Canoe Days Out

Essex - River Crouch (tidal) - South Woodham Ferrer to Battlesbridge (& return)

How to get there - From Chelmsford take the A130 south for 8 miles, leaving at the junction signposted "Wickford & South Woodham Ferrers". take the first exit at the roundabout at the end of the sliproad onto the A138 and continue (third exit at the first roundabout) for 3 miles to South Woodham Ferrers. At the second roundabout take the third exit (Ferrers Road), following the brown signs for Marsh Farm Country Park. Continue for half a mile to the next roundabout and again take the third exit (Inchbonnie Road). Continue for another half mile and turn right into Marsh Farm Road. Continue to the end parking in the second car park which is right on the sea wall.

For those with SatNav a nearby postcode is CM3 5WP.

Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - Launch from the slipway. If it looks particularly muddy consider using the slipway at the boat club which is right next door.

General Description - This is a tidal river so to get maximum assistance you will need to launch on an incoming tide and return when the tide has turned. The river starts fairly wide and narrows as it meanders to Battlesbridge. The greatest tidal flow tends to be towards the outside of the bends. The large square building that soon dominates the horizon is a former granery (now an antiques and craft centre) that stands next to the bridge at Battlesbridge.

Beyond the bridge is a structure that looks like a set of lock gates. These are designed to close automatically as the tide starts to go out, creating a head of water that would be used to drive the tidal mill that has recently been restored.

If you decide to visit the Barge Inn be sure to pull your canoe well clear of the high tide and think about the mud and the state of the tide on your return.

The trip is five and a half miles with no portages.

Comments on this trip

Keith (siteowner)
27 Oct 2017
You can see from some of the other comments that officers of Woodham Watersports Association, South Woodham Ferrers Yacht Club and Woodham Ferrers Water Ski Club are concerned that this trip may be interpreted as indicating that members of the public, other than members or associates of the following associations ; South Woodham Ferrers Yacht Club, Woodham Ferrers Water Ski Club or Woodham Watersport Association, have free and unencumbered access to the slipway at the Club House at Marsh Farm Road, Woodham Ferrers. This is obviously something that the clubs feel strongly about so let me add my voice to theirs. This is a private slipway with no public rights of access and, unless you have been given specific permission by an authorised officer of one of the clubs, you have no right to use this private slipway and should refrain from doing so.

Keith Day
26 Sep 2017
The following comment has been received from Louise Wood, the Secretary of the South Woodham Ferrers Yacht Club."Hi,I am the Secretary of the South Woodham Ferrers Yacht Club and member of the committee which oversees the joint lease of the Yacht Club and Water ski club who share the premises jointly.We have noticed that you have a Canoe day out from South Woodham Ferrers To Battlesbridge which is a lovely paddle. However, you mention using the boat club slipway for launching and recovery if the public area is muddy.Please remove this advice as the slipway is private and jointly leased but the two clubs. Members of the public will not be insured and there is the likelihood of high volumes of large boat movements on the slip at the relevant tide times.Many ThanksLouise Wood"

Woodham Watersports Association
01 Jul 2014
Please note that canoeists can now join the South Woodham Ferrers Yacht Club canoe section who jointly own the slipway with the Woodham Ferrers Waterski Club and have unrestricted access to this launch. Please do not post derogatory comments regarding either clubs ownership and use of the river.

Mike and Maureen
20 Oct 2013
We did this route on a Sunday in August 2013,and launched from the opposite river bank at Hullbridge. Here there is a free car park just a short walk up the road. You can drive down to the public slipway and drop your canoes/kayaks off and then drive the few yards back to the car park, where there was plenty of space on the day we were there. This launch/finish point also has the added advantage of the pub right at the finish for a postpaddle pint!

21 Aug 2013
The slipway at SWF is owned by the Local Autority and leased to the Waterski Club and Yacht club jointly.Legal action for launching a canoe reallyThis would need to be a joint action as it is a shred facility and is HIGHLY unlikely. It would do nothing for the waterski clubs already poor reputation with the local community.

Woodham Watersports Association
19 Oct 2012
The slipway of the "boat club" mentioned here is private and not open to public launching of any type of vessel. So for casual users this is not an option and may lead to legal action


Tide Tables
Antiques & Craft Centre
The Barge Inn

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The last trip loaded was Great Haywood to Great Haywood (Circular Route) on the River Trent / Trent & Mersey Canal by Peter Robinson