24.8 km (15.4 mi), of which 4.9 km (3.0 mi) on tarmac or pavements.
|Toughness||5 out of 10|
|OS Maps||OS Landranger Map: 167 (Chelmsford) and 168 (Colchester) and 178 (Thames Estuary).
OS Explorer Map: 183 (Chelmsford & The Rodings) and 175 (Southend-on-Sea & Basildon)
This long but rewarding Essex walk avoids major roads and all remnants of industry and suburbia to initially traverse through grassy fields in the Wid Valley and follow the Wid itself for a while, before ascending through a wood to the lunch stop in Stock. Afterwards several charming woods and Hanningfield Reservoir Nature Reserve are passed through, before a late lunch/early tea stop in South Hanningfield is reached. From there the route descends through more woods and fields into the Crouch Valley to the finish in Battlesbridge. Depending on the season, the 1200m of arable field crossings near the end can be a challenge.
Shortcuts: It is possible to shorten the walk by taking a bus either from the early lunch pub in Stock to Billericay (frequent service), or from the late lunch/early tea pub in South Hanningfield to Wickford (approx. every two hours but not on Sundays).
Alternative Ending at Wickford
Length: 18.8 km (11.7 mi), of which 3.9 km (2.4 mi) on tarmac or pavements. Cumulative ascent/descent: 166/208m. Toughness: 3 out of 10
While the main walk leads through Hanningfield Reservoir Nature Reserve and then rolling fields and woods, this much shorter alternative heads for Wickford station on a direct route, through a few woods, but mainly grassy fields. It follows the start of the Wickford to Battlesbridge walk in reverse (SWC Walk 157)
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Out: (not a train station)
Back: (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk