Essex walks: Great Chesterford

Alongside the River Cam (photo: Laurie Page)

Alongside the River Cam (photo: Laurie Page) - Credit: Archant

A winter walk with lovely distant views of the surrounding countryside from the quaint village of Great Chesterford, in the north of the county near Saffron Walden

A view from the Saffron Trail (photo: Laurie Page)

A view from the Saffron Trail (photo: Laurie Page) - Credit: Archant

The Walk

1. From the Community Centre car park, go back to the road and turn left along the pavement, then soon after turn left again along Carmen Street. Continue past cottages to the crossroads but continue straight ahead past the converted chapel to the next road junction with The Crown and Thistle pub on the corner. Go straight over again and at the end of this cul-de-sac, by Reed House, bear left onto a gravel track past the corrugated barn. Swing left and proceed up the track to the main road, The Walden Road (B184).

 

All Saints Church (photo: Laurie Page)

All Saints Church (photo: Laurie Page) - Credit: Archant

2. Turn right then almost immediately cross the busy road (with care) and turn left onto a footpath going fairly steeply uphill alongside a large arable field. There are good views to the left. Continue along the wide track which is part of the Saffron Trail. After some distance a hedge appears on the left side. Where the hedge ends, continue straight ahead onto the path running across a large crop field. Continue to the end of the field.

 

3. Go through the hedge and across a small footbridge to a little lane. Turn left going down the tree-lined lane. Pass a wood on the right. At the bottom the lane swings left. At the next T-junction at the end, turn left along Cow Lane. Pass Little Paddocks Cottage and proceed for almost another mile, back to the Walden Road.

Charming architecture is a feature of Great Chesterford (photo: Laurie Page)

Charming architecture is a feature of Great Chesterford (photo: Laurie Page) - Credit: Archant

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4. Cross over into the High Street. Proceed along the pavement, passing The Plough pub and some pretty cottages. At The Crown and Thistle pub, this time continue straight on along South Street. At the telephone box there is a seating area to the left by the River Cam. Go past School Street on the right and the parish church on the left. At the end of Church Street, at the T-junction where you meet the main road, turn right past The Crown Hotel. Continue past Carmen Street and back to the Community Centre on the right.

 

A map of the Great Chesterford walk (© Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey. Media 003/20)

A map of the Great Chesterford walk (© Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey. Media 003/20) - Credit: (© Crown copyright 2020 Ordnance Survey. Media 003/20)

COMPASS POINTS

Distance: 4.1 miles

Starting point: The Community Centre on the edge of the village on the B1383. (Sat Nav CB10 1NS)

How to get there: Close to the M11, come off at junction 9 and follow the A11 and come off at the first exit and then follow the B1383 towards the village. The community centre is on the left.

Map: OS Explorer 209 Cambridge

Refreshment: There are two pubs in the village, both passed en route - The Crown & Thistle and The Plough

Places of interest nearby: Just to the south is the market town of Saffron Walden. It has an interesting museum in the grounds of the old ruined castle and the parish church is magnificent. On the western edge of town is the stately home of Audley End, now owned by English Heritage. It is a grand Jacobean House with gardens designed by Capability Brown. There is also a miniature railway there.

 

Ordnance Survey maps are available from all good booksellers and outdoor stores or visit the online shop at ordnancesurvey.co.uk/al

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