The Grid Reference is the starting point of the directions. The distance shown is at the point *** in the directions.
Any updates to the walks are shown in red below. Walk details are accurate to when they were compiled and are liable to be superseded by path changes as well as pub closures. If you come across any problems with the starting points or the walks please complete the form below with the details.
|Directions||Transport & Parking||Refreshments|
|TL 982 292
|Walking south from the Half Butt at Great Horkesley, the A12 trunk road bridge can be seen ahead. Before reaching this, turn left onto the footpath which runs along Terrace Hall Chase. At the end of the lane a stile leads you into a field at which point the path bears right towards a mast and along the north side of the A12. Exit this field and take the path up to Straight Road, Boxted***||Bus Route||The Half Butt|
|TL 990 290
|Turn right, cross over the A12 using the road bridge and then turn left, by the side of the locked gates into Tower Road. This runs along the northern perimeter of the now redundant Severalls Hospital. (Note not currently a right of way, but soon will be). After passing the third set of locked gates and leaving the hospital grounds, a footpath crosses the track. Take the left hand option, following the edge of the playing field and then veering right to the field edge. Continue along through the next field boundary and turn right. After a short distance the path turns left across the open field in the direction of the petrol station on the A12 and then runs parallel with the southern edge of the A12. In the corner of the field at the point where a minor road crosses the A12, follow the footpath up to this road.***|
|TM 006 292
|Turn right along this road to a mini-roundabout. Turn left into The Crescent and immediately right into the footpath which runs behind the office buildings. Continue to follow this path, which crosses The Crescent again.***||Bus Route|
|TM 013 289
|Leave The Crescent in an easterly direction on the path into Newcomen Way and onto the Ardleigh Crown Interchange at the northern end of Ipswich Road.***||Bus Route||Balkerne Gate|
|TM 018 288
|From a point just north of the Balkerne Gate, cross the A1232 Ipswich Road. Then cross the A120 exit slip road followed, on the opposite side of the roundabout, by crossing the A120 entry slip road. This is a very busy junction and every care should be taken to ensure your safe passage. Turn right along this entry slip road and then left into Old Ipswich Road. On the right hand side, just before reaching the Butterfly Hotel, is the concrete track which continues the circuitous route around Colchester.***||Bus Route||Balkerne Gate
|TM 021 289
|From Old Ipswich Road take the concrete track past Willow Lodge towards Harvey’s Farm in a south-easterly direction. As the track turns left, bear right and follow the footpath between the ditch and the fence. After passing the two chicken sheds, climb the zigzag path and turn left to join the concrete track by the road bridge. Follow the track and cross the A120 by way of the bridge and continue in a south-easterly direction until you reach Fox Street (A137 Manningtree Road).***||Parking in Old Ipswich Road
|The Welshwood Pub is situated in Fox Street, about 400 yards to the right.|
|TM 030 278
|Leave Fox Street (A137 Manningtree Road) in a south-easterly direction following the track until just after the bridge over the railway line. Turn right along the muddy track, leaving the house to your left. Turn left in front of the corrugated barn . Continue on a grass and gravel track, which at its lowest point goes into an open field.
With the hedge on your left walk around the field edge until you reach the junction with a cross-field path joining from your right. Turn left through the kissing gate into the wood. After crossing the stream continue straight on up the hill along the ancient sunken track through the wood until you reach the gravel track just past the greenhouses on your right hand side.
Turn right at the first telegraph pole and follow the footpath south, along the field edge, over the wooden plank foot bridge then follow the next field edge keeping the ditch on your right until you reach Bromley Road.***
|Bus Route||The Welshwood Pub is situated in Fox Street, about 400 yards to the right.|
|TM 039 266
|From Bromley Road head south on Chapel Lane, signposted to Crockleford Heath. (Note the roadside nature reserve on either side). When the road bears left, continue straight on into the gravel drive. Just after the wrought iron gates, climb the stile to your left.
Take the cross-field path towards the electricity pole in the middle of the field and then bear slightly right to the electricity pylon at the edge of the field. Climb the stile at the foot of the pylon and continue straight on through the scrub, keeping the hedge on your left. Exit the trees across a culvert and climb the short path through the old meadow to the stile. (Note the ancient pond and dam on the left and the ruins in the trees). Climb over the stile and carry straight on, following the cross-field path until it joins a track in the corner of the field.***
|TM 039 254
|Turn right and follow this track for some distance past Colleer’s Farm Cottage. Bear left as the track passes the cottage on the right. After about 75 metres, turn right along a grass lane and, using the stile, enter the field and walk along the top field edge with the line of trees on your left. There are views to your right across Salary Brook to Greenstead. After crossing the next stile, descend on the cross-field track to the bottom right corner of the field. Exit the field using the stile and take the path over the bridge which crosses Salary Brook.***|
|TM 028 250
|Turn immediately left and walk along the raised bank, keeping the brook to your left and the fishing lakes to your right. After merging with the cycle way, use the underpass to cross the A133 Clacton Road.
On emerging from the underpass walk towards the roundabout but turn immediately left behind the conifers into Swan Close and turn left again, passing in front of The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. At the junction with Elmstead Road, turn right and walk to the roundabout at the entrance to Tesco.***
|Bus Route||Refreshments at Tesco|
|TM 019 245
|From Tesco at Elmstead Road walk along Eastern Approach over the railway bridge to another roundabout by B&Q’s and continue along Colne Causeway, crossing over the River Colne. At the next roundabout turn sharp left and follow the path down to the riverbank. Follow the riverbank past the lightship and turn right as you reach the Coldoc storage area. Turn left at the junction with Haven Road and continue past the Maltsters Arms and beyond the warehouses on your left.***||Parking in Hawkins Road||Maltsters Arms|
|TM 022 236
|Beyond the last warehouse take the narrow gap by the side of a locked gate. Follow the raised path along the bank of the River Colne, crossing several stiles until you reach Rowhedge.
Turn left along Thanet walk in front of the newly built houses and cross the green into Rowhedge High Street where The Anchor Inn and The Olde Albion are situated.***
|Bus Route||Anchor Inn and The Olde Albion|
|TM 031 216
|With the River Colne on your left, walk downstream along Rowhedge High Street until you reach the Coldock entrance. Take the footpath to the left through the yard entrance and follow the riverbank. The path takes you through the container storage area. Painted footprints and yellow hashing indicate the passage between the containers and the quayside. At the point where the Roman River enters the Colne, follow the raised riverbank round to the right. Watch out for Cormorants and other seabirds at the rivers confluence. Don't follow the path away from the river but keep close to the water, cross a wooden footbridge and continue towards Fingringhoe Mill, which is reached by way of a bridge over the Roman River and a short cross-field path. Pass in front of the mill house and climb the driveway to Church Road. Turn right past St. Andrew’s church and continue in this direction to the Whalebone public house, Fingringhoe.***||Bus Route and car parking||Anchor Inn and The Olde Albion|
|TM 028 202
|From the Whalebone public house, Fingringhoe walk in a westerly direction along Chapel Road. Just beyond the Village Hall take the path on the left, behind the hedge, which avoids using the narrow road. Where this path rejoins the road, cross over and take the byway, which runs behind the green, upon which the village sign and an anvil are situated. Follow this lane past West House and Upper Haye Farm to its junction with Haye Lane. Turn right and then immediately left along a track, between the buildings of Haye Farm and into a grassy track. At the end, bear left and enter the field ahead by means of the bridge and stile and continue in the same direction across the field to the busy Mersea Road.***||Bus Route and car parking||The Whalebone|
|TM 008 198
|Turn right and walk north on Mersea Road to just beyond the right hand bend and take the footpath on your left which leads down through the woods and over a stile. The meadow ahead of you is liable to flooding but is passable at most times along a slightly raised bank. Continue in the same direction with the hedge on your left until you reach the river. Turn left over a stile and follow the raised bank until you reach the bridge. Cross the river and, with the hedge on your right, climb up to a stile which leads onto a tarmac track. Turn left along this track. At the point at which the track bears right, continue straight on down a steeper muddy track through a gate to the concrete bridge which spans the Roman River.***
Note: in winter the approaches to this bridge can be under water and you will need to take the following alternative route. Instead of passing through the gate at the top of the track, turn right across the grassed area to rejoin the track. Bear left and follow the track for a short distance until you reach a drive on your left which leads to Park Farm. Take this drive and turn right at the entrance to the farm. Continue to follow this drive until you reach a crossway of paths just before the overhead electricity cables. Turn left, passing under the cables. This will bring you back on the actual route. Continue straight ahead and you will be following the route below.
|TL 996 202
|After crossing the bridge, turn immediately right. The definitive path runs along the right hand side of the tree line. A permissive alternative has been established on the other, higher side of the hedge to be used in times of flooding. Both paths join again at the point where a small bridge allows you to cross the Roman River.***|
|TL 994 204
|After crossing the bridge, turn left then immediately right. Leaving the river behind you, follow the path along the boundary of an “Out Of Bounds” property. There is a dogleg to the right on this path as the woodland track bears left. Follow the path beneath the overhead power cables until you reach a cross track (waymarked footpaths) at which point you turn left.
(The alternative route rejoins at this point.)
This track leads down across a stream. At the top of the short concrete section which climbs up from the stream, turn left. Beyond a dip in this path, as you enter an open area, turn right. When you join a track turn right again and follow this path into Friday Woods Car Park.***
|TL 986 210
|Exit the car park from its right hand corner and go through the gap onto Bounstead Road and turn right. Take the footpath immediately on your left and follow the track, which runs parallel to the right hand field edge. Pass through two tree lined field boundaries and, at the third line of trees, turn left leaving these trees to your right. After crossing a stile you will be on a grassy track. At the field edge go over a stile and continue down the track to Layer Mill. Continue past the Mill House up the drive and turn right at the end of the garden fence onto a grassy track. Follow this track and the next field edge and enter the woods. Crossing two stiles and through the woods you appear in the open with an old pond to the left and a choice of stiles to left and right. (see option below for route via the Donkey & Buskins)
Take the left hand stile and walk up the field to bypass the house, join the drive from the house by means of a stile on your right. Follow the drive, until you reach the road. Turn left along road for 50 metres and then turn right over the stile and follow the path until you reach High Road, Layer.***
Option - At the point where the path divides, take the right hand option past a barn conversion where the tarmac driveway leads to The Folley. Turn right and the Donkey and Buskins public house is ahead of you. Turn left up the hill of High Road, Layer until you reach New Cut.***
|Bus Route||Donkey and Buskins|
|TL 974 208
|Leave High Road, Layer by way of the southern end of New Cut. As the road bears left continue straight on into the Roman River Valley Nature Reserve (Chest Wood). Go through the gate and down the muddy path and across the bridge. Carry on and, keeping the single railed fence to your right, swing left uphill following an avenue of holly trees. Keep going straight on until you reach a Y junction) which forces you left or right. Take the RH option down towards the bridge which spans the Roman River. Over the bridge, turn left, across the meadow and up the track which will take you to Olivers Lane. Upon reaching the lane continue straight across with the pond to your left and follow the track between the fields to Butchers Wood. As you go down the last slope to the wood, walk along its southern edge, keeping the wood on your right and ignoring the track off to the left follow to the right along its western edge. As you reach a sharp right hand corner you will see the old church at the zoo in the distance. Don't go on but turn right alongside the wood and down through the start of the Iron Age dyke until you reach the busy Maldon Road.***||Bus Route||Donkey and Buskins|
|TL 958 223
|Leaving Maldon Road behind you, take the bridleway in a northerly direction. This follows the line of an Iron Age dyke. Almost at the end of this bridleway, turn right towards a fingerpost and some houses. Continue in the same direction with Stanway Green on your left and the houses on your right until another bridleway is reached. Follow this path with the houses to your left until you reach a cross path. Turn left along Grymes Dyke, another Iron Age defence. This path crosses Dugard Avenue.***||Bus Route|
|TL 963 238
|From Dugard Avenue, with the Peartree Industrial Estate to your left, head north along Grymes Dyke. This leads into New Farm Road. Continue in the same direction until you reach London Road *** Stanway.||Bus Route|
|TL 960 250
|From London Road, Stanway, head north along King Coel Road. At its junction with Halstead Road, take the footbridge that spans the A12 trunk road. At the far end of the bridge, turn left and walk along the road. Just before the road bridge on your left, turn right down a path and join the old Halstead Road which is now a cul-de-sac, until it rejoins Halstead Road.***||Bus Route
|TL 955 254
|Leave Halstead Road in a northerly direction by way of Iron Latch Lane. This takes you over the railway line and along a track which descends through Iron Latch nature reserve. (The bridle path runs to the left of the track behind the bushes). After crossing the stream by way of a bridge, ascend the field edge with a hedge on your left hand side. At the brow of the hill, the bridle path turns left through a hedge gap. Follow this, with farm buildings on your right, and between the houses until it meets Spring Lane where Fordham Heath*** appears ahead of you.||Bus Route||The Cricketers|
|TL 945 261
|From The Cricketers, Fordham Heath, with the pub to your right walk north towards the crossroads. Proceed straight over, down the lane towards Cook’s Mill. At the bottom of the lane follow the track round to the right, crossing the River Colne. Go straight past the house and exit the grounds of the property through the kissing gate. On the far side take the middle option of a choice of three footpaths straight up the field towards the farm buildings. This will take you in a direction just east of north towards Cook’s Hall. Continue in the same general direction through the farm and follow the Essex Way. This will take you to West Bergholt Hall at which point the route turns right into the village. Cross Lexden Road and follow New Church Road, leaving the school and the church on your left side. At the junction with Chapel Road, turn left until you reach Colchester Road, West Bergholt.***||Bus Route||The Cricketers|
|TL 966 277
|Leave West Bergholt by way of Armoury Road, following the Essex Way. This leads to a track into Armoury Farm at which point the route turns left and then bears right along a field edge with a hedge on your right. Very shortly after bearing right, the Essex Way turns left along a path which climbs across the field on your left. Follow this path.*** (If you miss this turn, an extremely difficult crossing point on the A12 will confront you).||Bus Route|
|TL 976 285
|From the top of the hill, a look ahead will show the corner of the apple trees and the waymarked post which has to be reached at the far side of the next filed. these are not visible from the gap ahead.
After passing through the second field boundary the path crosses a bridge on the left and then rises diagonally across an open field to a corner where a track runs alongside a plantation of young trees. Follow this track and then turn right at its junction with Brick Kiln Lane. This leads to Great Horkesley and another of Colchester’s main arterial routes, Nayland Road where The Half Butt is located.***
|Bus Route||The Half Butt|