Thursday 15 March 2012

Essex - day 5: Osea Island

Our last full day in Essex finally saw us spend some time on Osea Island. It was another misty start.

We strolled around the island's edge to see what we could find. Every so often the sea mist rolled in.

A swing on an oak tree was a good place to start.

A grassy path, walled by thickets of blackthorn and trees guided us around the northeast part of the island...

... before we picked up the island's road...

... that leads to the causeway.

The salt marsh of the north coast is replaced by a pebbled shore on the south coast. As a result, erosion is much more apparent here.

Osea Island houses

Returning to our cottage, we enjoyed a restful lunch, looking over the River Blackwater. Osea Island has a long history of treating addiction. Sitting on the white garden furniture near the water creates the pleasant sensation of visiting a 19th century sanatorium.

After lunch, we ventured into Osea Island 'village' – a collection of holiday cottages and apartments.

This house is by the second electronic gate that gives access to the island. A code has to be punched in before the gate opens, allowing you to enter.

This huge house is divided into six large apartments.

Essex had surprised us. It is much wilder than we could have imagined, in landscape and character. There's a sense of a frontier land, of rules being broken, of an independent spirit. The constant proximity to water and mazes of muddy channels, surrounded by an unremitting flatness casts a chilling, Victorian atmosphere at times. When the fog rolls in, it becomes a place where dreadful things could happen, quietly. But for the most part, it's a lovely place to walk, especially along the seemingly endless sea wall, looking over various rivers and fields, enjoying the open space, spotting the abundant wildlife.


Anonymous said...

i love to these photo's they bring back the picture of my grandfather who farmed on there and my my mother who was born on there. Their names where jack bunting and betty bunting, nee howie.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your lovely description of Essex!

I live in the Essex countryside and also enjoy spending time by the coast or driving to quaint villages.

People don't realise that many parts are beautiful, friendly and wonderful to visit, mainly as their judgement has been clouded by TV programmes like TOWIE!

Lovely review, I'd love to visit Osea, :)