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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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Sunday, 3 December 2017

Sunday Walk: Hills in Essex, a Man in the Moon – let's see on South Woodham Ferrers to North Fambridge

SWC 159:  A varied walk in the Crouch Valley across hilly parts of Essex with some undulating hills, woods and a serene finish along the River Crouch t=swc.159

Train:   Take the 9:14 AM Southend Victoria train from London Liverpool Street (Stratford 9:21 AM) to South Woodham Ferrers, arriving at 10:14 AM with a change at Wickford (arriving 10:03 AM and departing 10:06 AM).  Return trains from North Fambridge are at 21 minutes past the hour until 22:21  Buy a day return North Fambridge.  Please note the tight connection time in the morning and move swiftly at Wickford....

Distance:  11.9; 14.1 or 15.9 miles (19.2; 22.6 or 25.5 in new money)

Difficulty:  4, 5 or 6 out of 10 (depending on distance chosen)

This walk explores the hilly section of Essex with splendid views of the Crouch Valley and some undulating landscape.  After some initial fields it crosses rolling hills past an RHS Garden.  The afternoon features some woods before finishing along the tidal River Crouch.  The main walk may be a bit long for some at this time of year; but there are two shorter routes also available for which there should be ample time to complete in daylight.  A decision does not need to be made as to what option you take until fairly late in the walk, well after lunch.  The shortest option circles back to South Woodham Ferrers and the medium option has a more direct route to the station (skipping the tea stop and missing out on the river).  As Sunday is the full moon, if conditions are clear, it could be very atmospheric to finsh the walk (and possibly extend it) in the moon light along the River Crouch and the grassy salt marshes of the Blue House Farm Nature Reserve.  More information and the directions can be found here.

Lunch will be at the Folly Bistro in East Hanningfield (01245 400 315), a newly refurbished bistro pub about 5.5 miles/9.0 km from the start of the walk.

The recommended tea stop is the Ferry Boat Inn in North Fambridge located 1.3 mile/2.1 km from the end of the walk on the standard ending.  The area around North Fambridge itself seems a bit sparse in terms of amenities.  For those ending in South Woodham Ferrers, there are a couple of options not too far from the station:  The Railway; Shaw Farm and the Whalebone Inn.   

Enjoy the walk!

1 comment:

Stargazer said...

n=6 set off under w=heavy-clouds for an exploration of the Essex hills we had been promised....Indeed, in addition to a number of fields, this part of Essex also contains a number of undulating hills affording some good views across the Crouch Valley -- particular highlights on the route included passing through an atmospheric abandoned churchyard and along side the remnants of a WW I airstrip. The lunch pub is more of a restaurant with some mixed reviews -- but service fast enough that the three diners and the three sandwich eaters were able to set off together for the afternoon leg under somewhat clearer skies (giving hope to one (at least) that the full moon might break through the cloud cover). Two opted for the shorter circular route back to South Woodham Ferrers and 4 carried on along the main route to North Fambridge, reaching the charming Ferry Inn just as it got dark at 4:30 PM. We had time for one quick drink before making our way to the station for the 5:21, sadly with no moon insight....maybe next month....