Eliminate New Year’s excesses and at the same time enjoy the most breathtaking landscapes.

Here are some walks you can take in the beautiful countryside of North Essex this weekend.

Wivenhoe Trail

This popular route starts from industrial Hythe and winds gently down to the picturesque town of the estuary. You continue past Wivenhoe and up to Alresford Creek where you can spend an afternoon relaxing on Whitehouse Beach.

Take a tour of Mersea Island

At just over 13 miles, it’s worth setting aside a whole day for this one, and since it’s a circular walk, you can start from any point.

Be sure to check the tides as in some places it can cover the beach you will be walking on.

But all of that planning will pay off with some incredible scenery by the water’s edge.

The Essex Way from West Bergholt to Fordham

While the stretch from Harwich to Manningtree on the Long Distance Path gets all the praise, and rightly so with the view over the Stour Estuary, try this little gem for a quiet alternative.

In addition to the calm meanders of the river, there are many good local pubs where you can detour for one or two stopovers.

From Flatford to Dedham, from Dedham to Flatford

The emblematic promenade des gendarmes, along the Stou river.

There are good car parks at each starting point with the added bonus of the RSPB Animal Garden to explore in Flatford, and the glorious 15th century St Mary’s Church in Dedham.

Tollesbury Marsh

Aside from going to St Peter-on-the-Wall in Bradwell, the next best place to feel truly wild somewhere in Essex is in Tollesbury Marshes.

It’s no surprise that they filmed Great Expectations there and when the wind picks up, which it does regularly, there’s no better place to wipe off the cobwebs.