Sunday, 17 July 2011


Mersea Island is the most easterly island in the British Isles, although it is only just an island, and is accessible by road from the mainland in the form of a causeway known as The Strood. The largest settlement on the island is West Mersea, where evidence of human habitation has been found dating back to 10,000 BC. The two main attractions of West Mersea are oysters and boating. The big event of the year for the latter is Mersea Week, which takes place every August and involves a round-the-island race as well as myriad other events.

For the other main settlement on the island, East Mersea, it’s all about the wildlife. The salt marsh and mudflats are a haven for birds such as plovers, dunlins and oystercatchers. In addition to this, there is plenty of interest for fossil enthusiasts. The pleistocene interglacial sediments here have yielded the remains of small mammals, but more dramatically have thrown up hippopotamus remains. Cudmore Grove Country Park, at the eastern end of Mersea Island, is a good place to observe migratory birds as well as wading birds and wildfowl. History buffs can visit the remains of a Tudor fort and World War II defences.

Map of the area.

File:East Mersea Flats - - 558235.jpg
East Mersea Flats. Photo by Glyn Baker, via Wikimedia Commons 

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