Leigh-on-sea Heritage TrailBillet Lane, Leigh-on-sea, Essex, SS9 2EF
- Café on Site
- Dog Friendly
- Pay & Display Parking
Heroes, witches and smugglers, Leigh-on-Sea has seen it all! The village of Leigh was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as “Legra”, a small fishing hamlet. The trail covers many of the historic sites around the town, starting at Billet Lane and taking in many of the Old Town’s historic fishing buildings before heading up Church Hill past the beautiful St Clemet’s Church and finishing at the Grade II listed Leigh Library.
The trail is approximately 1 mile long with some steep / uneven ground, (alternative route options are suggested). Public toilets are available at Bell Wharf and Leigh Library. There are plenty of options for refreshments along the route. Dress for the weather & wear comfortable shoes with good grip. Take care when following the trail, especially when near traffic or crossing road and please respect other people’s privacy. Most of all, explore, discover and enjoy!
Starting point Billet Lane.
Entrance to lane is by the red Royal Mail post box on Belton Corner, Leigh-on-Sea.
Billet Lane to Billet Cottage: 150 yards, 5 minutes, steep downhill and uneven pathway.
Walk down Billet Lane and enjoy the lovely views over the Thames Estuary. Towards the bottom of Billet Lane, you will see Billet Cottage on your right side.
(Alternative route avoiding steep hill: Start at stage 2, via Laurel Close).
Billet Cottage to Fishermen’s Chapel: 100 yards, 1 minute, gently downhill & uphill.
From Billet Cottage, continue down & turn right at New Road. Stop at the white Methodist Church on the right.
Fisherman’s Chapel to Anchor Monument:0.2 miles, 4 minutes, gently uphill & downhill.
From the Fishermen’s Chapel, continue up the pathway until it ends – then safely cross the road to the opposite path and go over Belton Bridge towards the sea. At the bottom of the bridge you will see two large buoys (one red and one green) – make your way towards the green buoy called Old Leigh Buoy and you will see a nature information board at the water’s edge. From the nature board, go towards the Crooked Billet pub and you will see the Anchor Monument.
Anchor Monument to The Crooked Billet: 50 feet, 30 seconds, mostly even ground.
You will see The crooked Billet just across from the anchor monument.
Crooked Billet to The Conduit: 50 yards, 1 minute, mostly even ground.
From the Crooked Billet, continue up High Street, passing Billet Wharf on your right, until you get to the site of The Conduit which is behind a yellowish brick wall with metal gates, to the left of The Cole Hole.
The Conduit to the Peterboat pub: 50 yards, 1 minute, mostly even ground.
From the Conduit, continue on High Street until you get to The Peterboat on your right.
The Peterboat to Theobalds Cottages: 100 yards, 1 minute, mostly even ground.
From the Peterboat, continue up High Street a short way until you see Theobalds Cottages on your right side.
Theobald’s Cottages to the old pier train carriage in The Old Foundry: 70 yards 1 minute, mostly even ground.
Pier train carriage to The Old Custom House: 500 feet, 2 minutes, mostly even ground with some cobbles.
The Old Custom House to Strand Wharf: 50 feet, 30 seconds, flat, mostly even ground with some cobbles.
Right across from The Old Custom House is the now pedestrianised Strand Wharf which goes up to the waterfront.
Strand Wharf to Passage to the sea: 100 yards, 1 minute, mostly even ground with cobbles.
Go back onto High Street, with Leigh Heritage centre on your right. Notice the Domesday plaque on the wall of the Heritage Centre. Continue until you get to the passage way that leads to the sea at the side of Ye Olde Smack pub.
Passage to the sea to Leigh’s old railway station: 30 yards, 1 minute, mostly even ground with cobbles.
Continue up High Street until you see Leigh-on-Sea sailing club building on your left, which is the former site of Leigh’s old railway station.
The old railway station to Church Hill: 130 yards, 3 minutes, pedestrian bridge with slope & steps + gently uphill pathways.
From the old railway station, take the pedestrian bridge across the railway line and at the other side, go right, along Leigh Hill (passing by Leigh Hill Road on your left). Use the pedestrian crossing at the traffic lights to cross the road, then, a short way after the crossing, you will see Church Hill (a steep cobbled pathway) on your left.
Up Church Hill to St Clement’s Church: 400 feet, 5 minutes, steep uphill & uneven.
Walk up Church Hill, noticing the stunning views as you go up. At the top of the hill, enter St Clement’s Church yard on your right.
(Alternative gentler/more even route: 0.2 miles by continuing up Leigh Hill, then left at the mini roundabout to continue up Leigh Hill – St Clement’s Church is on the left towards top of Leigh Hill).
St Clement’s Church to Leigh Library: 500 feet, 2 minutes, mostly even ground.
From St Clement’s Church Yard, return to the entrance at the top of Church Hill steps. Immediately opposite is a narrow entrance to Leigh Library Gardens – enter the gardens and go straight, until you see the red bricked Victorian Leigh Library on your right.
(Alternative route, avoiding gardens: From St Clement’s, continue along Church Hill and turn left at Broadway [you will see the zebra crossing opposite]. Continue along Broadway for approx. 150 yards and the Library will be on your right.)
If you want to return to the top of Billet Lane where you started it’s just 0.2 miles/3 minutes away. From Leigh Library, continue on Broadway and turn left on Rectory Grove, then continue straight until you get to Belton Corner and the entrance to Billet Lane on your left.