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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Saturday, 27 February 2016

Saturday Third Walk [Fully Revised] - North West Essex chalky uplands and pretty villages

SWC 116 Wendens Ambo [Audley End station] Circular - re-routed after a pub closure and fully written up

Length: 23.7 km (14.7 mi) [longer and shorter walk possible, see below]
Ascent/Descent: 280 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 5 ¼ hours
Toughness:  5 out of 10 

Take the 09.28 Cambridge train from Liverpool Street (Tottenham Hale 09.40), arriving Audley End at 10.30
Return trains: direct at XX.19 and XX.40, or with a change at Stansted Airport at XX.25 and XX.45.
Buy an Audley End return.

First posting of this former map led walk, now slightly re-routed to involve a new lunch pub, we will take the opportunity to check the walk directions.

To quote the write-up: "This is a relaxing walk in the quiet chalky uplands of north-west Essex, on the borders of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, very much off the beaten track, and with gently rolling hills, plenty of woods and copses as well as some pretty villages. Right from the start the walk takes you past picturesque thatched cottages with ample examples of pargeting, a decorative medieval plastering technique, and on through some farmland to the early lunch stop in Arkesden, one of the prettiest villages in Essex with one of the best pubs and loveliest churches. The route then gently ascends to Chrishall, the dedicated lunch stop on the full walk, along field boundaries and green lanes. Chrishall village is close to Essex’ highest point and the approach offers fine views into the Hertfordshire plain and back down the wide ‘winding valley’ that gives Wendens Ambo its name.
After lunch you follow the Icknield Way to Elmdon, with views north out across the Cambridgeshire plain to Cambridge, then alongside a high hedge with views off to your right into the winding valley back to Wendens Ambo.
A slightly longer, more westerly route (25.7 km/16.0 mi) takes you over Essex’ highest point itself to Chrishall, this is rated 6/10. A shorter route (16.8 km/10.5 mi) cuts out most of the higher ground including the outlying villages of Chrishall and Elmdon, this is rated 3/10.For the short walk you should take the 10.28 train, so as not to arrive too early at the lunch pub in Arkesden.

The recommended lunch options are The Axe & Compasses in Arkesden (4.9 km/3.0 mi) for the short walk or The Red Cow in Chrishall  (13.1 km/8.2 mi) [a table has been booked]. For tea it’s either The Bell Inn, 10 minutes from the station, or The Fighting Cocks, 5 minutes beyond the station.
For walk directions click here. Due to server trouble, Grandmaster David C had to create this link  for us to the gpx files (one each for main walk, extension and shortcut).


DAC said...

Intend going.

Anonymous said...

I also intend going. Unchartered territory for me.

Anonymous said...

I intend going as well but on the 10.28 train as I will do the short option with lunch after 3 miles
HOWEVER I can't get the walk instructions as this messgae comes up
Walk Directions
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Any ideas ?

Thomas G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelda said...

I'll join the train at Tottenham Hale...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Thomas G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thomas G said...

pdf and gpx files now linked up, see you on the walk.

middle neighbour said...

Intend coming with both neighbours. Cannot download gpx file (never was able, no doubt due to me, not you). Is there any chance to provide a link to a KML file? No problem if not. Have maps as well.
Feel for David with web problems, we are suffering daily outages, lasting hours, at Somerset House this week, no printing etc so disruptive.

Andrew said...

Its not you, it's me :)
Links to the files are there now.

Maialen said...

I will take the train at tottenham hale. I don't know wich train take to return, some advice?

Anonymous said...

same train to return

Anonymous said...

SWC 116
10.28 train 6 of us 
Surprisingly pleasant weather though a bit of a wind 
Lots of snow drops and daffodils and lots and lots of fields that one said reminded them of Waiting for Godot
The villages were pretty and the pub in Arkansas was excellent with good food and very friendly service - so good that we even left them a tip 
We met 5 of the walkers from the earlier train at the station and
they were so clean of mud that it looked like they had hardly walked any distance at all ? ? ?
That said we were devoid of any mud splatter on our gaiters and no clods on our boots. 
This is only my second time with the group and I was priveldged to meet Monsieur Tigra who apparently is rarely seen - oh and we saw birds of prey and were sorely frightened by a canon going off in a field that made our bones rattle as the shock wave went through.

Kelda said...

N=23 (17 long, 6 short)

Delightful lack of mud and fabulous views in the fresh winter sunshine.

Pretty villages, delicious pub and an altogether lovely rabble.

Middle neighbour said...

Really wonderful walk but while mostly flat underfoot, we had wide views of gently rolling hills in the distance. Some lovely churches were passed, wonderful lunch and surprisingly lovey dovey company (this will not last). Another great day with the SWC.