The most popular image of Maldon is one that captures the scene at The Hythe with it's collection of barges and other craft tied up at the quay and the old church of St Mary the Virgin dominating the skyline.
The Hythe was originally a separate hamlet serving Maldon as a port where, among other cargoes, East Coast barges would transport hay and straw up the Thames to feed London's large number of horses. These barges ceased to carry cargo many years ago and the survivors are now lovingly preserved by their owners and used as pleasure craft carrying passengers on day trips and charters.
The view of Hythe Quay is vastly different to that of one hundred years ago and the workers who unloaded the cargoes from the barges for transportation to Chelmsford have been replaced by visitors enjoying the views and maybe taking refreshment on one of the two pubs on the quay.
There are regular trips available on some of the barges including bird watching and sight seeing trips, see the boards by the barges for details. The Viking Saga also departs for trips along the river Blackwater towards Osea Island and back from the sea wall between the Hythe and Promenade Park.
St Mary's church which stands on higher ground has foundations dating back to the 12th century. The church spire was a welcoming beacon for sailors returning home to their berths at the Hythe quay or alongside the bath wall.