The Broomway is an ancient footpath which heads 300 yards out to sea from Wakering Stairs, before turning east and running parallel to Foulness Island. Edwardian newspapers renamed it “the Doomway”, on account of the hundred-plus lives it has claimed.

It is only passable at low tide, when it is possible with the aid of map and compass to stay on its hard-packed sand and avoid straying into the black mud all around.

It was my privilege to be guided along the Broomway one Sunday in 2017 by Michael Upton and his son Stan. Our trip had barely started before a mighty storm blew in, adding to the path's gloriously gothic atmosphere.