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Essex Walks: List of Walks

' Everywhere is within walking distance   - if you have the time '


This page lists routes of less than 20 miles. They are nearly all circular, so once you've completed your walk, you'll find yourself back at your car or public transport link. You can explore the details of the route and surrounding area by using the interactive (zoomable) online maps from Ordnance Survey and Google. Once you have decided which route you want to walk, you can download and print off the three PDFs of (1) the map, (2) the directions and (3) the photos to take with you. The walks on this site are not intended for group outings requiring more than one car.

West Essex

Debden, nr Saffron Walden 6¾ miles public transport New
» Walk Details

DebdenVaried open countryside and woodland with wonderful views as you approach Newport. From Newport Station, the walk takes you over a small ford to open fields and a farmland track back to more woodland, meadows and horse paddocks. A circular walk with choice of starting at either Debden, or for rail travellers, Newport.

Clavering, nr Saffron Walden 8½ miles
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ArkesdenThis circular walk visits the picturesque villages of Clavering, Arkesden, Wicken Bonhunt and Rickling in the Uttlesford area and provides the opportunity to visit each of their beautiful historic churches.

Mill Green, nr Chelmsford 4½ miles
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Writtle Forest A pleasant short walk around the ancient woodland of Writtle Forest, with plenty of wildlife, and a welcoming pub near the start/end.

Roxwell, nr Chelmsford 4 miles bus
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Roxwell This is an easy little walk starting from a village which retains its character although close to Chelmsford. Much of the walk is throgh open flat farmland with a short section in the wood at Skreens Park. There are 10 stiles to navigate.The walk takes you along Roxwell Brook, a tributary of the River Can, on nice wide grassy field edges and through paddocks full of friendly horses.

Ashdon, nr Saffron Walden 7¾ miles
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windmill The walk passes two medieval churches and the resplendent Bragg's Mill, but perhaps the most remarkable place along the route is Bartlow Hills, the largest burial mound in northern Europe. Aside from the history, the walk wanders through the undulating hills of north Essex, with extensive views across the fields. There is a nice mix of terrain with field edges, farm tracks, green lanes and tiny narrow roads.

Good Easter, nr Chelmsford 3 miles
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deer The main attraction of this short route is the landscape itself - the open yet wooded aspect and ancient, quiet charm. The surrounding countyside is well walked with the Essex Way passing through the quiet village of Good Easter. Parking is limited.

Epping Green, nr Harlow 4¾ miles bus
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farmThe circular route is over a fairly hilly part of Essex which makes for some lovely scenery. The walk starts on the 'Forest Way' bridleway heading west. The path then switches to the 'Three Forests Way' where there are views over the valley. The route joins the 'Stort Valley Way' through the golf course, and climbs the hill behind the historic Nazeing Park with more stunning scenic views.

Hatfield Broad Oak, nr Bishop's Stortford 11 miles bus
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Crossroads This lovely walk takes you through the water meadows alongside Pincey Brook, then through the majestic Hatfield Forest. You then join the Flitch Way which runs along the northern boundary of the ancient Forest. The final section takes you through green lanes and open countryside back into the historic village of Hatfield Broad Oak

Little Hallingbury, nr Bishop's Stortford 4 miles bus
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NavigationThis walk consists of two contrasting sections, a riverside stroll and a more hilly walk through farmland. Follow the Stort River northwards as it meanders through the valley, passing locks and thatched cottages along the way. The return path takes you through mostly open countryside to the quiet villages of Little Hallingbury and Gaston Green.

Great Sampford, nr Saffron Walden 5½ miles
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valleyThe gently rolling hills of North Essex provide marvellous views across the valley on this walk. As well as remote farms and thatched cottages, there are streams and rivers, ponds and moats - and bridges galore!

Abridge, nr Loughton 5 miles bus
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FootpathThis walk explores the varied countryside near the Stapleford airfield, visiting the hills either side of the Roding River. Part of the route is the Three Forests Way, passing the 12th century church at Lambourne.

Elmdon, nr Saffron Walden 11 miles
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ChrishallFrom Littlebury Green, the walks start with wonderful panoramic views, then passes through fields and along an old Roman road to Langley. The walk reaches the highest point in Essex before sweeping slowly down into the valley, this time with extensive views over Chiswick Hall and Chrishall Church. The route then takes the Icknield Way - possibly the oldest footpath in Britain - to Elmdon. The village itself has a pleasant, timeless feel.

Ingatestone, nr Brentwood 5 miles public transport
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IngatestoneBeginning with a stroll along the banks of a tributary of the River Wid, this circular walk takes you through fields to Margaretting Church, then across the Great Eastern Main Line. Then you will walk over farmland to Margaretting, before going along St Peter's Way through the water meadows, back through a tiny tunnel under the railway and west towards the village of Margaretting Tye.

The Rodings, nr Chelmsford 7½ miles bus
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Abbess Roding signA walk from Leaden Roding Church through flat, open countryside to Abbess Roding, then over gently rolling hills to White Roding. The route back to the parking passes through farmland and along a river bank before returning to St Michael's Church. The village of White Roding contains some truly picturesque old cottages and a sail-less windmill.

Stebbing, nr Great Dunmow 7 miles bus
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FootbridgeThis uncomplicated circular walk takes you through the wide open fields of mid Essex, from the historic village of Stebbing to alongside the River Chelmer in Great Dunmow. There is a fairly long stretch which involves walking straight across fields, which is best done before the fields are ploughed.

Matching, nr Harlow 5½ milesbus
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OutbuildingsTemporarily suspended due to severe FP overgrowth (10/07/2014)
As well as lovely views along the route, this walk is mostly remarkable for the peace, tranquillity and timelessness of the area. The village of Matching has hardly changed since the 18th Century, and much of the field layout and the pattern of lanes, bridleways and footpaths are still as they were hundreds of years ago.

East Tilbury, Thurrock 6½ miles public transport
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Coalhouse FortThis walk begins near East Tilbury Rail Station, and heads east along the outskirts of the town, then across the marshes before heading south along the riverside to the Coalhouse Fort. From there it goes west over farmland, then north and east back to the town.

Moreton, nr Harlow 2½ miles
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St Mary's, Moreton

This is a gentle and pleasant walk through open farmland and along green lanes around the pretty village of Moreton.

Jury Hill, nr Brentwood 4½ miles
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SceneryThis is a fairly easy walk through open farmland, along green lanes and through Thorndon Country Park (South). If you do this walk on a clear day you will be rewarded with extraordinary views across the South Essex countryside all the way to Canary Wharf and the O2 to the east and to the Thames and the hills of Kent to the south.

Bumbles Green, nr Harlow 6½ miles bus
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GalleyhillThis is a hilly walk in West Essex. The first stage uphill from the parking is quite steep (for Essex), but thereafter the slopes are gentler. The views along the route are lovely and sometimes spectacular. In particular, the walk takes in a hilltop overlooking Lea Valley and the whole of London

... and more coming soon!

East Essex

Bowers Marsh, nr Benfleet 5½ miles bus New
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Reed-bedsThis tranquil walk begins in the newly created Bowers Marsh RSPB reserve, a traditional grazing marsh with a variety of wetland habitats. With views over Benfleet Creek, the new Thames Estuary Path takes you all the way to Benfleet. The return journey crosses the pleasant recreation grounds and fields of Benfleet Marsh before returning to the ancient and isolated church of St Margarets just north of the nature reserve.

Clare, nr Haverhill 7 miles bus
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PentlowStarting from the ruins of a Norman castle, the walk takes you along the banks of the River Stour then up through the hills of north Essex to the lovely village of Belchamp St Paul, with its stunning 16th century thatched pub overlooking the village green. A gentle stroll through farmland brings you to the 15th century parish church of St Andrews. Finally, there is a long gentle descent back to the riverside and Clare.

Langford, nr Maldon 4½ miles bus
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WaltonsStarting at the junction of the Rivers Chelmer and Blackwater at Beeleigh Falls, the watery theme of this walk continues alongside the fishing lakes of Maldon Angling Society. The walk continues through flat open countryside before a mile or two of easy towpath walking alongside the Blackwater Navigation. Ideal for a hot summer's day.

Layer de la Haye, nr Colchester 7 miles bus
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boatFrom the wide open fields of Gosbecks Archaeological Park, the walk meanders over hilly countryside and then takes you deep into the countryside and the relative wilderness of Chest Wood and the Roman River Nature Reserve.

N.Fambridge to Burnham-on-Crouch 10½ miles public transport
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YachtsThis tranquil riverside walk is designed for access by train. The Crouch Estuary is a haven for birdlife and heaven for boating enthusiasts. There are great views of unspoilt land either side of the estuary, disturbed only by the cry of seabirds and the occasional hum of a distant train passing along the valley floor. Althorne Station is mid-way for a shorter walk.

Wivenhoe 3½ miles public transport
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WivenhoeThis walk takes you along the picturesque waterfront of Wivenhoe, & out into the open skies alongside the River Colne. It passes over reclaimed marshland, now grazed by cattle, traverses the old Wivenhoe to Brightlingsea railway line, and returns via an avenue of trees with wonderful views of the estuary from higher up. This walk is ideally suited to a relaxing summer's day out by letting the train take the strain

Bradwell-on-Sea, Dengie 12 miles bus every 2 hours
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Bradwell From the mudflats and seascape itself, to the ancient Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall, the sandy beaches along the northern shore, Bradwell marina with dozens of boats bobbing around on the water, even the power station: there's plenty to see and enjoy on this walk.

Shalford, nr Braintree3½ miles bus
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RiverSweeping views across the Essex countryside give way to views of black weatherboarded barns dating back many centuries. The walk along the banks of the River Pant (usually a sparkling, meandering, gentle river) is particularly pleasant.

Bocking, nr Braintree 6 miles bus
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BockingThis is a simple, gentle walk through open flat farmland in the heart of Essex. The paths are clearly marked and well defined, and for most of the route you will be walking along farm tracks wide enough for two people to walk side by side. Bocking Churchstreet itself is lovely, with interesting historic architecture including a magnificently large church.

Ulting, nr Little Baddow 8 or 11½ miles
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Hoe MillThis walk takes the form of a figure of eight. It takes you along the banks of the Chelmer, before crossing the river and heading briefly up into the hills around Boreham. The route travels along farm tracks almost back to the river then heads north east across the fields to Nounsley, before returning through the countryside to Ulting. If an 8 mile walk suits you better, simply do just the eastern loop.

East Hanningfield, nr Chelmsford 8 or 9 miles bus
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treesFrom East Hanningfield, the walk heads south across country then heads east, past the rolling hills near Hyde Hall Gardens to the village of Woodham Ferrers. There is a choice of return route. The middle route has stunning views and a wonderful wildlife meadow to walk through, while the northern route includes tranquil lanes, wide open skies and some quiet woodland.

Earls Colne, nr Halstead 4½ miles bus
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Earls Colne Field-edge walking contrasts with a stroll through ancient woodland; there is a section of riverside walk and a wander through the water meadows; and the route goes through two separate nature reserves and across the Colne Valley Golf Course. You also go past Chalkney Mill, with its prize-winning Longhorn cattle and its astonishingly noisy mill race. The walk starts and stops in the peaceful and historic village of Earls Colne

Messing, nr Kelvedon 4½ miles
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track This walk starts and ends in the pretty village of Messing, named as Essex's 'Best Kept Village' in 2007, 2008 & 2012. The walk itself is entirely rural, going through farmland and two ancient woods, seemingly miles from civilisation.

Wormingford, nr Colchester 5½ miles bus
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rape seedThe first part of the walk skirts the boundary of the Essex and Suffolk Gliding Club, where you can see gliders landing on the wide open spaces of the airfield. The route then loops north, through the rolling hills of the Stour valley to the Essex-Suffolk border.

Steeple, nr Maldon 4½ miles bus
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Steeple BayThis walk branches off the long distance footpath St Peter's Way at the village of Steeple. It heads north to the Blackwater Estuary and follows the sea wall anti-clockwise until it returns to the village. The views across the creek towards Osea Island are magnificent.

Downham, nr Wickford 7½ miles bus 0.5 miles away
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ViewThis is a relatively hilly walk along tiny almost forgotten green lanes, through flat open fields, over hilltops, through valleys and alongside the lovely Hanningfield reservoir.

Clacton to Walton 7 miles public transport
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seasideAt the Clacton end of the walk, the sea wall is actually higher than the neighbouring land, so that there are lovely views across Holland Haven Country Park. From the beach huts of Frinton you can, tides permitting, walk along the smooth firm sands all the way along the coast to Walton. There are rail stations at either end of the walk.

Admiral McHardy Way, Little Baddow 9 miles bus
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Admiral McHardy WayThis circular route takes you along the banks of the Chelmer before heading across farmland, along the historic Grace's walk, and through the woodlands of Danbury and Lingwood Commons before heading back down to the river for the final walk back to the layby parking.

Woodham Walter, nr Danbury 5½ miles bus
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Woodham Walter Common, EssexThe walk terrain is varied, with woodland, arable fields, the Danbury Ridge nature reserve and horse paddocks along the route. At one point, you'll come across more radio masts than even Marconi could dream of!

Tollesbury Wick, nr Maldon 9 miles bus
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Tollesbury Wick A coastal walk enjoying the boats and the Lightship 'Trinity' in Tollesbury Marina, with views across the River Blackwater to one side of the seawall path, and the borrowdykes and the saltmarsh nature reserve on the landward side.

Paglesham, nr Rochford 13½ miles bus
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PagleshamThis is a fairly long walk but with plenty to enjoy along the route. The scenery is beautiful throughout, with open farmland under the wide Essex sky, tumbledown farm buildings, distant views of St Nicholas Church, Canewdon and then a walk through the village itself; then there are views across the River Crouch towards Burnham, followed by a lovely walk on top of the sea wall alongside Paglesham Pool and Paglesham Reach. There is plenty of birdlife to see, and the boats bobbing around in Paglesham Reach are pretty in the sunshine.

Castle Hedingham, nr Halstead 10 miles bus
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OdewellsStarting in the quiet village of Wickham St Paul, you follow well used footpaths through open farmland, then west through the hills and valleys outside Gestingthorpe, before descending the long slow slopes into Castle Hedingham itself, where you can go to see the remains of the medieval castle. The walk back is through fairly level open farmland, with good views all around and above, the wide, open skies of Essex.