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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

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Saturday Third Walk -- Grassy Fields, Quiet Lanes, a Nature Reserve and Tidal River

SWC Walk 157:  Wickford to South Woodham Ferrers (with Shortcut I)

Distance:  12.8 Miles or 20.5 km for those more metrically minded (or 18.9 miles/30.3 km with full extension)
Difficulty:  3 out of 10 (up to 6 out of 10 with full extension)

Train:  Take the 9:55 AM Greater Anglia Southend Victoria train from London Liverpool Street (10:02 Stratford), arriving at Wickford at 10:31. Return trains from South Woodham Ferrers are at XX:16 and 56 past odd hours and XX:36 past even hours, until 23:16. Buy a day return to South Woodham Ferrers. 
This surprisingly diverse and rural walk avoids the industrial and suburban features usually associated with walking in Essex; rather, you encounter a nature reserve at Hanningfield Reservoir, gently rolling fields, quiet lanes and a tidal river.  Another beneficial feature of this outing is the accordion ending in South Woodham Ferrers providing the opportunity to extend the walk to various lengths around the marshland on the outskirts of the town through another nature reserve, along Fenn Creek and ultimately the tidal River Crouch.  With any luck, after a refreshment stop, it may even be possible to catch an almost 3/4 moon reflecting from the marshlands while doing some or all of the extension!  You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.

The recommended lunch stop is the Old Windmill Inn (01268 712 280) in South Hanningfield (5.7 miles/9.2 km into the walk).  Tea and other late afternoon refreshments can be had at Shaw Farm (open until late) or various other establishments mentioned in the walk notes.

Enjoy the walk!


Walker said...

Essex means large arable fields, electricity pylons and distant road noise, right? Wrong in the morning of this walk, which started in gently hilly pasture and carried on through woods along a reservoir (whose water levels were very low). Even on a w=grey-and-gloomy day, this was pleasant scenery. Of the n=15 on this walk, 11 of us then enjoyed a pleasant lunch at the pub, only slightly slowed by its insistence on taking food orders at the table.

Spooked by the forecast of afternoon rain seven walkers then took the bus to Wickford. Eight of us carried on into more classic Essex territory of the kind described in the opening sentence, its bleakness somewhat softened by the gathering gloom and a lack of any serious mud (though enough still accrued to our boots). Some even said this territory made a nice change from the usual.

Only the last 20 minutes of the walk were truly in the dark, and only at this point did it start to rain a bit. We were soon in the very cosy tea pub, however. Alas, the weather scotched plans for a moonlight walk and the last of us got the 18.16 train home.

Anonymous said...

For future reference: the bus stops right outside the lunch pub, The Old Windmill. There is a time table on the wall inside the pub, the staff is also very familiar with the time table. Bus number 13, and 14. They run every two hours at 2:38pm and 4:38pm to Wickford train station, cost £1.60. It may be worthwhile to add this to the instruction.

Anonymous said...

it says that (and has always done so) on the webpage and on page 2 of the pdf.
the walk author

Anonymous said...

car park closed and both gates locked at end of reservoir
however wire mesh fencing has been broken down to an almost convenient level