Essex’s best walks: An historic circular at Castle Hedingham
- Credit: Archant
This delightful walk around the historic village of Castle Hedingham is a real step back in time as you enjoy one of the county’s most beautiful villages | Words and pictures by Laurie Page of the Public Rights of Way team at Essex County Council
1. From the entrance to The Bell Inn, turn right along the pavement of St James Street and walk past the tennis club, following the road around the bend past the junction going uphill.
At the 40mph road sign turn left onto the footpath which runs alongside a wooden fence. Pass the cricket ground and then continue along the edge of a crop field. This takes you to Rosemary Lane.
2. Turn left and proceed along the lane. When you reach the fork, keep left staying on Rosemary Lane. Pass Keepers Cottage and continue along the lane. After it bends sharp right it converts to an unmade byway. Pass under pylons.
Follow the wide track as it winds around Lippingwell's Farm, then bends left. Continue for some distance past New House. The path S bends to Hewson's Farm.
3. Turn left along the footpath opposite the house going across the field. At the way-marker by the first tree, turn right across the field and at the other side of the field go past the haystack to the lane by Kirby Hall.
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Turn left along the road. At the next house, where the road bends right, take the footpath on the left side of the road.
4. The path goes uphill across the field. Hedingham Castle can be seen ahead. At the hedge keep to the right and follow the footpath along the field edge. There are distant views to the right of the Essex countryside.
Continue along the path to the footpath junction at the field corner. Take the second path on the right between trees on the right and a wire fence on the left. Start to descend. At the bottom at the footpath T-junction, turn right along a shady path which emerges at the road.
Turn left and opposite the castle entrance turn right down Castle Lane. Go straight over at the little junction to St James Street opposite The Bell Inn.
Distance: 3.7 miles (5.9km)
Starting point: Park in St James Street by the Bell pub. Sat Nav CO9 3EJ
How to get there: The village of Castle Hedingham lies between Great Yeldham and Sible Hedingham. North of Sible Hedingham, take Station Road which leads into the heart of the village.
Map: OS Explorer 195 Braintree and Saffron Walden
Refreshment: There are two pubs in the village, The Bell Inn and the Wheatsheaf. You will also find the lovely Buckley's Tea shop opposite The Bell Inn.
Places of interest nearby: Hedingham Castle was once the seat of the Earls of Oxford, the De Vere family. The magnificent 12th century keep and its bridge is mostly what remains of the castle. Privately owned, it is open to the public from Easter to October and holds many special events during the year. It is also now a wedding venue.
For train enthusiasts, the Colne Valley Railway is a heritage railway based at Castle Hedingham Station. The railway consists of a 1 mile long running line, with a fully reconstructed station, signal box available to visit and railway yard. Steam train rides can be taken along the track and there is also a museum, model railway and woodland walk.