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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, 25 November 2017

Saturday Walk – Harlow Circular: an easy short walk close to London

Extra Walk 55 – Harlow Circular
Length: 14 km (8.7 miles). Toughness: 1/10

10:40 Stansted Airport train from Liverpool Street (Seven Sisters 10:53), arriving Harlow Town at 11:16.

There are six return trains each hour from Harlow Town, with the fastest ones (from Stansted Airport) at around xx:02, xx:17, etc.

I haven't done this walk myself and no-one has seen fit to upload any photos of it, but the author describes it as ideally suited for a short winter's day (sunset is at 4pm). Its only previous Saturday posting was back in 2009, but a couple of anonymous explorers recently posted some sparkling reviews – brilliant! fantastic! – so it's about time a few more Saturday Walkers had a chance to enjoy it.

The lunchtime stop is in the village of Hunsdon, just under halfway round the walk. You can choose between an up-market gastropub, the Fox & Hounds, or a more traditional pub lunch in The Crown. The walk document suggests a couple of pubs on the way back to Harlow for refreshment, and I'm sure there'll be the usual range of coffee shops if you look around the town before catching a train. There should also be a trolley service on the Stansted Airport trains.

You'll need to bring the walk directions on this pdf document. There are only a few pages and it was updated at the start of the year, so there shouldn't be any problem with the directions.


Thomas G said...

Have led this for The Ramblers last winter and can recommend it. Booking advised for the gastropub, and that alone is worth the walk.

Mike A said...

w=Brrrrrrrrrrrr_with_Autumn_sun_most_of_the_day on this pleasant Essex walk. n=11 set of from Harlow Town Station towards Eastwick and on to Hunsdon for lunch. The Crown was not serving food, so many visited the Fox and Hounds. An expensive gastropub, however the food was excellent with a roaring fire and friendly staff. The starters were well sized too. An interesting afternoon section passing Hunsdon airfield and thev gothic styled Gilston Park House and then finally along the River Stort to return to Harlow. A great day out with one walker mischievously complaining about the low level of road noise and lack of industrial estates. Well it is Essex!

Anonymous said...

Hertfordshire! Just the start is in Essex...

Mike A said...

Anonymous, thank you for pointing out the County faux pas in my first post. My excuse was spotting pylons and land fill at the beginning of the walk.
In another clanger, Bridie informs me numbers were in fact n=14
So it's along to Specsavers toute suite for me!

Sean said...

In Hunsdon a few of us went to the Crown hoping for a quick snack, but their chef hadn't turned up so the Fox & Hounds gained some extra custom. Hopefully this was just a one-off as it's always helpful when a village offers a choice of lunchtime pubs.

The walk has some nice stretches and it's a shame that the footpaths across large farm fields aren't marked out. To avoid wading through lots of heavy sticky mud you have to follow the author's suggested detours around field edges, although yesterday there was no such escape across one huge field of wet crops after the airfield.

The state of the paths was disappointing because we passed several information panels exhorting walkers, cyclists and others to use the rights of way in this area: maybe someone should tell the farmers. The arctic wind had clearly deterred most locals from following this well-meaning advice, but we did stop for a chat with one who gave us a potted history of the striking Gilston Park House, now converted into what sounded like very desirable luxury flats (at least until the planned Harlow North development of 10,000 new homes goes ahead).

The final stretch alongside the River Stort was attractive and if I'd had more time I would have liked to explore the Honeymead Marsh Conservation Area, or even ventured along the river in the opposite direction. Harlow Mill could in fact be an alternative destination, although less convenient if only because fewer trains stop there.