Walk: A day in Rettendon

Rettendon Church

Rettendon Church - Credit: Archant

This walk around Rettendon is evidence that Essex is not as flat as it appears, with some good views of the Essex countryside on offer from various places along the way

Old Rectory

Old Rectory - Credit: Archant

Distance: 4.4 miles

Terrain: Take your waterproof boots or wellies if there has been rain as the bridleways can get rather muddy.

Starting point: All Saints Parish Church in Church Chase


Rettendon - Credit: Archant

How to get there: From the major junction at Battlebridge, where the A130 connects with the A132, take the sign to Rettendon from the A132 roundabout onto Main Road. Going north, after half a mile take the first turning left into Church Chase and park anywhere in the road leading up to the church.

Map: OS Explorer 175 Southend-on-Sea and Basildon.

Refreshments: The Rettendon Bell pub in Rettendon village.

The walk

The walk - Credit: Archant

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Tourist information Centre: Chelmsford Travel & Visitor Information Centre, 8 Dukes Walk, Duke Street, Chelmsford CM1 1GZ

Places of interest nearby: There are a number of interesting places nearby. This area has two antique centres; one on Main Road Rettendon opposite the Bell pub and a very large centre at Battlesbridge a mile to the south. There is also the Butterfly and Wildlife Centre at Woodham Ferrers a mile to the east. A short distance to the north-east is Hyde Hall, a public display garden run by the Royal Horticultural Society which is open all year round.

The walk

1. From Church Chase, go back down to the main road and cross over via the pedestrian crossing to the right and then take Meadow Road opposite. Go straight on through the residential area to the end where you bear right past no. 63 and take the footpath into the field. This runs along the field edge and then between fields with pleasant countryside views around. Pass a pond. At the footpath way-marker post go straight on between hedges. Proceed downhill towards the old metal gate. You emerge on the lane opposite the Nursery. Turn left going up the bridleway.

2. Pass Rectory Lodge and the Lakes, continuing along the Tarmac lane. This is part of the Saffron Trail, a long distance path between Southend and Saffron Walden. Proceed past Frelins Farm. When you reach Marks Farm, go straight on, onto an unmade surface. Continue for some distance past horse fields. Eventually the path bends left then right again, parallel with a little brook. At the concrete bridge where there is a way-marker post, go straight on.

3. Continue along a wide track with a ditch on the left. Soon after reaching Potters Farm, look out for a footpath in the field on the left – the sign is on the right. You will have to climb a steep bank to access the footpath. The route goes uphill, then levels out to provide distant views all around. Walk up to the end of the field to cross a little wooden bridge and into a field with the hedge on the right. Go through a little copse and into the next field with the hedge now on the left. Continue straight on down to the stile by the road.

4. Turn left and keep to the narrow verge, looking out for traffic. Pass houses and move onto a pavement. Then look out on the left for Old Bull Lane which is an unmade surface and a bridleway. (For the pub, go straight ahead for 5 minutes and return to the same spot.) Go gently down between hedge rows. Cross a stream via a concrete bridge and continue straight up the bridleway. Proceed for over half a mile until you eventually cross a stony track. Rettendon Hall stands on a hill to the left. The bridleway bends right past a metal gate, taking you to the road. Turn left along a walkway with a hard surface. This brings you into Rettendon village. Church Chase is further along on the right.