The warmer weather has arrived at last, and no doubt many of you are already looking for ideas for days out.

Well, if you’re a lover of real ale and enjoy a scenic train ride, why not try the newly launched Crouch Valley Rail Ale Trail this summer?

This voyage of real ale discovery travels along the Crouch Valley railway line from Wickford to Southminster in the heart of the Dengie Peninsula.

The pubs/brewery taps on the Rail Ale Trail are One Green Bottle in Battlesbridge; Tap Room 19 in South Woodham Ferrers; the New Welcome Sailor and Queen’s Head at Burnham; and the Station Arms and Wibblers Tap Room and Kitchen, Southminster.

The Crouch Valley Rail Ale Trail was developed by Maldon District Council in partnership with Maldon and Dengie Camra and Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership, with funding from the Magnox Socio-economic Fund and the support of Abellio Greater Anglia.

You can explore two brewery taprooms, a micropub and several traditional pubs along the route, which passes through historic towns, maritime villages, important wildlife reserves and picturesque views of the Crouch Estuary.

The Rail Ale Trail booklets, which give full details of all the stops en route, allow you to collect stamps for each pub or brewery tap visited, which means you do not have to complete it all in one go. Once you have collected all six stamps, you will be entitled to receive an attractive ‘Crouch Valley Rail Ale Trail’ pin badge.

The booklets are available from each pub, the Maldon District Tourist Information Centre and online at

It is worth highlighting that some of the establishments listed in the guide have limited opening hours and several are closed on certain days – check on Camra’s pub website at

The Crouch Valley Line and connecting services may also be subject to engineering works and planned cancellations.

You should check for service disruptions, including for your return journey, before travelling. However, all the establishments are open over the weekend and from the beginning of July, the Crouch Valley Line should be operating normally every weekend throughout the summer months.

The Rail Ale Trail was officially launched at this year’s Maldon Beer and Cider Festival. We really hope that the Rail Ale Trail will encourage visitors to explore the delightful scenery in the Crouch Valley, with the added bonus of being able to sample excellent, locally brewed beers at some great pubs and brewery taps along the way.