SUP South Fambridge, River Crouch, Essex

Facing north onto the Crouch Estuary, South Fambridge can be an excellent alternative to south-facing (ie; Thames) spots in southerly winds. With water throughout the tide it’s suitable as both a high tide and low tide venue too. Parking is very tight though, access is tricky and tidal currents can get very strong – generally not recommended for inexperienced paddlers or large groups. Plenty of scope for plenty of routes; either west towards Hullbridge and back at high tide or east towards Wallasea Island / Burnham-on-Crouch at low.

There’s always water at Fambridge, where the deep channel stays flooded throughout the tide, but tidal currents mean it’s best around slack water and to be avoided around mid-tide. Flood tide creates a current west (left) towards Hullbridge, ebb pulls east (right) towards Wallasea Island / Burnham. (So plan your loops to the west around high tide or to the east around low!) Tidal currents can get very strong and cause fierce chop in wind against tide conditions. Check out our SUP Weather section for the latest…

Due easterly and westerly winds blow straight down the estuary so will result in the biggest chop – worst during ebb tide in easterly wind, flood tide in west. Amazing when there’s no wind, but light to moderate southerly or northerly winds will result in great conditions here too. (South-east and north-easterlies best suit low tide loops to the east, north-west and south-westerlies for high tide routes to the west.) Check out our SUP Weather section for the latest…

There is limited free roadside parking by the farmer’s field alongside Fambridge Road – but this is just a small village and there’s not much space, so what parking is available is often taken up by locals and dog-walkers. Do respect the local residents, don’t block tractor access to the field, and don’t expect to get parked if more than a couple of vehicles arrive at the same time! No public facilities.

Follow Ashingdon Road north out of Rochford, then turn right just after Ashingdon up Fambridge Road. (From the west, take Lower Road from Hullbridge or Greensward Lane from Hockley.) Stay left on Fambridge Road all the way into the village and (hopefully!) park on the left beside the hedges just short of the gate on the corner. The water is a 200m walk down the track beyond the gate. Nearest postcode – SS4 3LY

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