A walk along the Essex coast to a historic pub: the Crooked Billet, Leigh-on-Sea

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This stroll past beach huts, wartime ruins and wildfowl cuts through Southend and ends in a 16th-century boozer

Why is the Essex coast so underrated? Close to London, and arguably as pretty as any other, is it because there’s something unchanging about it – perhaps even conventional? And yet stepping off the train at Shoeburyness – the last stop on the capital to coast railway from Fenchurch Street – feels gently discombobulating.

There’s always a romantic quality about the end of the line, and just a few minutes’ walk away there is a vast estuary foreshore with rocky outcrops under an expansive Essex sky.

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