Leigh on Sea

Leigh on Sea is a tiny little seaside town on the Thames Estuary. It falls under the Essex Parish of Southend on Sea and is about an hour’s train journey from Central London. It is a quaint little spot that is very popular in the summer as it has an award-winning beach and highly commended, local,  fresh seafood available. There are some craft shops, plenty of places to get an ice cream, a couple of traditional British pubs and a bit further out is the Two Tree Nature reserve. It is a beautiful spot and I wanted to revisit with my camera.

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Leigh on Sea high street. Nowhere was open yet.
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A few joggers and dog walkers, otherwise I had this place to myself at this time of day.

I took a gamble and arrived around 06:45 am on a very dark Sunday morning. Heading to the marina I was not sure what kind of a morning I was in for, there were a few clouds and lots of stars visible, it looked like it was going to be a clear morning.

I had a good feeling looking up at the sky, past my fogging breath, even though it was rather cold. The marina looked great, but it was the marshland that I felt would offer the best photographs as there is a small river network that had good reflection opportunities and a few abandoned boats dotted around. I followed the path that lead alongside the marshland and stepped down off the main path. I was uncertain where the solid ground ended and the boggy marsh begun so had to tread carefully. There was white frost on the grass and the ground was a bit crunchy underfoot. The decrepit old boats made for some great subjects while I was walking up and down the side of the path, trying to find something that caught my eye.

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The sun peaking behind the boat
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This boat hasn’t moved in a while

Just as the sun started to rise, the colours in front of me started to change. As the sun started peeking out, the clouds were showing their silver lining and I had to move quickly to make the most of this sunrise. From the boats in the marina to the disregarded boats stuck in the marshland, I had a smorgasbord of subjects available to me. It really was beautiful. I was in the right place at the right time and my gamble paid off.

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Sunrise over the marshland
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A decrepit boat posing for a picture.
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Using the boat as my focal point, put the foreground out of focus giving this beautiful effect.

I spent a lot of time walking around the marina, glancing through fences and around gates, looking for photographic opportunities. It was a great spot for an early morning walk and I got really excited. Everything just clicked.

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Leigh on Sea Marina, I wouldn’t mind taking a boat out on a warm day
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I wonder what stories this old boat could tell.
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While the tide was out, I was able to get really close to the waters edge
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Blue Peter
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I like how the barrier breaks the water line, makes for a fun image
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Leigh on Sea’s award winning beach


After my time in the village and the marina, I headed to Two Tree Island Nature Reserve. This offered great panoramic views over the marsh looking back at Leigh in Sea.

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View from the marshland
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Birds flying in formation
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The dumping ground

By about 9 am, the sun was up and my hands were frozen to my camera. I had had a fantastic morning and it was now time to go and have a coffee.

Have you thought about revisiting places you went as a child? Now I am back in Essex for a while, I plan on re-familiarising myself with a lot of old places.



And remember to follow my journey 🙂

Instagram: @pauliespics

#paulies365   #explorewithpaul   #paulkporterphotography

Twitter: @pkpphoto

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