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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.

Blog Archive

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Wednesday Walk - The quiet Blackwater Valley to historic Coggeshall, with 300 listed buildings, for lunch

SWC Walk 216 Kelvedon Circular (via Coggeshall)
Length: 23.2 km (14.4 mi) [much shorter option available]
Ascent/Descent: 86m; Net Walking Time: 5 hours
Toughness:  4/10
Take the 10.02 train from L’pool Street (10.09 Stratford), arrives Kelvedon 10.51.
Return trains are 2 per hour: xx.23 and 15.54/16.52/18.00/then xx.54.

This walk is centred on the gentle landscape of the Blackwater Valley, close to Constable Country, and includes some very tranquil and scenic stretches along the river itself, interspersed with long stretches along country lanes, green lanes or field boundaries with wide and extensive views across the rolling Essex countryside of fields and woods. A pre-lunch north westerly loop explores the valley cut by Robin’s Brook, leading to Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum.
The lunch time destination Coggeshall is one of Britain’s most historic market towns. It has 300 listed buildings, amongst the ones passed on the walk are: Britain’s oldest barn (Grange Barn, NT), an impressive carved timber-framed Wool Merchant’s house, Paycocke’s  (also NT, combi tickets are available), as well as one of its finest medieval buildings, built on the remnants of a 12th Century abbey and a couple of photogenic watermills and an outsized church
The two NT-properties are now linked by an NT-trail, which you might want to explore instead of the bit of road walking between them (and in any case looks like a worthy addition to the walk as an extension --->  note to walk author).
A much shorter walk of 16.3 km length enables extended visits to the NT properties en route.

Lunch is either on the Marks Hall Estate in the Café in Bouchier's Barn (11.1 km/6.9 mi, cooked food to 14.30), or at one of many places in Coggeshall (about 14.5 km into the full walk/7.5 km into the short walk): Ranfield’s Brasserie (formerly Baumann’s Brasserie), Clock House Tea Rooms, The Chapel Inn, The White Hart Hotel or The Woolpack Inn.
West Street Vineyard  is actually the No. 1 ranked place for food in Coggeshall on Tripadvisor, so it might be worth checking out if it’s not too far along the road out of town.
For tea there are The Sun Inn, or The Railway Tavern, and the Kings Fish Bar.
For summary, map, height profile, photos, walk directions/options and gpx/kml files click here.

Next Week: SWC 30 Battle Circular 20.4 km 6/10 T=swc.216


Mike said...


Thanks, I personally find it really useful to know what's coming up the following week!

Marc Ricketts said...

Now I might do the Walk on Wednesday. But I can't Guarantee I will. Mind you I have done it before about 2 years ago. But I did it on a Sunday. While I went to Manchester for the day on Saturday before that.

Mike A said...

I'm intending to go and do the "much shorter walk of 16.3 km length" thus enabling extended visits to the NT properties en route.

Anonymous said...

I am hoping to attend and get on the correct train this week.jfk

Marion said...

Sorry I can't join you'all but will come next week. When I did this walk 2 years ago I spent time in every NT venue. Garden and shop in Coggeshall not finishing till 9pm. I even went back a year later and bought designer guild cushions after visiting the RHS garden by car. Thoroughly recommended especially the Secret Garden cafe in Coggeshall . Don't miss it if you're free. I'm going from Rainham to Purfleet in the Thames estuary with a Footprints of London professional guide as part of the Totally Thames festival. Last week of my season ticket. They are doing Literary London next month. £45 fior the month and 70 walks to choose from!

Thomas G said...

n=10 walkers in w=initially-sunny-later-overcast conditions. 9 off the train, 1 encountered later in Coggeshall waiting for a bus to Chelmsford, apparently off a later train. A fine day for a walk that benefits more than most from dry conditions on the ground. Rolling hillocks, tranquil riverside stretches and picturesque old buildings. 2 opted for the short walk, once we all got to Coggeshall, 2 walked the standard long walk, 4 investigated a new extension in Coggeshall along the Essex Way initially and then back along the Blackwater river, which was quite nice, so will be added to the route as an option. 1 had said he'd walk 'the much shorter 16.3 km version', but then was found sitting at the table at the lunch stop on the long walk, Bouchier's Barn at Marks Hall Arboretum, without being able to explain how he got there, and BEFORE anyone else...
The one downside of that lunch place is: no booze. So a pub stop at the Woolpack Inn was kind of mandatory. Another swift one at the Sun Inn in Feering, close to the end. 18.24 train for the tailenders.

Jane from Kew said...

Tptally enchanting morning walk to Coggleshall off later train . Had to leave early after buying plants to get back for energetic Scottish country dancing in evening.jfk