If you consult a large-scale map of the Essex coastline between the River Crouch and the River Thames, you will see a footpath -- its route marked with a stitch-line of crosses and dashes -- leaving the land at a place called Wakering Stairs and then heading due east, straight out to sea. Several hundred yards offshore, it curls northeast and runs in this direction for around three miles, still offshore, before cutting back to make landfall at Fisherman's Head, the uppermost tip of a large, low-lying and little-known marshy island called Foulness.
WARNINGPublic Rights of Way across Maplin Sands can be dangerous. Seek local guidance.
After 300 yards the causeway ended for real, dipping beneath the sand like a river passing underground. Further out, a shallow sheen of water lay on top of he sand, stretching away. The diffused light made depth-perception impossible, so that it seemed as if we were simply going to walk onwards into ocean. We stopped at the end of the causeway, looking out across the pathless future. . . .