Strolling around Stambourne
- Credit: Archant
Words and pictures by Laurie Page of the Public Rights of Way team at Essex County Council
Distance: 5.1 miles
Starting point: The village hall car park in Stambourne.
How to get there: From the A1017 between Haverhill and Halstead, follow the signs to Stambourne just north of Great Yeldham village. The village hall is in Church Road near the junction with Dyers Road
OS Map: Explorer 195 Braintree & Saffron Walden
Refreshment: The Green Man pub in Toppesfield is a community pub run by the people of the village.
Tourist Information: Town Hall Centre, Market Square, Braintree, Essex CM7 3YG Call 01376 550066
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Places of Interest nearby: A few miles to the south east is the magnificent castle keep at Castle Hedingham, the seat of the De Vere family who were Earls of Oxford. Close to the village, on the A1017, is the Colne Valley Railway where you can take a ride on a steam train.
1Turn left out of the village hall car park and go to the road junction. Continue straight on past Dyers Road and immediately after, at the property called Ashfield on the right, follow the footpath arrows through a gap in the hedge and go across the crop field. Go gently uphill. As it levels out, Toppesfield church can be seen ahead. When you reach the end of the field, cross over the track and take the footpath opposite.
2Continue across the field and at the way-marker post, proceed along the edge of the next field with the hedge and ditch to the left. At the end of the field continue straight on along the dusty track and straight on again at the next footpath junction way-marker post. At the haystack you join a concrete path and go uphill towards the farm (Berwick Hall). Follow this path left around the buildings. There are good views to the left. At the path T-junction go left. This merges onto the lane with houses and takes you to a road junction.
3Bear right into the village centre, then left into Church Lane. Pass the Green Man pub, the parish church of St Margaret and the school. Go straight ahead where the road converts to a footpath. After a short distance, go left through a gap onto a bridleway. Follow the field boundary and at the corner bear right along a wide grass path. At the fork keep right through the trees. Pass Gunce’s Farm and join the concrete path. Keep on this until you reach the end where it joins the road.
4Turn left along the road but watch out for traffic as there is no pavement. Continue for some distance. After you reach a farm you will pass a footpath on the left, and soon after you turn onto a bridleway on the right, head up a wide track. This bends left and this section is a byway. Continue on this track all the way to the end. This terminates at the Stambourne Road.
5Turn left and walk along the lane. Pass a footpath on the left and then a pretty thatched cottage. A little further on, look out for a footpath on the left, through a gate. You enter a meadow with long grass with no defined path. Keep the hedge boundary to your left and continue through a gap in the hedge and into the next field. Here the grass is even longer but head for the tower of St Peter’s Church that you see in the distance. In the far corner of the field, go over a stile and into the churchyard. Go out through the lych-gate onto the road opposite the old timbered house. Turn left along the road and return to the village car park on the left.