If searching for an iconic part of ‘Maldon’ in general, then Hythe Quay location is almost certain to be near the top of the list, effectively providing a ‘skyline’ of the town at the right angle (including the traditional ‘welcoming beacon’ of St Mary’s Church), and a symbolisation of Maldon’s maritime links.
Also known simply as ‘The Hythe’ (from a Saxon word meaning ‘landing place’), this docking area adjacent to Promenade Park has existed for over a thousand years, for a long time a separate hamlet in its own right and until the last hundred years, the leading point of entry for sailors and traders to visit Maldon via the waters of the River Blackwater.
A key industry to be run through this port was hay, to travel upstream through the River Thames to feed the horses of London.
With cargo shipments through the port declining over the past century, though, the purpose of Hythe Quay has become more and more recreational to the present day, with boats on hand to offer trips along the river for paying riders.
Whilst some would have been originally constructed with the custom of visiting sailors most likely in mind, the surrounding areas and road running through Hythe Quay contain plenty of pubs and restaurants for visitors to accompany their stay with a meal or drink, with Promenade Park and the Maldon High Street within walking distance for day-trippers. Just don’t expect too many to enter town for their visit by the ‘traditional’ way…