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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, 1 October 2016

Saturday Third Walk – The quiet chalky uplands of NW Essex

Extra Walk 116a – Wendens Ambo [=Audley End] Circular (Short Walk)
Length: 17.2 km (10.7 miles). Toughness: 3/10

10:28 Cambridge train from Liverpool Street (Tottenham Hale 10:40*), arriving Audley End at 11:30. If you miss this, the next train (at 10:58) is faster and you'd only be 20 minutes behind the main group.

Direct trains back from Audley End are at 19 (fast) & 40 minutes past the hour. If you just miss one of these and a Stansted Airport train shows up a few minutes later, you could take this and change there for a fast train to Liverpool Street: an Audley End ticket is valid on this route.

This gentle walk through the Essex countryside was fully revised at the start of 2016, acquiring a comprehensive set of directions and a full description of its features. Its new author took the opportunity to add a characteristic extension or two but carelessly left behind this shorter version, compounding his error by describing its lunch stop as one of the best pubs in one of the prettiest villages in Essex (and with one of its loveliest churches too). That sounds good enough for me. The revised Main Walk had its début in February so here's a chance for more leisurely types to try this Short Walk.

The ‘pretty village’ is Arkesden which you'll reach in just over an hour, hence the late train. The Axe & Compasses here is the only pub on the Short Walk route, so given its reputation you might want to call them when you set out and reserve a table. At the end of the walk a short detour will take you to the highly-rated Bell Inn in Wendens Ambo, but if you're in a hurry it looks as though you could grab a drink at the station kiosk.

[Anyone who would like to try the longer Main Walk should take the train an hour earlier. The lunch stop is in a different village but you might bump into the others towards the end, or at the tea stop.]

You'll need to print the directions from this pdf document.

* The National Rail site has now been updated to confirm that the weekend engineering works on this line are only on the Sunday, so Saturday's trains will be calling at Tottenham Hale as advertised.


Thomas G said...

Coincidentally, I've led the full version of this walk yesterday for The Ramblers. What can I report? Perfect walk for a sunny day: all streams and ponds dry, the (few) field crossings a doddle, The Red Cow in Chrishall as good as always, the Elmdon Dial still not re-opened, the station kiosk indeed providing for great hot drinks (they have a proper barista coffee machine), chilled chocolate bars, booze etc.. Not sure about their opening hours on Saturday though. Slack walk research, I'd say...

Ian T said...

n=9 for this walk (2 on the early train doing the full walk, 7 on the later) w=slightly-damp-start-dry-later-with-some-sun Not bad at all and nothing like the grim forecast. Wicken Water was bone dry.
The Axe and Compasses didn't disappoint. The walk has been tweaked since map days and I find the tweaks easier to follow. Never saw the others again after Arkesden. The 17:19 was delayed so me and a long walker got the 17:25Stansted Express and changed at the airport for London.
I think I like this walk more every time I do it. The big wide views, the pretty cottages....

Ian T said...

p.s The kiosk was open when I passed it - 17:15. Did not sample its wares.

Bridie said...

n=3 who took it easy did the 10 mile walk whilst at least n=5 of stronger stuff did the 14 mile