuilt after destruction by Norse raiders in 894.  The Reverend S.Baring-Gould was rector of East Mersea Church from 1871-1881.  Baring-Gould was a talented historian, poet, archaologist and hymn writer amongst other talents during his life and as an author, his novels at one time outnumbered those by any other author in the British Museum Library. One of his earliest novels, Mehalah: A Story of the Salt Marshes, is beleived to be set on Mersea Island with the characters based on observations of neighbours and local residents during his time on Mersea Island.  Reverend Baring-Gould was also the Author of well known Hymn 'Onward Christian Soldiers' which is still sung by congregations today. 

There is plenty to do on Mersea Island for all of the family with activities from young children to those looking for a peaceful way to pass the time.  
The Island's stunning countryside and Estuary views are a great place to take a walk.  The round the island walk is a popular 13 mile challenge which will take around 3 hours for seasoned walkers or is a great day out for families with slightly older children who are looking for a day of exercise and maybe a picnic along the way.  Dogs enjoy walking in the countryside and are welcome all year round on the island's beaches and public rights of way.  Those looking for a less challenging walk can can choose from several starting points around the island to enjoy a walk to suit their family.  From Beach to farmland, there is something to suit everyone.  Cudmore Grove country park at the far point of East Mersea is great place to spend time walking the dog or flying kites.  The adjoining beach is sandy and gives access to the Mersea Stone, the launching point for the foot ferry to St Osyth & Brightlighsea.  Others may enjoy a stroll along the fishing village area of West Mersea with plenty of places to stop and eat or enjoy a drink whils taking in the sea air. 

Mersea Island is the perfect coastal location and the ideal place to spend time in Essex.  Only 10 miles from popular Military town Colchester and with excellent transport links to London, Mersea Island is a great place to visit at any time of the year.