SUP route, Old Leigh 4k – Chalkwell Beach to the Crooked Billet pub in Old Leigh and back: 4km…

Set off from the rigging green at Chalkwell Beach and head west (turn right!) towards Old Leigh. Paddle parallel to the shore, past the station, Essex Yacht Club / HQS Wilton to Bell Wharf and continue up the main shipping channel past the pubs in Old Leigh to the slipway just beyond The Crooked Billet. Either turn around and paddle straight back or get out for a swift one on the sea wall first!

This is a high tide route as there’s no water at low! It’s not far so there is some pliability – there’s water at Chalkwell until mid-tide, whereas Old Leigh (and under Leigh Cliffs) starts to get pretty shallow 2 hours from high water. It’s often best to leave just after high tide when the water often flattens off then return with maximum flow. Avoid southerly and easterly winds unless they’re very light as it gets choppy, westerly can be OK up to about 10mph, offshore northerly to north-easterly is ideal when the route’s well tucked out of even pretty strong wind. Check tide and wind conditions via our SUP weather page…

The buoyed deep shipping lane comes in east of Bell Wharf and continues into Leigh Marina: stay right and look out for traffic, both leisure and commercial. Be careful of beach furniture (generally stay offshore of green starboard markers) and mooring lines. On a hot and/or sunny day, an easterly sea breeze can fill in here – even if it’s light westerly when you set off – which can make for a tougher paddle home than anticipated. The water disappears pretty quickly in Old Leigh, so keep an eye on the time if you stop! Check the wind, weather and tide via our SUP weather page. Not strictly a hazard, but don’t forget to pay for parking at Chalkwell (10am to 6pm) as the traffic wardens are pretty efficient!

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