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Essex Walks: Langford

  1. Description
  2. Directions
  3. Photos
  4. History

Description & Map

Title: Langford
Distance: 4½ miles
Time taken: 2 hours
Location: 1½ miles north west of Maldon
OS Explorer Map: 183
Grid Ref.: TL 840 084
Parking: Beeleigh Falls car park, opposite Langford village hall: follow access road towards Maldon Golf Club; park before bridge
Bus:bus Bus 73 from Chelmsford and Maldon roughly two-hourly, not Sundays
Train: No train service
Refreshment:Maldon Golf Club Tee Room (10.00-16.00)
Tesco Maldon Extra, CM9 4LE
PEAR Rating: PEAR Rating Parking: 2/3 Easiness: 3/3 Amenity: 3/3 Refreshments: 1/3

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OS map extract 
[Click image to enlarge]

Download and print all 3 for your walk: 1. pdf Download Directions PDF
2. pdf Download PDF photo-set
3. pdf Download Langford Map PDF
View online on 3 different interactive maps: Link to full screen OS map Langford Map (Ordnance Survey)
Link to full screen Google map Langford Map (Google)
Bing map Langford Map (Bing OS 1:25k)
Additional information: gpx GPX track
Elevation View Elevation Profile
Display local weather Langford Weather

Walk Description  

The Loquacious Lowdown:
This Labour-of-Love is not for Lazy Lounge-Lizards. Only the Lively Lithe-Limbed will Lope around the Loop that Lends itself to this Lengthy Lexical Leviathan! Leading from your Limousine's Location, Leave the Lapping BLackwater and Locomote Languidly across the Levels. Leap over the Lawn-Like Landscape, Luxuriate at the Lapping Liquid of the Lakes, then Lollop along the Long Leafy Lanes and Levees, wherever your Lodestone Leads. As you Loosen your Ligaments, Listen for the Larks, Locate the Lovable Lop-eared Lapin and the Lustrous Lepidopterae and Libellulidae, and Look out for the Lupines Lurking in the Lumber. Let your Legs Lift you aLong the Laid out Line through this Lovely Locality, and Linger Lastly at the Langford Location.


pdf Download Description & Directions PDF here

A. From the car park (P), cross the bridge over the Blackwater, turn right and stroll 50 yards along the riverbank to view Beeleigh Falls (1). This enticing spot is beautiful every time you visit.
B. Retrace your steps to the car park and walk northwest for almost half a mile, using the footpath running parallel to the Golf Club access road to the B1019 (2).
C. At the roadside, turn right passing Langford Mill (3), cross the road and enter St Giles churchyard. The church is sometimes open to the public, and there is a community shop in the vestry.
D. Leave the churchyard via a wooden gate in the north east corner (4) and walk north, away from the village, along the Witham Road for 250 yards.
E. Turn right opposite Langford Hall along a wide track heading east. There is a sign at the entrance saying Conag Farms (5).
F. After 230 yards you will come to a scenic reservoir. Continue along the track past the reservoir, and as you clear it, turn left along another track heading north towards Maldon Angling Society Little Park (6).
G. Follow this track north for 350 yards, curving past some trees on your left, until you reach a junction. There is a beautiful but neglected bridge on your left and a few yards ahead, a tranquil lake. Turn right, skirting the south eastern corner of the lake and heading eastwards again (7).
H. About 250 yards after the lake the track suddenly curves to the left: almost immediately turn right so as to regain your easterly trajectory (8).
I. Follow the track until you reach an avenue of fir trees leading to the driveway outside the house called 'White Lodge'. Head on past the property following the gravel drive to the metalled road (9).
J. Cross the road and continue ahead along the track to Furzelands Farm. As you approach the farm, you will see a large barn to the right. From the barn to paragraph L the route on the ground is confusing, being different to both the map and the limited signage. Go ahead past the barn: there is a large oak tree in front of you, overlooking an area of mown grass, and to the right of that, some scrubland. Fork right across the scrubby ground to a fence (10).
K. Bear left to walk next to the fence on your right. When the fence turns hard right, continue eastwards along the field edge for 320 yards until you reach a large gap in the facing hedge. Continue on this grassed path alongside the lake (containing huge carp). As you clear the north edge of the lake, fork right across some grassland to a farm track (11).
L. Turn right on the track to go south, passing the southern tip of the lake on your right (where there is a Maldon Angling Society sign). 200 yards later, you will pass some woods on your left. 150 yards past the end of the woods, go past Grapnell's Farm and carry on for a further quarter of a mile to the Holloway Road (12).
M. At the roadside, turn left towards Heybridge for 160 yards to a bridge over the Navigation canal (13).
N. As you approach the bridge, the entrance to the towpath is on the right, down a few steps. Walk along the towpath with the canal on your left (14).
O. Keep going along the canalside for about a third of a mile, ignoring the paths off to the right into the housing development, until you pass under a road bridge graced by graffiti art. (15).
P. Continue along the canal with the water on your left for a further 230 yards. The canal bends quite sharply, passing a Tesco Extra on the opposite bank as it does so. There's a footbridge to Mill Lane here, meaning you can get to the shop for refreshments (16).
Q. 170 yards after the footbridge, pass under another road bridge then 25 yards later, cross the canal on a narrow black metal bridge (the Maldon Bypass Gates) (17).
R. Carry on walking along the tow path, initially under some trees then with the canal on your right (18).
S. Continue along the towpath for another 250 yards until you pass another old brick bridge (19).
T. Keep going, past the golf club (20). Continue along the tow path for another quarter of a mile back to Beeleigh Falls. The parking area is just across the canal, over the bridge.

pdf Download Description & Directions PDF here


Download PDF photo-set here pdf
P Golf Club Entrance 1 Beeleigh 2 Access Road
3 Langford 4 Langford 5 Langford
6 Bowsers 7 Langford 8 Langford Park
9 Langford 10Fruit Farm 11Track to Heybridge Wood
12Langford 13Langford 14Langford
15Langford 16Langford 17Waltons
18Langford 19Langford 20Waltons
Download PDF photo-set here pdf


Beeleigh Falls

Beeleigh Falls

Beeleigh Falls is the point where the Rivers Chelmer and Blackwater meet. The weir separates two very different wildlife environments. Above the weir there is fresh water: perfect for Kingfishers and the fish they feed on. Below the weirs the river is tidal and the brackish water provides a valuable reed bed habitat. Standing on the bridge over the weir you can see the Navigation canal, made in the 1790s by straightening and deepening the Chelmer, going off to your left. The Blackwater is ahead of you. Beneath the original hump backed bridge over the canal are a pair of flood gates which protect Heybridge from high spring tides, and beyond that, the Langford Cut. This predates the Navigation, and was created by the owner of Langford Mill to facilitate sending his flour to the lucrative London markets.


Museum of Power

Langford pumping station, which now houses the Museum of Power, was originally built in the 1920s. The 150-feet tall hexagonal chimney which formed part of the station was a landmark for nearly forty years before it was demolished in 1966. The station originally contained two steam-driven vertical triple-expansion rotative engines manufactured by the Lilleshall Company Ltd., each with a pumping capacity of between 4m and 4.4 million gallons per day. The engine house was built large enough to house a third engine, and in 1931 a third engine was duly installed and named 'Marshall'. Today it forms the centrepiece of the Museum. In 1960 the Southend Water Company decided to replace the steam plant at Langford with more efficient semi-automatic electric pumps, and in 1963 the steam pumps were turned off for the last time. It was thought that the original pumping station would simply fall into decay, but instead the building has been given a new lease of life as a Museum. The original building was designed to pump around 7 million gallons of drinking water per day, which was thought to be sufficient for many years to come: the electric pumps had a capacity of over 8m gallons: new works completed in 1970 increased capacity to 12m gallons per day and further expansion has taken place since then. The current Langford Recycling Scheme can provide up to 30 million gallons per day.


St Giles Church

St Giles Church St Giles' Church is believed to be of Norman construction, although the building incorporates some Roman bricks. The Chancel and Nave were built in the late 11th or early 12th Century with apses at both eastern and western ends, which was fairly common practice at the time. In the 14th or 15th Century the eastern apse was pulled down and a square extension added to the Chancel. This resulted in a church with just one western apse, making it unique in Britain – and creating some excellent acoustics. There is a panel on the exterior of the apse through which you can see some of the original Norman masonry. The church is dedicated to St Giles. He was a wealthy Greek, who used his fortune to help poor people. He left Greece for France in 683 and chose to life an ascetic life in a cave in a forest near the Rhone, where he survived partly due to the milk from a hind sent by God to sustain him. He was injured trying to protect the hind from a royal hunting party, and following this, his fame began to spread through France. Because of his injury his cave became a place of pilgrimage for cripples and he has since become the patron saint of disabled and mentally ill people, epileptics, and cancer patients. And spur makers.


Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Geese Egyptian Geese originated in Africa and were introduced into England around 300 years ago. There are now many thriving feral communities, mostly in Norfolk. The geese have very distinctive plumage, pale brown and grey with dark eye patches and white wing patches visible when in flight. The geese often perch, roost and even nest in trees, although other nesting sites such as cliff ledges and banks are common. They mate for life, take turns incubating their eggs, and share the care and upbringing of any chicks. Eggs are laid in clutches of 8 or 9, which hatch after about 4 weeks: the chicks are massively cute with markings similar to those of the shelduck. Both sexes are fiercely territorial when breeding, both on land and on the water. Their fighting is noisy and intense. Rivels face each other, breast to breast, and attempt to seize each other by the scruff of the neck whilst simultaneously kicking and beating each other with their wings. They will also pursue invaders into the air, and have aerial dogfights. They may even kill neighbouring pairs’ chicks, to improve the survival chances for their own offspring.


Maldon Angling Society

Little Park Upper Lake At first glance, there’s not much in common between walking and angling. But think about it a bit longer and you realise there's a lot of overlap. Anyone can fish. You don’t need much specialist equipment, or special skills. A child can take part on equal terms with their grandparent: a husband and wife can compete or cooperate. You can fish alone or in a group, for whatever length of time suits you. Each season the fishing is different. You are out in the fresh air and can enjoy the wildlife and views all around, or you can focus on the task at hand. On this walk, you will pass a number of lakes managed by the Maldon Angling Society (MAS). Established in 1895, the MAS must rank as one of the oldest in Essex. It is also one of the largest, operating 16 stillwater lakes and 14 miles of river and canal. Essex Walks was impressed by the quality of the lakes near Langford, their ease of access, variety and beauty. And impressed by the size of the carp! The MAS also works to maintain the quality of the fishing environment - and so the walking environment – of the navigation canal. So we've included a plug, by way of thanks.