Tony Cotton: A swim from the old fishing village, along the tidal River Thames. There has been a beach created at the eastern end of Leigh, from which it is ideal to swim off. Adjacent to this are four, state-of-the art and free toilets located on the Quay, an ideal place to change into wetsuits. Tide permitting, it is possible to swim towards Westcliff-on-Sea, Southend-on-Sea and beyond.
On my swim, I swam away from Leigh-on-Sea passing by HMS Wilton, an ex-Naval vessel, and on to Westcliff. Seeing a very black cloud on the horizon, I decided to turn back which was just as well, since a storm broke and a swell developed.
I returned safely back to Leigh-on-Sea, having seen the local inshore rescue team checking that all was ok in their area. An eventful and challenging swim!
For large parts of the day and night the tide recedes, and Leigh-on-Sea is surrounded by mud flats. It is essential therefore to check the times of High Tide beforehand and save yourself a wasted journey.