Essex’s best walks: 4.5 mile circular at Little Braxted

The Green Man

The Green Man - Credit: Archant

At this time of year footpath routes can be very muddy, so this route around Little and Great Braxted makes the most of lanes and country roads | Words and photos: Laurie Page from the Public Rights of Way Team at Essex County Council

The church

The church - Credit: Archant

The walk

1) Head east along the lane. Pass a footpath on the left and then, at One Hall Cottages, take the next footpath on the left running between fences.

When you reach the lake, go left onto a path that goes around the lake. Pass over a bridge and as the route bends right onto a wide track, look out for a path on the left going uphill through the trees. At the top turn right and then immediately left alongside a crop field.

Heath House

Heath House - Credit: Archant

Follow the wide grass path along the field edge. After some distance look out for the footpath way-marker on the left taking you through the trees to the road.

2) Turn right along the road which bends left. Proceed to where the road bends right, and where you take the footpath on the left (at Broomfields Farm) onto a stony path. Towards the end, bear right following the footpath sign through a wooden gate.

The path runs between the woodland and an electric fence. Cross a metal bridge over the stream and continue up on a rough path along by the wood.

The lake

The lake - Credit: Archant

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At the opening at the end of the field bear slightly left across the crop field (there may not be a defined path) heading for the farm buildings on the other side. This eventually brings you to the white cottage by the road at Sextons Farm.

3) Turn right along the lane. Keep straight ahead at the road junction soon after and at the next road junction turn right along Tiptree Road going gently uphill. There are distant views to the right, where you can see all the way to the River Blackwater.

Continue for over half a mile. When you reach the road fork, keep right along a tree-lined lane. After Heath House go right again at the next fork. Proceed past Braxted Place to the junction by the Green Man pub.

4.5 mile circular at Little Braxted

4.5 mile circular at Little Braxted - Credit: Archant

4) Turn right along the road (unless you wish to stop for refreshment at the pub). Continue downhill to the next fork where you go left (to Witham).

Proceed along this lane, passing Hales Farm, and continue all the way back to where you previously joined the first footpath and then retrace your steps along the lane back to the church where you started.

Distance: 4.5 miles (7.3km)

Starting point: A small lay-by opposite St Nicholas Church in Little Braxted (CM8 3EU). There is only room for two cars, but do not park in front of the gates or in the business park next to the church (a security number is required for access).

How to get there: Leave the A12 at Junction 22 at Witham and follow the sign to Little Braxted via Little Braxted Lane.

Map: OS Explorer 183 Chelmsford

Refreshment: The Green Man pub on route.

Places of interest nearby: To the east of the village is the town of Tiptree, home to the Wilkin & Sons Jam Factory which has a free museum to explain the history of the factory and displays old artefacts. There is also a tearoom and a shop which sells a vast array of Tiptree products which are popular all around the country. The little 12th century church at Little Braxted is also worth a visit.

Stay safe: When walking on the highways, always walk on the right side of the road so that you can see oncoming traffic. Use the verge where possible, especially when vehicles approach.

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