Our hosts at the B&B at which we are staying in Maldon, Essex suggested two really good activities for today: firstly, a walk along the tow paths of the Chelmer and Blackwater Canal to Heybridge Basin; secondly, a visit to the gardens at Beeleigh Abbey.
Interesting graffiti under one of the bridges of the Chelmer and Blackwater Canal linking sea with the land
There were a few opportunities for nature photographs especially as we made a diversion on the route to Heybridge Basin and followed the sea wall of the Blackwater River where we saw common terns, oystercatchers and little egrets, as well as thousands of black-headed gulls. We even heard a cuckoo singing.
On the canal as well as coots and moorhens we saw more common terns and a kestrel. There were dragonflies two.
The Chelmer and Blackwater Canal
Holly blue butterfly along the canal
Female four-spotted chaser on a metal railing alongside the canal
Great views from the sea wall back to our B&B 32 The Hythe with St Mary’s Church behind
The sea wall leading in to Heybridge Basin
Fortunately the weather has improved for some lucky couple
Beeleigh Abbey was a monastery constructed in 1180 for the White Canons, otherwise known as the Norbertines or Premonstratensians. It was purchased by William Foyle, the owner of Foyles Bookshop, in 1943 and Christopher and Catherine Foyle, the current owners, open the gardens on certain days in the summer.
The rose garden was particularly beautiful especially as there were some small tortoiseshell butterflies. The garden also has a riverside walk where we again saw the ubiquitous little egrets.
Small tortoiseshell butterfly
The riverside walk
A beer at The Queens Head Inn on the quayside back in Maldon was very welcome