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Essex Walks: Moreton

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

Description & Map

Title: Moreton
Distance: about 2½ miles
Time taken: 1 hour
Location: 3½ miles East of Junction 7 (Harlow) on the M11
Parking: [Limited] St Mary's Church Car Park, Moreton, CM5 0JB 9 (one car only)
OS Explorer Map: 183
Grid Ref.: TL 533 071
Parking: St Mary's Church Car Park, Moreton, CM5 0JB
Bus:bus Bus 47 (Regal - infrequent)
Train: No service.
     The Nag's Head
     The White Hart
PEAR Rating: PEAR Rating Parking: 2/3 Easiness: 3/3 Amenity: 2/3 Refreshments: 2/3

[Click image to enlarge]

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 Moreton Map PDF
View online on 3 different interactive maps: Link to full screen OS map Moreton Map (Ordnance Survey)
Link to full screen Google map Moreton Map (Google)
Bing map Moreton Map (Bing OS 1:25k)
Additional information: gpx GPX track
Elevation View Elevation Profile
Display local weather Moreton Weather
St Marys, Moreton Sen trees swarm

Walk Description  

This is a gentle and pleasant walk through open farmland and along green lanes around the pretty village of Moreton. The village dates from Roman times: it was the point at which the Roman road connecting Great Dunmow to London crossed Cripsey Brook. There are still several medieval cottages in the village, and parts of the church date from the early 13th century. Although it is only 7 miles from Harlow it is right in the heart of the Essex countryside.
The terrain is fairly flat and the route is well signposted.


pdf Download Description & Directions PDF here

A. From the church car park turn right along the lane for about 75 yards, then take the footpath on the left (1).
B. Walk southwards through the water meadow towards Cripsey Brook. You might see a ford through the brook on the right, do not take it but continue southwards crossing over a ditch and then look for a footpath exit on the left near a telegraph pole (2).
C. Bear right to walk along the field edge with a hedge on your right to a wooden kissing gate. Go through the gate and continue, now with a hedge on your left, until you reach a farm track.
D. Ahead you can see two white houses. Cross the farm track and continue straight on across arable land aiming towards the white house on the right, with the red roof, known as Hill Farm. When you get closer you will see a gap in the hedge, which opens onto a lane.
E. Turn left along the lane, and after the road junction go downhill towards the corner and look for a leafy by-way on the right next to a cattery (3).
F. Walk along the muddy byway. After about 500 yards you will come to a footpath crossroads. Continue straight on along the byway for a further 500 yards, until you see a gap in the hedge on the left which opens onto a lovely view of a lake (4).
G. Keeping to the left of the lake, walk through the field for about 100 yards and go through the signposted field entrance on your left.
H. Once in the field turn right and follow the field edge to the end.
I. When you reach a line of trees turn left and follow the path back to the church, entering St Mary's Churchyard through a gap in the hedge (5).
J. The main village and the two pubs are about 350 yards to the right as you exit the car park (6).

pdf Download Description & Directions PDF here


Download PDF photo-set here pdf
1 Start, facing south 2 Field exit 3 Byway entrance, top of Maltings Hill
4 Lakes 5 St Marys Pub White Hart



The village of Moreton is at the site where an old Roman Road from London to Great Dunmow crosses Cripsey Brook. Originally the villagers were responsible for the upkeep of the bridge at their own expense, and in 1761 they decided that a new cart bridge should be built to replace the old horse bridge. However a mere 22 years later it was decided that the bridge should become a charge on the county, and that same year the cart bridge was torn down and replaced by one built of brick. Perhaps the county realised the folly of leaving the upkeep of strategically important infrastructure in the hands (and pockets) of wily local folk!

The Nag's Head

The Nag's Head in Moreton was built in the 16th century and features in the late 20th century British TV series "Lovejoy", whereas the White Hart dates from around 1800.

The Moreton Midsummer Festival has been running for over 40 years, and is a proud celebration of village life with folk music and dancing, real beer and the annual crowning of the Rose Queen. It is held over a weekend in June each year.



Moreton has also seen its share of extra-terrestrial activity: according to the Brentwood Gazette, on June 30 1990, at 2.30pm two fishermen saw a strange flying object hovering over Moreton gravel pits for 10 minutes. Six other phone calls were made on the same morning to nearby Stansted Airport. According to the report sent to Essex Police the object had a domed, hammer-headed front, which tapered into a thin body with two wings at the rear and lights all along the front. The movements of the object were described as: "No speed, just sitting there over the top of me, no noise, sat for about 10 minutes, then the lights went out and it disappeared.". No satisfactory explanation of this event has ever been made.